The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Brewers Guild Celebrate Michigan’s 20 Million Acres of Forests Throughout October

TNC’s OktoberForest campaign runs through October, highlights important link between healthy forests and clean water.

A treeline in the autumn. The colorful trees are reflected in the still water.
Michigan Forests Just over half of Michigan is forested. These 20 million acres represent a vital part of Michigan’s nature, providing a home to iconic wildlife. © John Keuvelaar/TNC Photo Contest 2022

Media Contacts

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) and the Michigan Brewers Guild today announced a joint effort—OktoberForest—to highlight the important role healthy forests play in clean water, one of the key ingredients in brewing beer.

“Healthy forests are critical to cleaning and protecting our water supply, and clean water is one of the most important ingredients in beer, which is why we are partnering with the Michigan Brewers Guild on our OktoberForest campaign,” said Helen Taylor, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “Just over half of Michigan is forested, and these 20 million acres play an important role for both people and nature. The next time you raise a pint of Michigan craft beer, remember it’s more than just the health of the Great Lakes that make Michigan the Great Beer State—it’s our forests too.”

Roughly 40% of the world’s usable water is stored and filtered through forests. From the tree canopy all the way down to root systems, every part of a forest plays a critical role in cleaning and protecting our water supply.

“Our nearly 300 members rely on clean, fresh water to brew their beer, which is why we’re proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy on this important effort,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “Michigan’s brewers pride themselves on using the best ingredients available, and that includes water from right here in the Great Beer State.”

To help illustrate the important role healthy forests play in clean water, TNC created an activity sheet for kids, or adults, to color. It also includes fun facts on our forests and a word find. It’s free for the public to download and is available here.

Forests help ensure clean water by:

  • Stopping erosion and reducing runoff, ensuring rainfall doesn’t rush to the ground but is instead slowed by the leaves and branches of a tree. Once rainwater does meet the ground, tree roots slowly absorb it, reducing the amount of runoff and pollutants that enter our waterways.
  • Cleaning water and recharging groundwater, by filtering nutrients that are absorbed by tree roots, before water flows into underground aquifers, which provide an important source for clean water. At least 35% of the drinking water in the United States is supplied by groundwater.
  • Influencing rainfall patterns, by releasing water vapor into the atmosphere from a tree’s foliage. This helps produce something known as “rivers in the sky,” which are responsible for rainfall both locally and thousands of miles away.

The following breweries are joining TNC in celebrating OktoberForest:

  • Saugatuck Brewing Co., Douglas
  • Saugatuck Brewing Co., Kalamazoo
  • Creston Brewery, Grand Rapids
  • Third Nature Brewing Co., Rockford
  • Midland Brewing Co., Midland
  • Dimes Brewhouse, Dimondale
  • Alebird Taphouse and Brewery, Byron Center
  • Burzurk Brewing Co., Grand Haven
  • Kognisjon Bryggeri, Marquette
  • Sister Lakes Brewing Company, Dowagiac
  • Rivers Edge Brewing Co., Milford
  • Thumb Brewery, Caseville

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.