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Michigan State University Extension
21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-6440

Natural Resources


Terry Gibb, Senior Extension Educator


Michigan’s natural resources – water, forests, fisheries and wildlife – are economic drivers and important to our quality of life. Our programs improve public understanding of Michigan’s natural resources, help landowners and communities use those assets for sustainable long-term social and economic development, conserve natural resources for future generations, and broaden stakeholder engagement in natural resources decision making.


Understanding Groundwater - Program currently on hold pending program update and COVID-19

The Understanding Groundwater presentations target 5th graders but are adaptable to 4th and 6th grades as well. These class programs are held in conjunction with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program. Using a groundwater model and hands on activities, students review basic water knowledge, learn what groundwater is, the surface/groundwater connection and the importance of protecting and conserving groundwater resources.

This one-hour program has been noted by teachers as relating well to MEAP test materials, school benchmarks and standards. The Understanding Groundwater Program is free and is scheduled November through March. Call (586) 469-6440 to register or for more information.


Great Lakes Education Program 

Great Lakes Education Program (GLEP) introduces fourth-grade students to the unique features of the Great Lakes through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience. The program is designed to stimulate interest in the Great Lakes and help students understand their role in protecting these vital freshwater resources.

More than 115,000 students, teachers, adult chaperones and volunteers in southeast Michigan have participated in the Great Lakes Education Program since it began in 1991. GLEP can be adapted to meet the needs of K-12 and college classes.

Educational Relevance

The Great Lakes Education Program is part of an approved science curriculum for fourth-grade students and addresses an important need. Studies have shown that fourth grade students in Michigan generally have little understanding of the Great Lakes and local water resources. GLEP helps bridge this gap and prepare students for their roles as future decision-makers responsible for the state's natural resources.

For more information, go to



Lymantria dispar (formerly known as Gypsy Moth) Suppression Program

If you would like information about the Lymantria dispar program, please click here.



Master Composter Program

The Macomb MSU Extension offers the Master Composter course to instruct residents about yard waste composting and reduction. Composting is important because it:

  • Improves your yard and garden and flower beds at little or no cost
  • Provides a rich humus without producing odors or attracting critters
  • Reduces waste that must be disposed

The Master Composter program has two main objectives:

  • to provide individuals with current, correct knowledge and information on composting
  • to promote the sharing of this knowledge with others in the community through volunteer activities

The Master Composter classes are taught by a team of regional extension agents, Michigan State University specialists, and other local experts. Course topics include:

  • History of Composting
  • Basic Composting Techniques
  • Yard Waste Reduction
  • Bin and Site Selection
  • Composting Systems and Equipment
  • Composting Composition and Chemistry
  • Application to Garden Soils
  • Uses of Finished Compost
  • Worm Composting and Bin Building
  • Michigan Legislation and Local Ordinances

Face-to-face or virtual classes are held every Fall. Please call the office for more information at 586-469-6440.



Water Conservation

Michigan Sea Grant Extension provides educational outreach for this classroom-based program, which is designed for first- through third-graders. The children explore water conservation topics such as where water comes from, how to use water wisely, and how to protect and conserve this precious resource.

The presentation incorporates hands-on activities, demonstrations and games to educate and reinforce learning activities. This 50 minute program is noted by teachers as age appropriate and relates well to school standards and benchmarks.

The Water Conservation Program is free, is presented in classroom and may be scheduled November through March.

The Water Conservation Program is currently seeking volunteers to help present the Water Conservation Program to first through third grade students in schools throughout Macomb County.

For more information, call 586-469-7139.

Natural Resource Links:





Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems - May / June 2022

Michigan's diverse energy future is set in motion. Utility companies have bold plans to expand solar options and other forms of renewable energy over the next two decades and beyond. The shift in the utility sector from centralized power generation to a higher number of accessory and principal use solar energy systems (SES) means nearly every jurisdiction in Michigan will be approached about a solar installation within the next five years. The purpose of this training is to help Michigan communities meet the challenge of becoming solar-ready by addresses SES within their planning policies and zoning regulations. Learn the following at one of our in-person or virtual trainings:

  • the context for solar energy development in Michigan
  • how various components, scales, and configurations of SES fit into landscape patterns ranging between rural, suburban, and urban
  • planning and siting considerations for solar energy systems including colocation with other land uses
  • sample zoning approaches that attempt to balance the interests of property owners and the community as a whole

Learn more and register at

Download the program flyer here