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The Alcona FFA Sugar Shack Project got its start in March of 2005 when students in the Alcona High School Agriscience classes collected a small amount of sap and boiled it down to produce our first twelve gallons of maple syrup. That sparked our interest in the process and construction of the current Sugar Shack began that fall. Agriscience students, FFA members, and community members volunteered to help with the project. After a year and a half of hard work, dedication and donations from many individuals, local businesses, and organizations, our facility was finally ready. The first gallon of syrup was bottled on March 15, 2007. The Sugar Shack is attached to a 980 square foot log cabin and consists of an Evaporating Room and a Finishing Room. In the Evaporating Room, sap collected by FFA members and agriscience students, is boiled down (at an average ratio of 40 gallons sap to 1 gallon maple syrup). In the Finishing Room the syrup is filtered and bottled for sale. FFA students will not only be collecting, evaporating, filtering, bottling, marketing, and selling the maple syrup, but we will also be conducting tours of the facility, and utilizing the log cabin as a classroom. For information on tours, please contact Mr. Brian Matchett, FFA Advisor. Thanks for your support of our program!


Mission Statement for Inland Lakes School District:

Inland Lakes Schools is a collaboration among families, educators and community members who are dedicated to provide what each child needs in order to achieve his or her personal best.

Check out the website at http://heckman.webs.com under youth service projects. Also click below to learn more about any one of our projects.


The mission of Alcona Community Schools, in partnership with our community, is to educate and empower each student to become a caring, responsible, competent world citizen.


This team is made up of middle school Science teachers and administrators who are actively engaged in the sustainable efforts by the students and community surrounding Cheboygan Area Schools.

Teachers, administrators, and 4-H volunteers who run the Lean Green Wolverines club within Wolverine Schools.

MSU Extension (4-H Youth Programs and Michigan Sea Grant) staff hosting 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp, a statewide youth leadership camp focused around natural resources and hosted locally in northeast Michigan (Presque Isle County)

6th Grade Teachers and Students of Thunder Bay Junior High

Teacher Jon Webb's class monitoring Hubbard Lake water quality as a part of the NOAA BWET program.

5th grade class testing and monitoring water quality of Thunder Bay River.

Alpena is the gateway to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the nation’s fourteen protected marine areas.  Students will use this “natural classroom… to promote understanding and stewardship” of the natural and cultural treasures found in the waters off Thunder Bay.  This course will provide students with the opportunity to study science disciplines employed on a daily basis in the sanctuary and to discover the rich cultural heritage of Alpena.  Students will discover the past through current research and preservation activities.  The course will promote learning across the curriculum, with a focus on Earth Science.

Alcona High School Industrial Arts teacher, Chuck Boyer, is getting the local community involved in his woodshop program. His ultimate goal is to make lasting relations with community partners interested in getting students involved in community projects through placed based education.

Alpena High School Welding Instructor Scott MacKenzie and Woodworking Instructor Zach Grulke are getting their students involved in the local community through placed based education. Students are working with numerous community partners to help support eco-tourism in Alpena County.

The mission of Alcona Community Schools, in partnership with our community, is to educate and empower each student to become a caring, responsible, competent world citizen.

This team is made of teachers who are participating in place-based education in the Hillman area, connected to the NEMI GLSI network.

Educators involved in place based education in Montmorency County, focused on water quality monitoring of the Thunder Bay River and projects close to home.

4th Grade teachers at Besser Elementary in Alpena are engaging their students in hands-on learning about the water quality of the nearby Thunder Bay River.

We at Oscoda Area Schools firmly believe that everyone can learn and contribute, and that all employees and volunteers at our public education school are partners in learning.

Teachers and Students of ACES Academy, in Alpena, are working together to make a difference in community and environmental issues.

Mrs. Melissa Smith has her Intro to Chemistry students involved at exploring and collecting data on and in Lake Huron.

4th & 5th grade teachers from Au Gres-Sims Elementary School have created a culture of water stewardship among students through implementation of a hands-on water quality monitoring program in the Au Gres River watershed.

The Fifth Grade classes at Ella White Elementary in Alpena are exploring their environment in many different ways, both inside and outside of the classroom. With a plethora of community partners, Ella White is primed for great place-based education practices.


4-H Club located in Alcona County focusing on Great Lakes stewardship.


Multiple schools, teachers, and classes are joining together to campaign to keep the Great Lakes plastic-free this Earth Day with the Northeast Michigan Earth Day Bag Project.

4th Graders at Wilson Community School are researching Alpena's history in cooperation with Besser Museum and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to raise awareness about the area's legacy in the car industry and much more!

Across Northern Michigan, students are monitoring vernal pools to assist the Michigan Natural Features Inventory better understand the status of these seasonal wetlands.  This effort includes many schools, community partners, and even other GLSI regional hubs, and it demonstrates how these different partners can work together to help better understand Michigan's vernal pools!

Contact GLSI Northeast Michigan
Donate to the GLSI Northeast Michigan Endowment

Northeast Michigan GLSI network programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

2020 NEMIGLSI Leadership Team Bar

AMA-Iosco Math Science Center Americorps U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Fishery Trust Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Community Foundation Northeast Michigan Huron Pines Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle ESD Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD Michigan Department of Natural Resources Northeast Michigan Council of Governments Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 4-H MSU Extension Michigan Sea Grant NOAA