Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays

Prairie with blazing star plants in bloom Join us for fun activities year-round!
Workday dates, activities, and locations are listed below. Workdays are scheduled and posted quarterly. Please check this site to make sure you have the most up-to-date information since meeting locations may need to change.

Volunteer workdays focus on high-quality natural areas that are known sites or potential sites for species of greatest conservation need (species whose populations are rare or declining).

Ongoing workdays are held in:

Southeast Michigan:
Algonac State Park, Bald Mountain Recreation Area, Belle Isle Park, Brighton Recreation Area, Highland Recreation Area, Island Lake Recreation Area, Pinckney Recreation Area, Sterling State Park, and Waterloo Recreation Area.

Southwest Michigan:
Fort Custer Recreation Area, Grand Mere State Park, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, Holland State Park, Ionia Recreation Area, Ludington State ParkMuskegon State Park, Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Warren Dunes State Park, Warren Woods State Park, and Yankee Springs Recreation Area.

To register for workdays submit a Stewardship Volunteer Registration form.

 

April 2017

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (notice time change!)

Help us wipe out scattered populations of garlic mustard that threaten forest communities at Saugatuck Dunes ! Volunteers will pull this unwanted herb from the forest understory to make way for spring wildflowers and native saplings.  Meet at the main park entrance off of 138th street.    No experience is necessary to join in but we may be hiking in some moderately difficult terrain.  Be sure to arrive on time at the main parking area as we will be walking about 10 minutes to the work location.   Meeting location:  42°42'02.4"N 86°11'46.2"W..

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Want to enjoy a day in the woods? Help us remove garlic mustard from the trails and wooded areas in this amazing state park and keep thousands of its seeds out of the seed bank. Meet in the day use area near the main park entrance on M-29. GPS coordinates: 42.6490,-82.5155 Contact Ben at 931-980-2034 with any day-of questions.

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m

Help combat the spread of garlic mustard by pulling these weedy plants from nice woodlands with volunteer stewards Bill B. and Kathy W.. Contact Kathy at 248-444-2970 with any day-of questions.  Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.504968, -83.709577

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help hand pull garlic mustard, a stubborn invasive weed that could take over in this amazing woodland. Removing this plant will make the area more suitable for native plants and animals. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Steve P., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from neat woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. See first-hand how this plant starts taking over in woodlands if we don’t do anything to stop it! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926 Please arrive on time as we may caravan to a different location. Day-of questions can be directed to Steve at 248-877-4386.

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove non-native garlic mustard from the woodlands near Hankerd Road. This is a great activity for the whole family! Meet us at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot off Hankerd Road. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955 From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left.

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Muskegon State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

We’re on a mission to search and remove garlic mustard!  Help search for isolated populations of garlic mustard in the campground before they have a chance to hitchhike along the trails and into our natural areas!  Work will involve scouting and removal by hand pulling located populations.  Meet at the Winter Sports Complex along Scenic Drive.  Please arrive on time as we will begin hiking from the meeting location to search for plants by 1:15.  Meeting location:  43.233385, -86.330942.


May 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us to help protect our unique forested dune ecosystem!  Volunteers will help remove garlic mustard, an invasive weed that threatens our native species of wildflowers and tree saplings.  We’ll focus on plant populations on the southern end of the park.  Please dress to work in the woods and wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes.  Meet at the small parking area adjacent to the Felt Mansion.  Meeting location:  42.696444, -86.194773

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Sterling State Park, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join Brittany S., the River Raisin Institute and the Stewardship Network Western Lake Erie Cluster to pull invasive garlic mustard plants. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the first parking lot, past the entrance booths (on the right). GPS coordinates: 41.919689, -83.3382 Call Brittany at 734-301-6803 for more information or weather cancellations.

Friday, May 5, 2017
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come help us protect the unique ecosystems at Warren Dunes!   Enjoy meeting fellow stewards and budding wildflowers while removing harmful garlic mustard plants throughout the park with students from Eau Claire High School!  Removing this unwelcome weed will help improve forest conditions for native species.  No experience is necessary to join in but, although discouraged for regular park visitors, we will be working off trail.  Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for climbing.  Meet at the small parking area near Exit 16 ramp by Wilson Lane.   Meeting location:  :  41.92868, -86.57272

Saturday, May 6, 2017
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help protect Mother Earth and the beautiful, abundant wildflower populations along Lake Michigan!  We need your help to eradicate garlic mustard, an invasive plant that disrupts the ecosystem in the beautiful forested dunes.  Meet in the parking area in front of the Gillette Visitor Center, near the Homestead Trail.  Volunteers will quickly learn to identify garlic mustard and then we’ll take a beautiful hike to our work location.   Be sure to arrive on time and wear sturdy shoes as we’ll be walking just under a mile to the work site!  Meeting location:  43.121436, -86.265354.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spring is a great time to be at Warren Dunes!   Enjoy meeting fellow stewards and budding wildflowers while removing harmful garlic mustard plants throughout the park!  Removing this unwelcome weed will help improve forest conditions for native species.  No experience is necessary to join in but, although discouraged for regular park visitors, we will be working off trail.  Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for climbing.  Meet at the main picnic area.  Travel towards the beach, the meeting location will be on the right side of the park road, past the ranger booth and road to headquarters.     Meeting location:  41.90306, -86.59933.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Sterling State Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Brittany S., the River Raisin Institute and the Stewardship Network Western Lake Erie Cluster to pull invasive garlic mustard plants. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the first parking, lot past the entrance booths (on the right). GPS coordinates: 41.919689, -83.3382 Call Brittany at 734-301-6803 for more information or weather cancellations.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We’ll continue our efforts to rid lovely natural areas of invasive garlic mustard. It’s easy to pull and fun for the whole family. Join volunteer steward Kathy C. for a few hours of pulling and bagging garlic mustard. You’ll be preserving a gem of a woodland in the process. While looking for garlic mustard, you may find some native wildflowers in bloom or even some wild morels! Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672  For day-of questions please call Kathy at 734-678-7276.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Proud Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Dee Pasquantonio and volunteers from the Proud Lake Recreation Area friends group to pull invasive garlic mustard plants. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the Powers Unit, Oak Shelter parking lot off Wixom Road, just north of the Huron River. GPS coordinates: 42.57753, -83.56922 Contact Dee at 248-624-6054 or Proud Lake Recreation Aea at 248-685-2433 for more information or weather cancellations.

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join volunteer steward Betsy P. in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from neat woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. Come and see first-hand how this plant starts taking over in woodlands if we don’t do anything to stop it! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926 Please arrive on time as we may caravan to a different location. For day-of questions please call Betsy at 734-634-6083.

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join us for a morning of fresh air, exercise, and camaraderie. We will be pulling garlic mustard, an invasive plant. All hands are welcome! Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.504968, -83.709577

Saturday, May 13, 2017 
Van Buren State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us eradicate these early established populations in the high-quality forested dune at VanBuren State Park! Volunteers will hike along one of the beautiful trails leading to Lake Michigan.   Meet at the small parking area on the west side of Ruggles Rd., across from the campground entrance.  Meeting location:  42.337019, -86.302092.

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join our efforts to keep Bald Mountain Recreation Area’s nice woodlands from being taken over by garlic mustard, a non-native invasive plant. We will pull it out by the roots, easy and satisfying work, and remove it from the site. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park's North Unit. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 We will likely caravan to another location, so please arrive on time.

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove garlic mustard from the trails and wooded areas and keep thousands of these invasive seeds out of the seed bank. This is a great activity for the whole family. Meet in the day use area near the main park entrance on M-29. GPS coordinates: 42.6490,-82.5155 Contact Ben at 931-980-2034 with any day-of questions.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Join volunteer steward Jenny S. as we continue pulling garlic mustard in high priority areas of Bald Mountain’s North Unit. We will either pull small, outlier patches or starting in on some of the larger core patches. Where we work will depend on our progress at other workdays and volunteer participation. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park's North Unit. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 We may drive to another location to work, so please arrive on time. Jenny’s cell is 248-736-1775.

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our May project will include searching for and pulling a non-native, invasive woodland weed called garlic mustard to restore the rare wet mesic flatwoods forest on the island. Meet on Central Avenue, just east of Portage Way. GPS coordinates: 42.34291, -82.97675

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Waterloo Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join volunteer steward, Sheila B. to hand pull garlic mustard from the neat woods near the Discovery Center. Help keep this invasive weed from taking over a nice woodland and displacing native plants. We need your help to remove this plant before it goes to seed and it’s easy to pull. Contact Sheila with any day-of questions at 734-972-1428. Meet at the Discovery Center lower parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.32432, -84.08528

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Saugatuck Dunes State Park; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us as we work to eliminate garlic mustard from the forests near the day use area with Volunteer Steward Paul J.!  Pulling garlic mustard will help us prevent any seeds from ‘hitchhiking’ along the trails and further into the forest.  Come enjoy a day outdoors and stay to enjoy the trails and the beach!  Please arrive on time as we may need to take a short, group hike to another work location Meet at the small parking area adjacent to the Felt Mansion.   Meeting location:   42.696444, -86.194773

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Warren Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Spring is a great time to be at Warren Dunes!   Enjoy meeting fellow stewards and budding wildflowers while removing harmful garlic mustard plants throughout the park!  Removing this unwelcome weed will help improve forest conditions for native species.  No experience is necessary to join in but, although discouraged for regular park visitors, we will be working off trail.  Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for climbing.  Meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Lane.     Meeting location:  41.921620, -86.578874.

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m

Join volunteer steward Betsy P. for a garlic mustard pull in high quality woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. We need help pulling this non-native, invasive plant to keep it from spreading! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926 Please arrive on time as we may have a decent hike to our work location.

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help volunteer steward Sally R. remove garlic mustard and other invasive plants from special dry sand prairies and their adjacent savannas and woodlands. Help us pull these plants to make room for neat native wildflowers. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot off Hankerd Road. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955 From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left. For day-of questions call Sally at 734-730-2143.

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy an easy opportunity to give a little back to nature. A miserable, stinky, invasive weed, garlic mustard, is infiltrating high quality natural areas in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Happily, it is very easy and satisfying to pull...like cleaning a really dirty house you can quickly see where you've been and what you've accomplished. Bonus: it's a lot less work than housecleaning and it's outdoors to boot! This workday will be led by volunteer steward Charity S.; contact her at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672 Please arrive on time, as you may caravan to a different site.

June 2017

Saturday, June 3, 2017
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Steve P., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from neat woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. See first-hand how this plant starts taking over in woodlands if we don’t do anything to stop it! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926 Please arrive on time as we may caravan to a different location. Day-of questions can be directed to Steve at 248-877-4386.

Saturday, June 3, 2017
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for our last chance to remove non-native garlic mustard from the woodlands near Hankerd Road before they set seed. Meet us at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot off Hankerd Road. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955 From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left.

Sunday, June 4, 2017
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us make a push to get as much of the garlic mustard pulled before it goes to seed. We need lots of hands to pull these weedy, invasive plants. Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.504968, -83.709577

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Let’s stop garlic mustard at its invading edge before it spreads farther into a high quality woodland. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 Please arrive on time as we may split up into different groups to “divide and conquer” and travel to other areas of the park.

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Like to kill weeds? Help restore woodlands by removing garlic mustard or help restore prairies by removing sweet clover and spotted knapweed that could otherwise take over. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to spotted knapweed. Meet at the Teahen prairie entrance (look for a state truck where Teahen Road makes a 90 degree turn). GPS coordinates: 42.48549,-83.82480 Roadside parking.

Saturday, June 17, 2017
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our June project will include searching for and pulling non-native, invasive woodland weeds including garlic mustard and Dame’s rocket to restore the rare wet mesic flatwoods forest on the island. Meet on Central Avenue, just east of Portage Way. GPS coordinates: 42.34291, -82.97675

Saturday, June 24 2017
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Keep spotted knapweed, Japanese hedge parsley and other invasive weeds at bay to protect the neat dry sand prairie and oak barrens near Hankerd Road. Wearing a long sleeved shirt, long pants and gloves is recommended as some individuals are sensitive to contact with spotted knapweed plants. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot closest to Hankerd Road. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955 From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left.

Sunday, June 25, 2017
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help hand pull spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that could take over in this neat prairie remnant. Efforts will allow neat native plants to thrive and support native fauna. Meet on Waterloo Road just west of M-52. Roadside parking. GPS coordinates: 42.34670,-84.04250 ***This site has been known to have ground-nesting, stinging insects; please bring your sting relief kit if you are allergic.

 

Workday Details

Registration
Please complete a volunteer registration form. Alternatively, contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper at 517-719-2285 or malvitzl@michigan.gov to register for workdays in southeast Michigan or Heidi Frei at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov to register for workdays in southwest Michigan. Let them know the date and park of the workday(s) you plan to attend. Registering helps us plan the workdays more effectively so we have enough equipment and so we can divide into groups and assign tasks more easily.

Workday Cancellation
If a workday must be canceled due to inclement weather or for any other reason, a voice mail message saying so will be posted at 517-719-2285 for southeast or at 517-202-1360 for southwest Michigan at least two hours before the scheduled workday start time. If there is no cancellation message the workday will continue as planned.

Youth Volunteers and Groups
The Volunteer Steward program welcomes working with youth, students and scouts! All minors (under 18) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The accompanying parent/guardian must sign a Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability form for the minor. If participating with an organized group (i.e. scouts, school groups), the group leader may sign instead. Workday activities often can accommodate groups but advanced registration is strongly encouraged for groups larger than five. This helps us plan for equipment and ensures that all participants are suited to the day's task. All youth groups must have an age-appropriate adequate ratio of adult to youth participants. Volunteer Steward workday leaders reserve the right to deny participation to unaccompanied minors or anyone due to misconduct or unsafe behavior. Please feel free to contact your regional Natural Resource Steward if you have any questions.

The Volunteer Steward program is primarily focused on hands-on restoration with education as a secondary goal. We welcome service learning opportunities, but the emphasis and the majority of time will be spent on hands-on projects in the field. Classrooms and student groups interested in an interpretive experience should contact the park visitor center or Explorer Guide.

Park Map and Directions
Click on the name of the park or recreation area above to view the park's webpage. From the park webpage you can print a "Unit Map" and get directions to the park.

What to Wear and Bring
Please remember to wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and work boots. Please also bring drinking water, work gloves, and eye protection (especially prescription safety glasses). Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for fen and other wetland sites. If you don't have waterproof boots and would like to borrow a pair, please note that when you register and we will try to provide them.

What NOT to Bring
Be sure your outerwear, gloves, and boots are free of mud and hitchhiking seeds before coming to the workday. We don't want to inadvertently spread invasive plant seeds into these high quality natural areas.

Stewardship Announcements
Would you like to receive workday reminders and general stewardship information via email? Please email a list of the parks that you are interested in to Laurel Malvitz-Draper, malvitzl@michigan.gov for southeast Michigan parks or Heidi Frei, freih@michigan.gov for southwest Michigan parks. Please choose from the parks listed at the top of this page.

Recreation Passport
Please support Michigan's state parks and recreation areas by purchasing a Recreation Passport. For more information, please visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport

Want to get more involved?
The Volunteer Steward Program provides volunteers with additional ways to get involved and make a unique commitment, both individually and as part of a team.

Questions?
Please contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper, Resource Steward for the Stewardship Unit, at 517-719-2285 or malvitzl@michigan.gov with any questions about volunteering in southeast Michigan parks.

Please contact Heidi Frei, Resource Steward for the Stewardship Unit, at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov with any questions about volunteering in southwest Michigan parks.

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