Employees of one of the state’s major utility companies will be pitching in at a local nonprofit this week.

Dozens of DTE Energy employees from the Howell Service Center are volunteering their time at the Howell Nature Center today and Tuesday as part of the company’s annual “Day of Caring.” The employees will construct a new white-tailed deer habitat inside the Howell Nature Center’s Wild Wonders Wildlife Park, along with completing a number of other much-needed facility improvements. DTE crews plan to install more than 40 poles and 550 ft. of chain link fencing as part of Phase 1 of the new enclosure. They will also be enhancing the DTE Raptor Education Center by painting raptor pens and a classroom, repairing the roof, installing landscape cloth, adding pea gravel and more.

John “JC” Carlson, chief executive officer of the Howell Nature Center, said they are grateful for the “generous and ongoing support” and that the partnership allows them to improve the overall Wildlife Park experience for visitors and resident animals.

This is the second year that DTE Energy and its employees have volunteered their time at the nature center. In 2018, skilled volunteers with bucket trucks replaced netting and support beams on the 60 ft. tall bald eagle habitat, while others built split rail fencing and spread mulch around the DTE Raptor Center. As a result of the work, the Wild Wonders Wildlife Park at the center will be closed until Wednesday. (JK)