From the field

Grand Valley State students shoot 'Tree Army' film

Students with Grand Valley State University work on a film project on the Rogue River "Tree Army."

Last fall, Grand Valley State University students from the ‘Producing for Clients’ class worked with Trout Unlimited staff in Michigan to produce a video covering the exciting new initiative called the Rogue River Tree Army.

Students filmed footage and interviews over multiple field days as the Tree Army, made up of staff and volunteers, planted thousands of trees along Michigan’s Rogue River to enhance the resilience of this important coldwater fishery.  

In 2020, the Rogue River Tree Army planted over 17,000 trees along rivers and streams with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the U.S. Forest Service.

Riparian trees soak up and filter warmed, polluted stormwater runoff, provide shade during the summer months, add woody debris for fish habitat, and stabilize banks to reduce erosion. 

The Tree Army is now expanding to new watersheds with a goal of planting an additional 31,000 trees across coldwater watersheds throughout West Michigan over the next two years. Tune into the video learn how this initiative is helping to make riparian forests and the coldwater resources they buffer more resilient to the threats of climate change. 

Thanks to the amazing team at Grand Valley – Professor Suzanne Zack and students Allison Riley, Eric Peck, Ben Tiesworth, Garrett Hughes, and Austin Innis – for this great product and to the funders, community partners, and volunteers who made this planting project possible. 

This project was made possible by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the U.S. Forest Service.