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NWTF Honors Pierce Cedar Creek Institute with National Conservation Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pierce Cedar Creek Institute was presented with the NWTF’s Land Stewardship Award for its work promoting wildlife habitat management in Michigan.

February 18, 20243 min read

Representatives from PCCI accepted the award during the NWTF’s 48th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

“The Institute is so honored to be recognized at a national level for our contribution to land stewardship in southern Michigan,” said Mary Parr, PCCI stewardship manager. “The Institute has a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our environment, and we are so pleased to be able to collaborate with the National Wild Turkey Federation on so many levels. Together we have been able to host an annual “Learn to Hunt Turkey” weekend-long event that engages new turkey hunters in the sport and also complete a number of collaborative Wildlife Habitat Grants through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that include oak savanna protection on over 125 acres of Institute property. It is amazing to see the enthusiasm of new turkey hunters and their ability to hunt within areas enhanced through grant work. It is very exciting to be able to be able to be a partner in supporting the NWTF efforts in fostering the next generation of turkey hunters and instilling the importance of conservation.”

This award honors companies, including individuals or projects supported by companies, and/or government agencies that promote wildlife habitat management.

PCCI is an 829-acre campus that places an important focus on biological research and management, and it supports curriculum tied to 14 colleges and universities. The success of the R3 partnership on its unique campus helped catapult additional collaboration opportunities for PCCI and the NWTF where the two groups’ respective missions overlap. 

Since 2017, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute of Hastings, Michigan, has been an active partner of the NWTF. PCCI helped expand the NWTF’s R3 efforts in Michigan by hosting the now annual spring mentored turkey hunt in 2017. The success of the spring turkey hunt created support for PCCI to develop and host mentored hunts in the fall, including a mentored deer hunt, turkey hunt and waterfowl hunt.

In 2018, the NWTF and PCCI collaborated on the development of a Michigan DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant to support wildlife habitat restoration efforts on PCCI’s campus and other public and private parcels throughout west Michigan. The NWTF was awarded $191,200 in grant funding to support oak savanna and oak forest restoration efforts. This included helping PCCI meet its management and restoration objectives across 109 acres. More specifically, the grant funding helped support prescribed fire, nonnative and invasive species treatments, prairie restoration and treatment of undesirable woody species. Given the success of this collaborative effort, the NWTF and PCCI decided to partner again in 2021. The NWTF was awarded another MIDNR Wildlife Habitat Grant, totaling more than $358,000 to support oak ecosystems efforts. A portion of these grant funds and partner funds were used to purchase native seed and contract the planting of a 21-acre native prairie restoration, planting more than 2,000 wildflower plugs, and more than 80 hard- and soft-mast-producing trees and shrubs. The work under these grants was recently completed during the summer of 2023. Signage on these project sites has been erected to showcase these efforts and be used as an educational tool to promote the management of these critical ecosystems. 

“The team at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is immensely deserving of the NWTF’s longstanding and illustrious Land Stewardship Award,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “From helping us with our R3 efforts, wildlife habitat enhancement and supporting research driven management, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute has undoubtedly moved the conservation needle forward.”

About the National Wild Turkey Federation  

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has positively impacted over 23 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $9 million into wild turkey research to guide the management of the wild turkey population and to ensure sustainable populations into perpetuity. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale through its Four Shared Values: clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF continues its work to provide Healthy Habitats. and Healthy Harvests. for future generations. 

Filed Under:
  • Convention and Sport Show
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Hunting Heritage
  • Wildlife Management