DNR: Good time to reflect on wild turkey’s comeback

DNR: Good time to reflect on wild turkey’s comeback

 
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A few dozen turkeys are shown outside a house on a snowy morning.

Thanksgiving a good time to reflect on wild turkey’s comeback

By CASEY WARNER
Marketing and Outreach Division

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Hearing wild turkeys gobbling and clucking as you step out into the backyard early in the morning is common for many Michiganders now, but it wasn’t always so.

As we mark the annual holiday that revolves around turkey, let’s look back and celebrate these birds’ remarkable return from near extinction, often called one of the country’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories.

There are more than 6 million wild turkeys in the United States today, but seeing – or hearing – one was rare as recently as 50 years ago.

In Michigan, wild turkeys had been plentiful prior to the arrival of settlers, with an estimated 94,000 in the state at that time.

A male turkey fans its tail while standing in the snow.By the 1950s, Michigan’s wild turkey population had disappeared due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss.

Bringing turkeys back from the brink

Thanks to the efforts of a committed cadre of conservationists over the last 70 years, 200,000 wild turkeys now call Michigan home. They can be found in parts of every Lower Peninsula county and areas of the Upper Peninsula.

By 1965, the turkey population had rebounded enough that hunting was allowed. Today Michigan ranks sixth in the nation for number of turkey hunters, with consistently high hunter success and satisfaction rates.

Michigan’s spring turkey season is open in every county, and fall hunting is open in many areas of the state.

“We’ve gone from extirpation of all wild turkeys in Michigan to today we have over 200,000 birds and you can hunt turkeys in every county in the state,” said Al Stewart, who retired last year after a 50-year career working in wildlife management for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 20 of those years as the DNR’s upland game bird specialist.

A turkey is shown being released in a reintroduction project from the 1980s.“It has brought so much pleasure and enjoyment to people either in viewing wild turkeys and knowing they were there or the ability to hunt in both the spring and fall.”

Early wild turkey restoration attempts in Michigan using hatchery programs failed because the turkeys raised still behaved like domesticated birds, weren’t equipped to live in the wild and succumbed to disease, predators and weather.

In the 1950s, the Michigan Department of Conservation (now the DNR) purchased 50 wild turkeys from Pennsylvania and released them in West Michigan.

Stewart was part of a later effort to reintroduce the birds. In 1983 he, along with many others, brought wild turkeys to Michigan from Iowa and Missouri and established some flocks in the southern part of the state. He was in charge of teaching DNR staff how to trap offspring of those birds to then move them to other locations in the state to help expand this restoration activity.

Ongoing efforts

Since the 1980s, the DNR has worked with many partners to complete numerous releases of trapped wild birds and improve wild turkey habitat.

A DNR worker is shown at a growing location for native grasses.“We created some of the highest-quality sustainable turkey hunting in the nation,” Stewart said. “That says a lot when your competitors for that are places like Missouri, that is the best wild turkey habitat in the world and the highest population. They don’t have deep snow.”

The DNR’s habitat improvement work in recent years has included projects like creating Michigan’s Turkey Tracts, public hunting areas with habitat intensively managed for turkeys. There are now five Turkey Tracts locations, in Allegan, Barry, Montcalm, Oakland and Tuscola counties.

“The program highlights areas of public land where the habitat has been intentionally managed for wild turkeys, creating great hunting conditions for new or seasoned hunters,” Adam Bump, the DNR’s current upland game bird specialist, said.

The National Wild Turkey Federation, at its annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville earlier this year, presented the Michigan DNR with its Land Stewardship Award, which honors companies and/or government agencies that promote wildlife habitat management.

“Michigan DNR is at the forefront of keeping managed public lands open to the public, while maintaining high-quality habitat on these managed areas. The agency has a long history of collaborating with other state and federal agencies in larger landscape efforts to manage the public lands in Michigan. Moreover, the department has a long history of partnering with non-governmental organizations like the NWTF to accomplish habitat restoration and conservation projects on its lands,” read a NWTF news release about the award.

A DNR staffer is shown getting ready to release a turkey into the wild.Scott Whitcomb, director of the DNR Office of Public Lands, accepted the award “on behalf of the DNR and the passionate sportsmen and women who contribute to and benefit from this effort.”

“In Michigan, we’re blessed with an abundance of natural resources and wild places you don’t come across every day, providing the backdrop for hunting, fishing and all types of outdoor recreation and relaxation. This award recognizes sound, strategic stewardship of 4.6 million acres of state-managed land in Michigan, an achievement that would not be possible without conservation partners like the National Wild Turkey Federation.”

In addition to the 4.6 million acres of DNR-managed public land open to hunting, millions of additional private-land acres are leased or enrolled in programs to allow hunting for all. Visit Michigan.gov/Hunting for more information about where to hunt.

Hunters made it possible

The DNR and partners like the NWTF put in the work behind the wild turkey’s comeback, but it would not have been possible without hunters.

A pair of turkeys are shown in a green and grassy scene.Revenue to fund wild turkey management efforts – for the past several decades, now and into the future – comes directly from the sale of hunting licenses and equipment.

The Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund, funded primarily through hunting and fishing license fees, is the DNR’s largest revenue source and is critical to its conservation work.

And since 1937, when Congress passed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), states have received funds from manufacturer taxes on ammunition, firearms and archery equipment for wildlife restoration. These funds are distributed to the states based in part on the number of hunting licenses each state sells.

After passage of this groundbreaking legislation, conserving wild turkeys and other wildlife gained nationwide support and habitat management began.

“Sportsmen and women play an essential role in conservation efforts throughout the country,” said Rebecca Humphries, co-CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation. “Many people don’t realize, including some hunters and anglers, that the sale of licenses and equipment – not state tax dollars – are the primary source of conservation funding for Michigan and other states.”

So, while the turkey on your Thanksgiving table may not be a wild one, take a moment to raise a glass to its feathered brethren in the wild and the conservationists and hunters who engineered their comeback.

Read a sidebar story with fun facts about wild turkeys, and learn more about turkeys and turkey hunting at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at Michigan.gov/DNRStories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at Michigan.gov/DNREmail.


Note to editors: Contact: John Pepin, Showcasing the DNR series editor, 906-226-1352. Accompanying photos and a text-only version of this story are available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.

Text-only version of this story.

Text-only version of sidebar story.

1980s: Wild turkeys from Iowa are released in Clinton County as part of the southern Michigan wild turkey restoration program in the 1980s. Pictured are retired Michigan Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist Al Stewart (in green) and some of the partners involved in the project.

Award: Earlier in 2022, the National Wild Turkey Federation presented the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with its Land Stewardship Award, which honors companies and/or government agencies that promote wildlife habitat management. Pictured, left to right, are NWTF regional biologist Ryan Boyer; Scott Whitcomb, director of the DNR’s Office of Public Lands, who accepted the award; and NWTF CEO Becky Humphreys. (Photo credit: Lexi Kelly)

Backyard: Today, wild turkeys are a common sight in Michigan, but in the first half of the 20th century, they had disappeared from the state.

Driveway: Dozens of wild turkeys gather in a driveway in Dickinson County on a cold winter morning. The family living here was feeding the birds. The feeding of turkeys has helped widen their geographic distribution.

Habitat: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation on many wild turkey habitat improvement projects. Here, crabapple trees are repotted for planting at Rose Lake State Wildlife Area in Clinton and Shiawassee counties.

Hunters1 and Hunters2: The wild turkey’s comeback would not have been possible without hunters, as revenue to fund turkey management efforts comes directly from the sale of hunting licenses and equipment.

Male: Male turkeys have spurs on their legs, which get longer as they age and are used to grapple with other turkeys over breeding rights, and a “beard,” which looks like a miniature horse’s tail, on their chest.

Release1 and Release2: Releases of wild turkeys in Michigan have aided greatly in efforts to re-establish the species. Pictured here is a project to trap and relocate turkeys from Barry State Game Area in Barry County to the Baldwin area in Lake County.

Tract: A successful hunter displays the turkey he shot at one of Michigan’s Turkey Tracts, public hunting areas where habitat is intensively managed for wild turkeys.

Turkeys1 and Turkeys2: Once a declining species in Michigan and across the country, wild turkeys now can be found in all counties in the Lower Peninsula and in some parts of the Upper Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.
Around the OAA: Football Shortcomings

Around the OAA: Football Shortcomings

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Football Shortcomings.

Written Saturday November 19th at 4:30 PM

Here are the shortcomings to the end of the OAA football season for 2022.

West Bloomfield: It was a very disappointing year for the Lakers this season which saw a first round exit to Detroit Cass Tech. West Bloomfield loses a ton of talent from this season but they have several talented returners coming back. The Lakers have Requan Nance at quarterback along with Jaiden Allios at running and wide receivers Jamir Benjamin and Bryce Rowe coming back. The lines should be solid with Brandon Davis-Swan and Zander Davis also coming back. The defense should be solid again with Benjamin and Rowe in the defensive secondary along with linebackers Kari Jackson, Reginald Hayes, and Josh Tate coming back for Coach Tyrice Grice. Program strength is a major concern this offseason for West Bloomfield. The Lakers have the talent but questions remain this offseason.

Adams: The Highlanders have had a ton of success in the last two years but they lose a ton from their senior class this season. Program strength will be very interesting in describing Adams this offseason. The Highlanders have Brady Prieskorn, Drew Heppner, and Matteo Humbert coming back at the skill positions and Brendan Watters and Nicholas Lakian coming back for Coach Tony Patritto. Adams could be in line to take a step back with all the experience they lost but Patritto has built this program and kept the veer intact. The Highlanders will be a team to watch this offseason.

Clarkston: The Wolves have had a really good season under first year Coach Justin Pintar but they had a really tough loss to Caledonia in the Division One State Semifinals. Clarkston loses a ton of proven talent but they also have some proven talent coming back for Pintar. The Wolves have playmaker Desman Stephens, tight end Brody Kosin, and Cooper Collins coming back at wide receiver. Watch for Graysen Clark and the Bowman twins next season. The Bowman twins are likely to make an impact on both sides of the football while Clark could likely replace his older brother Ethan at running back. Quarterback will be a question mark this offseason for Pintar. Clarkston should be a force to watch next season.

Lake Orion: The Dragons made some strides this season but had some tough losses to good teams along with the way but did make the postseason. Coach Chris Bell has really stabilized this program. Lake Orion has the balk of their skill players coming back with quarterback Triston Hill, running backs Darrin Jones and Billy Robertson and wide receivers Raymond Payne and Dominic Novak. The lines will need to be addressed somewhat but there are options in Kyle Purdy and Sam Blakeley coming back. The defense will be the biggest question that Bell needs to address this offseason. They have Kaydon Degraffenreid at linebacker and Korbin Smith, Andrew Parker, along with Trey Pochamara in the defensive secondary. They have the talent and program strength to compete with the best in the State. Lake Orion should be a force to be a recon with next season.

Stoney Creek: There were a ton of ups and downs with the Cougars this season. The ups were getting into the postseason and getting a big win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay. The downs were the upset loss to Rochester in the first round. Stoney Creek loses a ton of proven experience from this season. The Cougars have lineman Jacob Krobchak along with linebackers Adam Battizi and Wes Cyrulnick and kicker Quentin Ubaydi coming back for Coach Nick Merlo. Stoney Creek will need to find a quarterback and rushing attack for next season, there are several options out there and program strength is solid for Merlo. The Cougars should be fine heading into next season.

Oxford: It was a very tough season for the Wildcats. Oxford was very young and went through a lot of adversity. The Wildcats have Dominic Cassisee at quarterback, Sean Wilson on the offensive and defensive lines, Luke Johnson at running back, tight end and kicker Jay Cady, and Jake Champagne at wide receiver along with Owen Pavlock, Keegan Wynn, and Domonte Travis in the defensive secondary for Coach Zach Line. Program strength is a concern for Line. Oxford should be better with the young players seeing a ton of playing time and gaining the experience from this season’s struggle. They should be a team to watch next season.

Southfield Arts and Tech: It’s next season or bust with the Warriors. Southfield Arts and Tech made the postseason but fell to Detroit Cass Tech in the district finals. The offense wasn’t the issue and they have a ton of proven offensive players in quarterback Isisah Marshall, running back Davier Burt, lineman Reggie Gardner, and wide receivers Tashi Braceful, Xavier Bowman, Jawon Jarrett, and Parker Kennedy coming back. The defense is the biggest concern for Coach Aaron Marshall this offseason especially the linebackers and the defensive secondary even though they have Maurico Clayton and Mathias Davis at linebacker and Aaron Todd in the defensive secondary coming back. Program strength is also a major concern for Marshall. The Warriors have the offense figured out but defense and special teams will be key if Southfield Arts and Tech wants to make the next step and have a deep postseason run and live up to the expectations.

Rochester: The Falcons had a ton of success this season. They made the postseason and won their first ever playoff game over Stoney Creek. Rochester loses a ton of skill players which could be very tough to replace They have the proven linemen in Casey Burke, Issac Putuus, and Josh Harman along with linebacker Bodie Therkildsen and wide receiver/defensive secondary Jacob Vancollie coming back for Coach Eric Vernon. Program strength is a concern for the Falcons as they have to replace their quarterback and rushing attack this offseason. Rochester should be an interesting team to watch this offseason.

Groves: The Falcons had an incredible season making it to the Division Two State Semifinals falling to Warren DeLaSalle. Groves has a ton of proven experience to look forward to next season. The offense should be very good with Cayden Hardy at quarterback, Mario Lovasco at running back, wide receiver Zach Rogers, Brayden Hall and Avery Gach coming back on the offensive and defensive lines. The back end of the defense should be solid with linebacker Ivan Belew, and Chris Little, Jalen Brooks, and Aiden Leuing coming back in the defensive secondary for Coach Brendan Flaherty. Program strength is a major concern for Flaherty this offseason. The Falcons should be one of the favorites in the White next season and they could if things go right make another deep postseason run.

Harper Woods: It was a very rough transitional year for the Pioneers being their first year in the OAA this season. Harper Woods had some really tough losses to very good teams. Coach Rob Oden will look to have a bounce back year next season with a ton of proven experience. The Pioneers back end of the defense should be solid. They have a very talented secondary in Jacob Oden, Johnny Nelson, Jaylen Wilkerson, Brandon Houston, and Jacob Sims along with Caitlin Scott, Willy Powell, and Matthew McGraw at linebacker and linemen Elron Beaman, Jessten Johnson, and Trevon Mendanhall coming back. Oden will have Ramonty House and Oden coming back at wide receiver. The quarterback is the question mark for Oden and is something to watch this offseason. Harper Woods could be back with a vengeance next season.

Bloomfield Hills: The Blackhawks had a tough season this year but they closed the season out strong with two wins. Bloomfield Hills loses a ton of talent but they have several players that could help out next season. The Blackhawks have Kierran Crossley. He was the backup this season and could replace CJ Jackson at quarterback. They also have Gavin Cote at running back, Jonah Zekman at wide receiver, and lineman Jack Holton coming back for Coach Dan Loria. They need to find out their defense this offseason and build upon their program strength which is a concern this offseason. Bloomfield Hills should be a team to watch this offseason.

Oak Park: It was a very tough season for Coach Greg Carter and the Knights. Oak Park struggled in games but did improve despite the outcomes. Program strength is a serious concern for Carter this offseason. They have A’Jaylen King and Candice Fityoumouth coming back in the defensive secondary along with Arytell Guyton and Austin Smith at wide receiver. Carter has to replace his quarterback, rushing attack, and find some proven linemen and linebackers. It’s going to be a very tough task for Carter this offseason with the Knights.

Farmington: The Falcons had a ton of great moments this season which included sharing the Blue title with Seaholm, making the postseason, and getting the Farmington Cup back from North Farmington after a three year vacation. Coach Jason Albrecht needs to replace his quarterback this offseason but he has the proven playmakers in running back Cam Pettaway and Michael Woods coming back. The back end of the defense should be very talented next season. They have linebackers Trenton Dardon, Josh Walker, and Cooper Williams along with Cam Hughes and Owen Mattison in the defensive secondary and linemen Jacob Braswell and Steven Krager. Farmington could be a sleeper next season. They will need to find who their quarterback will be and if they do then they could be a team to watch.

Seaholm: The Maples had a bounce back season which saw a ton of success but they have had issues with Groves which cost them big time and a tough loss to Farmington which saw them share the Blue. Seaholm has a ton of proven talent coming back even though they could be thin up front. The Maples have the Kinnie brothers Colton and Grayden coming back. Colton will be back at quarterback and Grayden at linebacker and could play some at running back for Coach Jim DeWald despite having Kyle Robbins coming back at running back and Jack Lewis in the defensive secondary. The Maples have the talent to make another run but depth and program strength will be question marks this offseason.

Troy: The Colts made the postseason for the second straight year but was blown out by Southfield Arts and Tech. Bottom line is that Troy needs to play tougher competition so this doesn’t happen on a consistent basis. The Colts have the majority of their offense coming back led by quarterback Parker Brandenburg and running back Nolan Block. Jalen Peacock leads the defense which was very good all season. Program strength is a concern for Coach Chris Fraiser heading into next season. If there is a team that could take a step back it’s the Colts.

North Farmington: The Raiders had a very rough season this year. North Farmington loses a ton of talent from this senior class and program strength is a serious concern going forward for Coach Jon Herstein. The Raiders have Brandon Rice coming on the offensive and defensive lines along with Thomas Thakady at linebacker, Duke Blanch in the defensive secondary, and wide receiver Will Coleman coming back. Coleman did see some time at quarterback in their 9-0 win over Troy. It’s unknown if Herstein will turn to him to play quarterback next season. North Farmington has some serious questions this offseason to address if they want to make some noise.

Troy Athens: It was a very interesting first season for Coach Tom Cook and the Red Hawks. Troy Athens saw their ups and downs this season. The program is back on the rise after having three teams this year. The Red Hawks should be young again but it’s a very good young. Troy Athens has Anthony Ashor and Charles Robinson coming back at running back and Evan Watson in the defensive secondary. Cook has a good quarterback in Patrick Ciuria also coming back. If the Red Hawks can find some proven linemen and build depth on both sides of the football then they could make some noise next season for sure.

Ferndale: The Eagles had a resurgence this season despite barely getting into the postseason. Ferndale lost a ton of proven experience which they will need to replace next season. Coach Erik Royal will have Leander Neal coming back at wide receiver and also in the defensive secondary, Lavar Cronton on the offensive and defensive lines, Gary Maxwell in the defensive secondary, Bryce Ferguson at linebacker, and Jacoby Young at linebacker and running back. Program strength is a concern for Royal next season. If Royal can keep this program at a high level like he has been doing then there is no reason why the Eagles should be back in this conversation again.

Avondale: It was a much better season for Coach Corey Bell and the Yellow Jackets. Avondale was very competitive this season. They have a proven nucleus coming back in quarterback Tyler Herzog along with Cooper Voeffray and Justin Sykes at wide receiver. The defense should be solid with Matthew Lloyd and Myles Moore at linebacker along with punter Hunter Petras and Alfonso Merritt in the defensive secondary. The offensive and defensive lines has Dhruv Thakur, Charlie Killian, and Cameron Washington coming back. Program strength looks to be on the way up for Bell and his program. The Yellow Jackets need to find a running back for next season but other than that they look ready to make the next step.

Royal Oak: It was a disastrous year for the Ravens which saw their Coach Dustyn Truitt placed on administrative leave. Royal Oak really struggled on the field where they weren’t competitive in most games. The Ravens lose a ton of proven experience. They have running back Nathan Benton and wide receiver Owen Louwers at the skill positions along with Aiden Tesch and Sam Klonke on the offensive and defensive lines and linebackers in Elijah Lyons, Michael Herman, and Steven Johnson coming back. Mindset needs to change if they want to turn this around. If there is a program that needs a complete reboot it’s the Ravens.

Berkley: It was a very disappointing season for the Bears and Coach Sean Shields. Berkley took a major step back as mentioned. The Bears lose a lot of size and talent up front. They have John Passon coming back up front along with quarterback Sunny Kadlicz and defensive back Alex Papadelious. If the Bears want to get back to where they were at last season they have to build on both sides of the football and get back to what Berkley football was all about.

Pontiac:  It has been a really rough 12 years for the Phoenix going 5-82 in that span but there is hope and optimism for next season. Pontiac does have their quarterback Kayne Donaldson coming back along with running back Davieon Hall, Bryce Brown on the offensive and defensive lines, and Debon Johnson in the defensive secondary. The Phoenix will have a new coach next season as Ken Wade stepped down a few weeks ago so there could be a transition period with the new coach. It’s only a matter of time until Pontiac starts getting back in the win column.

What’s in MDOT’s Five Year Transportation Program?

What’s in MDOT’s Five Year Transportation Program?

What’s in MDOT’s Five Year Transportation Program?

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation about the 2023-2027 Five-Year Transportation Program, approved by the State Transportation Commission Nov. 10.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/11699833-what-s-in-mdot-s-five-year-transportation-program

TMT - FYTP

Michael Case, a planning specialist at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) who oversees development of the program, talks about the history of the process. He also discusses the challenges of trying to forecast the future with ongoing uncertainty over transportation funding, inflation and climate change.

Michael Case

Case also breaks down project highlight focus areas as outlined in the report:

  • Equity and inclusion,
  • Transportation resilience, and
  • Complete Streets/multimodal.

This is the second time the program has included those areas. Case explains how these inform the plan, as well as the plan’s emphasis on each focus area across MDOT’s seven regions and its support of various mobility modes.

Case explains how he and his colleagues endeavor to engage even difficult-to-reach audiences to be sure they are included in the public involvement process and weigh in on their unique transportation needs.

$3.1 Billion Settlement with Walmart Over Opioid Epidemic

$3.1 Billion Settlement with Walmart Over Opioid Epidemic

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 15, 2022

Media Contact:
AG Press

AG Nessel Announces $3.1 Billion Settlement with Walmart Over Opioid Epidemic Allegations

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that she has reached a settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores.

The settlement will provide more than $3 billion nationally and will require significant improvements in how Walmart’s pharmacies handle opioids. State attorneys general on the executive committee, attorneys representing local governments, and Walmart have agreed to this settlement, and it is now being sent to other states for review and approval.

“Since their introduction in the marketplace, opioids have had a devastating impact on our country and our state,” Nessel said. “Walmart’s lax dispensing of prescription opioids has resulted in thousands of Michigan families being touched by substance use disorder or the death of a loved one due to opioid use. This settlement will provide needed funds for intervention and treatment, as well as hold Walmart accountable for the lack of oversight at its pharmacies.”

The settlement will include:

  • $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes, which must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder.
  • Broad, court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

The parties are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the deal during the first quarter of 2023. Further details about how the money will be distributed will be forthcoming. Last month, states confirmed that promising negotiations were also underway with Walgreens and CVS. The parties continue their efforts to achieve those agreements.

Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on this deal.

Scouts give back with “Great Shoe Shuffle”

Scouts give back with “Great Shoe Shuffle”

Brandon Kathman
Sr. District Executive
Brandon.Kathman@scouting.org
947-886-5736

Scouts give back with “Great Shoe Shuffle”

Cub Scouts in the Farmington area have collected over 600 pairs of used shoes to support those in
need as part of a drive that will end with a charity run on Nov. 19.
According to the shoe drive’s coordinator, Rachael Ayotte, Scouts have been collecting footwear
since October. Local Pack 45, Pack 179, Pack 226, Pack 231, Pack 263, Pack 362 and Pack 389
all participated in the endeavor.
“This was a great opportunity for our local packs to work with each other and collaborate with
Farmington Public Schools,” Ayotte said. “I know that this success will lead to further
opportunities to bring Scouting to kids in the Farmington area.”
The Cub Scout Packs placed a shoe collection box at each of the nine Farmington Public Schools
elementary buildings. Scouts decorated the boxes and made announcements at school, calling for
donations of new or gently used shoes. The shoes were then collected, sorted and organized by
the Cub Scouts.
On Nov. 9, the Scouts invited those in need to the Maxfield Education Center for a pop-up shop,
where the full selection was available at no cost. Ayotte estimated that about 300 pairs were
“shuffled” to new owners locally. The Scouts delivered the remaining pairs to Soles 4 Souls and
Foster Closet. Any shoes not suitable for reuse were recycled.
“This event allowed Cub Scouts and their families to live out many tenets of the Scout Law,”
Ayotte said. “A Scout is thrifty – keep good shoes out of the landfill.”
The Scouts will gather one more time on Nov. 19 for a run to benefit Soles 4 Souls at East Middle
School, as an anonymous patron has pledged to donate funds for each lap they complete around
the track.
“This is what we love to see our Scouts doing for their communities,” Bob DeWar, a field director
with Scouting’s Michigan Crossroads Council, said. “Instilling a spirit of cheerful service in
young people is at the foundation of our mission.”

Lincoln Genslak, Clark Oliver, Sawyer Genslak, Rachael Ayotte, Ellis Mahoney and Henry Bristow

Eddie Carson, Clay Carson, Benjamin Mortlock and Sam Mortlock

Over 600 pairs of shoes wait to be claimed by new owners