Michigan NRC Honors Mary Ann Van Lokeren’s Conservation Efforts

Mary Ann Van Lokeren
Shown (left to right) are Bill O’Neill, acting chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division; Kerry Wieber, DNR forest land administrator; Michael Van Lokeren; Bill Moritz, DNR deputy director; Mary Ann Van Lokeren; Tom Bailey, executive director of the Little Traverse Conservancy; Karen Gleason, a friend of the Van Lokerens; and NRC chairman Tim Nichols.
Michigan DNR
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- The Natural Resources Commission honored Mary Ann Van Lokeren with a Partner in Conservation Award at its Thursday, May 17, meeting in Onaway, Mich.

Van Lokeren was recognized for her help in restoring wildlife habitat on the site of an abandoned Emmet County correctional facility.

A retired businesswoman and long-time conservation enthusiast, Van Lokeren took it upon herself to see that the former Camp Pellston Correctional Facility, which was located on state forest land, would be restored to wildlife habitat. Van Lokeren (who lives in Southeast Michigan and has a seasonal home in Emmet County) provided funding and recruited three other families, who also have seasonal homes in the area, to help pay for the effort.

The project involved razing the buildings and fences at the abandoned facility last December. Habitat restoration was completed when the area was graded, raked and seeded this spring.

“Ms. Van Lokeren’s dedication and leadership were indispensable in restoring the Camp Pellston area,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes. “The citizens of Michigan owe Mary Ann a big thank you.”

Van Lokeren, who has worked with the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited on habitat issues in the past and serves on the board of the Little Traverse Conservancy, described the project as “a win-win situation for everyone.”

“Now the land is beautiful once again and available for people to use,” she said. Partner in Conservation Awards are bestowed periodically upon individuals and groups (nominated by DNR staffers) who have made extraordinary contributions to natural resources protection in Michigan.

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 www.michigan.gov/dnr

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