• To northwest Michigan’s Conservation Resource Alliance for its Wild Roots program, which began in 2019 with a bold goal — to plant 100,000 native seedlings in five years. The initiative now launches year three with 32,000 in the ground and 68,000 to go.

The reforestation initiative aims to improve the health and resilience of habitats through partnerships with area property owners, conservation districts and other organizations.

“One of the easy ways landowners can help the environment is by planting trees, flowers and shrubs,” said Kama Ross, district forester for Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau conservation districts.

“We’re trying to capture more carbon and provide natural habitat. Anyone of any age can do it and it doesn’t take a lot of room.”

  • To Oliver Township in Kalkaska County and the Great Lakes Energy People Fund. The township recently received a $1,000 grant from the People Fund. The grant will help restore the playground at Oliver Township Hall. The town hall was originally a one-room schoolhouse and the playground equipment is from that era.

Members of Great Lakes Energy support the fund by rounding up their bills to the next dollar.

  • To Cherryland Electric Cooperative members. Cherryland Cares awarded $17,700 in December to four area nonprofit organizations.

Receiving grants were Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Crystal Community Ski Club, TART Trails and the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

Cherryland Cares is funded by members electing to round up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. A group of five volunteer Cherryland members reviews grant applications and allocates money to organizations seeking assistance.

In 2020, Cherryland Cares awarded a total of $43,300 in grants to nonprofit organizations.

  • To Elk Rapids’ Adam Trautman. Pro Football Focus, a respected publication dedicated to the NFL, named Trautman to its All-Rookie team for his performance with the New Orleans Saints this season.
  • To those who contributed more than $20,000 to Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan. The funds were gathered from the 2020 Northern Home and Cottage Virtual Home Tours, which started in late October. All proceeds from ticket sales went to the local nonprofit.

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