Chittenden Nursery, MI

Chittenden Nursery, MI

Six week-long sessions, mid-July through late August. Explore the unsuspecting beauty of Michigan on this project to rehabilitate the Chittenden Nursery, in partnership with the Huron-Manistee National Forests. This project carries a special invitation to volunteers age 18 - 30 (or up to 35, if you're a veteran) for the bulk of our sessions as part of our commitment to the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, or 21CSC. Join the next generation of preservationists!

As an added bonus, volunteers will be able to stay in sheltered housing (no tents needed, although you'll still need a sleeping bag and pillow) and will have access to showers and kitchen amenities.

PROJECT PARTNER: Huron-Manistee National Forests

STUDENTS: If you are interested in earning the Certificate in Heritage Conservation and Construction through HistoriCorps Institute, learn more and apply here.

Chittenden Nursery served as a hub of activity during the reforestation efforts of the 1930's. With much of the eastern and midwestern United States stripped of their forests, and urban unemployment driving men to the Civilian Conservation Corps, the US Forest Service created Chittenden Nursery with CCC members as the primary laborers. Opened in 1934, the nursery supplied seedlings and transplants for regional planting and featured several buildings, including a greenhouse. The nursery operated for almost forty years before finally being closed in 1973 due to insufficient demand for seedlings. In cooperation with the CCC, the US Forest Service leveraged the nursery's production of pine, spruce, and hardwood trees to reforest more 101,000 acres in the Manistee National Forest between 1934 and 1942. Read more about Chittenden Nursery's history in Silviculture Magazine.

The forest itself is nationally recognized for its thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams. If you like to fish in pristine freshwater conditions, canoe, or simply enjoy the tranquility of a forest stream, don't miss out on this project! Additionally, a unique dune ecosystem can be explored where the forest touches the eastern waters of Lake Michigan - enjoy the beach! Hikers will enjoy the hundreds of miles of trails. You can learn more about all the Huron-Manistee National Forest has to offer at

WHO:  All are welcome, no experience needed. Those age 18 - 30 & veterans up to age 35 are especially encouraged to participate. Those between age 14 – 17 must bring a parent or legal guardian in order to participate; those under age 14 cannot work on projects.

"Tree Lifter in Operation at Chittenden Nursery." Photo from The Forest History Society

WHAT: In order to rehabilitate the historic cone shed, volunteers will:

  • Repair and repaint siding and roof vents
  • Install period appropriate windows
  • Replace current doors with period appropriate doors
  • Repaint the structure

WHERE:  Chittenden Nursery, Wellston, MI (map).
Nearest town: Wellston, MI. Has all amenities.


  • Field staff will train volunteers in the project work. All tools are provided. Please do not bring your own tools – we don’t want them to get lost!
  • Given the rural nature of this site, HistoriCorps cannot ensure there will be cell phone service available. To determine if you will have cell service, please check your carrier’s coverage map.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own camping supplies including: sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries. Showers will be available on-site a short walk from the bunkhouse.
  • Volunteers can choose to sleep in their own tent on-site or sleep in shared quarters in the bunkhouse.
  • Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to and from the project and campsite.
  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with meals including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and snacks.
  • The work day will last from 8:00am – 5:00pm with breaks for lunch, snacks and water in between.
  • Volunteers must come prepared with proper attire including: sturdy work shoes, long pants and a work shirt.

If you have any further questions, please contact Liz Rice, Volunteer Manager, at or at 720-287-0100 ext. 231. Thank you for your interest in this project!

HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands.

  • Session 2
    July 23, 2017 - July 28, 2017
  • Session 3
    July 30, 2017 - August 4, 2017
  • Session 4
    August 6, 2017 - August 11, 2017
  • Session 5
    August 13, 2017 - August 18, 2017
  • Session 6
    August 20, 2017 - August 25, 2017
Price Qty
Session 1show details + $0.00 (USD)   Expired
Session 2show details + $0.00 (USD)   Expired
Session 3show details + $0.00 (USD)  
Session 4show details + $0.00 (USD)  
Session 5show details + $0.00 (USD)  
Session 6show details + $0.00 (USD)  

2017-07-20T10:47:31+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Comments Off on Chittenden Nursery, MI