Environmental Planning

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Ryerson & 4-Mile Creek Student & Neighborhood Engagement

As a partnering member of the MLWP, WMSRDC was awarded one year of funding for Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership Student & Neighborhood Engagement from EGLE under Watershed Council Support. The project included partnering Orchard View (OV) Middle School to implement a student-led tree and water resources improvement for Muskegon Lake Watershed.

MLWP and WMSRDC collaborated with Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon Community College, the Muskegon Conservation District, and the City of Muskegon to provide OV classroom visits and guided watershed land use walks and creek corridor explorations to inspire, inform, and educate teachers and students about the watershed’s natural resources and benefits. In total, 15 trees were planted to 885 gallons of urban stormwater runoff from entering Ryerson and Four Mile Creek. “Know your watershed” signs were installed on OV Campus and at Simth-Ryerson Park.

The project also engaged neighborhood associations and other community members on their interest in new tree locations. Although the community was supportive of trees, there was great concern regarding the maintenance of dead and dying trees within the community. Taking this feedback into account, WMSRDC and the City of Muskegon have collaborated on funding proposals to assess the current urban tree canopies and plan for how to continue to improve tree canopy resiliency.

Orchard View students on a guided tour from Muskegon Community College Professor Matt Cooper of 4 Mile Creek.


Orchard View students viewing macroinvertebrates collected from 4 Mile Creek in a Muskegon Community College Biology lab.


Orchard View students planting trees on their school campus with guidance from Muskegon Conservation District.