Consumers Energy Foundation gives $500k to Muskegon County Parks, Six Lakes Land Conservancy

JACKSON–The Consumers Energy Foundation has awarded $500,000 in grant funding to two organizations—the Muskegon County Parks Department and the Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy—for its 2024 Planet Awards. The two grants, each totaling $250,000, will fund projects in both organizations to restore area habitats to their natural state and improve air and water quality in their respective regions.

“The Consumers Energy Foundation is squarely focused on ensuring Michiganders continue to have access to world class natural resources,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “This year’s Planet Award winners will not only to protect and preserve those resources but restore ones that were otherwise considered lost. Their work will have significant and long-term benefits for Muskegon and Macomb counties, and we look forward to seeing their projects in action.”

The two grant recipients are:

* Muskegon County Parks Department, Muskegon: The grant will support the ecological restoration of Dune Harbor Park, a 377-acre property that was previously a sand mine. Restoration activities will include invasive species removal, planting of native foliage, and the establishment of pollinator habitat. Trail access enhancement, installation of interpretive signage, and other improvements will foster environmental stewardship and encourage the public to enjoy recreational opportunities at the park.

* Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy, Macomb: The grant will support the Monarch Meadows project, which will protect 64 acres of land near Selfridge Air National Guard Base and restore over half of it to native meadow. Restoration activities will include a tree planting program, invasive species removal, and installation of native wildflower habitat to create a beautiful natural area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“I want to thank the Consumers Energy Foundation for selecting the Dune Harbor Park Habitat Restoration and Community Engagement Project to receive the 2024 Planet Award,” said Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth. “Creating sustainable, long term recreation opportunities for residents and visitors will take a community-wide commitment and collaborative efforts. This funding will allow Muskegon County Parks to develop plans and implement projects to restore the park’s native landscapes and build community engagement and educational programs for the future. We look forward to the transformative impact ahead and are very appreciative of the grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation, and thank our parks team, Senior Park Ranger Kris Kluting and Parks Superintendent Jeff Hiddema, for their work on this once in a lifetime grant opportunity through the Consumers Planet Award.”

“We are so grateful for the Consumers Energy Foundation Planet Award grant and to have Consumers as a partner in this fantastic restoration project,” said Chris Bunch, Executive Director of the Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy. “Their investment will help to create critical pollinator habitat, improve stream habitat and create a wonderful natural area park for the people of Chesterfield Township and southeast Michigan. We are extraordinarily grateful and excited to get to work.”

Each year the Consumers Energy Foundation provides Planet Awards to Michigan nonprofits for projects which will tangibly impact preservation and restoration of Michigan’s land, water and air. The Planet Awards are the first of three-signature grant funding opportunities, totaling $1.5 million, that the Foundation provides each year.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation contributes to the growth and strengthening of Michigan communities by investing in what’s most important — our people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2023, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed more than $11 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to ConsumersEnergy.com.

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