The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for energetic volunteers to help children learn to fish, shoot pellet guns and practice their aim with archery equipment at the Upper Peninsula Pocket Park during the U.P. State Fair in Escanaba August 15-21.

This volunteer opportunity is perfect for anyone who would like to share their love of the outdoors and their knowledge of shooting and fishing with the next generation of hunters and anglers.

The two-acre Pocket Park features a stocked catch-and-release fishing pond, and a shooting and archery range.

Volunteers at each fishing station help bait the hook, untangle fishing lines, take a fish off the hook and release it back into the pond.

“It’s rewarding to see the kids’ faces light up when they catch a fish,” said Jon Spieles, who oversees the DNR’s visitor centers statewide, including the Pocket Park. “For some of these kids, this is their very first fish.”

At the pellet gun and archery range, volunteers help children safely aim at paper targets – which the children often keep as mementos.

“They are so proud of the results. It’s fun to watch them take the time to examine their targets and show them to their parents,” said Spieles.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a four-hour shift, generally either noon to 4 p.m., or 4 to 8 p.m. A light meal and a commemorative t-shirt will be provided.

“Each year our volunteers are a tremendous help,” said Deb Frazier, who coordinates the volunteers. “It’s a busy week at the park, and we couldn’t do it without them.”

The Park is located within the U.P. State Fairgrounds at 1111 US-2 in Escanaba. To sign up to volunteer for this event, please call Deb Frazier at 906-293-5131 or email Learn more about the U.P. State Fair at

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


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