KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Consumers Energy Foundation has awarded Oshtemo Township a $150,000 Planet Award grant. The grant will be used to restore the ecological health of a two-mile section of the Fruit Belt Rail Corridor.
The restoration is planned to begin this summer. It is expected to be finished in 2023. The grant will also be used for hands-on environmental education and stewardship opportunities, which will focus on climate resilience. A majority of the ecological restoration activities and environmental education programming will be provided by the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Conservation Stewardship team.
“These funds will allow us to expeditiously make a significant and positive impact on the wildlife habitat in this corridor that we otherwise could not have done,” said Libby Heiny-Cogswell, Oshtemo Township supervisor. “We’re excited to be able to invite the community to participate in the restoration and learn more about the importance of native planets and climate resilience.”
The goal of the Consumer Energy Foundation’s Planet Award grant is to preserve, restore, and protect Michigan’s natural resources. “Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Our Planet Awards represent that commitment in action. We’re excited to support these projects and confident they will significantly help preserve Michigan’s natural beauty.”