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.

 

May 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016
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 7, 2016
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 7, 2016
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 park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. GPS coordinates: 41.92390,-83.3455 Please arrive early so we can caravan to the work location. Call Brittany at 734-301-6803 for more information or weather cancellations.

Saturday, May 7, 2016
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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Van Buren State Park, 11 a.m. to 2 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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Highland Recreation Area, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nancy R., volunteer steward, needs your help pulling garlic mustard in high quality woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. Enjoy a few hours outdoors reclaiming the woods from garlic mustard, a nasty, non-native invader. For day-of questions please call Nancy at 248-202-6885. 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 you may caravan to another location.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
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

Saturday, May 14, 2016
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join Marie R., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from a beautiful woodland at Brighton Recreation Area. This plant will take over if we don't do anything to stop it and there are far too many cool native plants to let that happen! Please bring gloves and wear boots you don't mind getting muddy. Meet on Chambers Road between Swarthout and Schafer Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.50243, -83.89976 Roadside parking. For day-of questions please call Marie at 734-223-1174.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
Proud Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join Dee Pasquantonio and the Proud Lake 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 Call Dee at 248-624-6054 or 248-961-9538 (cell) for more information or weather cancellations.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help to keep thousands of garlic mustard seeds out of the seed bank! Join volunteer steward Danny M. to pull this invasive plant and keep it from invading this beautiful woodland. Contact Danny with any day-of questions at 734-645-5687. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672 Please arrive on time, as we may caravan to a different site.

Saturday, May 14, 2016  
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join in the effort to keep this beautiful corner of Fort Custer free of invasive species!  Volunteers will help remove garlic mustard from the peninsula overlooking beautiful Eagle Lake.  Meet at the Mountain Bike Staging parking area, east of the campground entrance.  Be sure to arrive on time as we will be walking about 10 minutes to the work location.  Meeting location:  42.321635, -85.336013.

Saturday, May 14, 2016  
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We’re on a mission to search and remove garlic mustard with Volunteer Steward Garry M.!  Help search for isolated populations of garlic mustard in the campground before they have a chance to hitchhike 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 10:15.  Meeting location:  43.233385, -86.330942.

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Ludington State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help protect this beautiful lakeside from unwanted invaders like garlic mustard and spotted knapweed!  Join park staff as we work to protect the natural beauty of this park.  No experience is necessary; we’ll cover basic plant identification and provide all necessary equipment.  We’ll work at several trailheads where garlic mustard has landed.  Meet at the small parking area at the intersection of Piney Ridge Rd and 19th St.  Meeting location:  44.018014, -86.473231.

Sunday, May 15, 2016
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 21, 2016
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our May and June 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 (FYI, this street is listed as Meadow Rd in google maps). GPS coordinates: 42.34291, -82.97675

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join volunteer steward John W. for a garlic mustard pulling workday to keep 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. Contact John with any day-of questions at 248-778-8735. 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 caravan to another location, so please arrive on time.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
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 21, 2016
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteer stewards will search the dunes along the popular and beautiful Homestead Trail.  Pulling garlic mustard is similar to weeding and is an enjoyable way to spend the morning in the woods.  Meet in the parking area in front of the Gillette Nature Center.  Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location or caravanning to a different work site.  Meeting location:  43.121436, -86.265354.

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Warren Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Start the summer season by helping the park and having fun!  Volunteers will enjoy the trails and environment at Warren Dunes State Park while protecting native plants and animals.  We will be removing invading garlic mustard plants from along the trails near the beautiful Great Warren Dunes Natural Area.  Meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Lane.  Please arrive on time as we will take a short hike to the work location.  Meeting location:  41.921620, -86.578874.

Sunday, May 22, 2016
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 22, 2016
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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016
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.

Saturday, June 4, 2016
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 4, 2016
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.  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, June 5, 2016
Grand Mere State Park; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteer Stewards will help protect habitat at this beautiful, off-the-beaten-path park!  We’ll be hunting invasive garlic mustard, which has the potential to displace native wildflower populations.  Please wear sturdy shoes and long sleeves and pants.  Meet at the main day-use parking area.  We’ll be working in the woods near the main parking lot, off of Thornton Dr., but will also hike to other work locations.  Please plan to arrive on time!  Meeting location:  42.003865, -86.542600.

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Island Lake Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
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, June 11, 2016
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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016
Holland State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us eradicate garlic mustard from the forested dunes at Holland State Park with park Explorer Guide Allisa V.!  Campers, scouts and park visitors are welcome to join in the effort to protect the native ecosystem that will allow our native plants and wildflowers to thrive! No experience is necessary to join in.  Meet at the campground office parking area.  A limited number of parking spaces are available at the campground office.  Overflow parking may be available at the Lake Macatawa parking area (across from the campground) or at park headquarters.  Meeting location:  42.779777, -86.199487.

Sunday, June 12, 2016
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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers will join in for our final garlic mustard pull of the season at Hoffmaster!   We’ve had a productive season and are getting closer to declaring this park garlic mustard free!  Volunteers will hike approximately ¾ mile to the work location and will be working in some uneven terrain, please wear sturdy shoes and plan to enjoy a beautiful walk in the woods.  This is our last chance to get garlic mustard this season so don’t miss out!  Meet in the parking area in front of the Gillette Visitor Center.  Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location.  Meeting location:  43.121436, -86.265354.

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Ludington State Park, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join Volunteer Stewards in the effort to protect the ecology of our dunes by removing Japanese barberry! These thorny woodland invaders can quickly take over the forest understory and crowd out native wildflowers and tree saplings.  Leather work gloves are recommended.   If there is more garlic mustard left to pull, we may switch gears and get these pesky plants instead.  Meet at the skyline trail/amphitheater parking area.

Saturday, June 18, 2016
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 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 (FYI, this street is listed as Meadow Rd in google maps). GPS coordinates: 42.34291, -82.97675

Saturday, June 18, 2016
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteer Stewards are needed to remove invasive garlic mustard, a non-native herbaceous plant that can take over our forested areas.  Volunteers should dress for walking in the woods (sturdy shoes) as we will be going off trail to find this unwanted invader.  Meet at the organizational campground parking area off of Floral Lane (north of the main park entrance on Red Arrow Hwy.).  Meeting location:  41.921620, -86.578874.

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help protect this spectacular open dune system from invasive spotted knapweed!  This noxious weed has the potential to crowd out native species of grasses and wildflowers, with are ecologically more important and far better looking!   No experience is necessary to join in.  We will be working in the open sun; sunscreen and a hat are recommended.  Long-sleeves and gardening gloves are also helpful as some people may be sensitive to this plant.  Soft gloves will be available to loan.  Meet at the small parking area west of the Channel Campground.  Meeting location: 43.230895, -86.335257.

Sunday, June 26, 2016
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us oust spotted knapweed from this beautiful isolated upland prairie!  With the help of volunteers, we’ve been able to keep knapweed at bay and encourage native prairie grasses and forbs!  Volunteers will take a short hike (about .75 miles) along the North Country Trail to our work location.  Dress to be in an open, sunny area for the duration of the volunteer session.  Meet at the North Country Trail parking area off of Yankee Springs Rd, south of the intersection with Gun Lake Rd. Meeting location:  42.605545, -85.462838.

Sunday, June 26, 2016
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 that is a primary native seed-gathering location for restoring our prairies. Let’s pull spotted knapweed now so we don’t have to worry about it getting mixed in with the native seeds we gather in the fall and we can protect this area from further infestation. If you have your own dandelion-digging tool, please bring it. Volunteer steward, Danny M. will be leading this workday; contact him with day-of questions at 734-645-5687. 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.

July 2016

Saturday, July 9, 2016
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m
Help remove spotted knapweed from nice prairie remnants with volunteer stewards Bill B. and Kathy W.. Contact Kathy at 248-444-2970 with any day-of questions. Meet at the Dodge picnic area (approx. 15 minutes from the park entrance on Kensington Road). GPS coordinates: 42.50635,-83.7379

Sunday, July 10, 2016
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help hand pull sweet clover and other invasive, non-native weeds that will otherwise take over in this neat prairie remnant. Removing these plants will improve habitat for native species and keep their seeds out of the seed bank. Volunteer stewards Toni and Ken S. will be leading this workday; contact Toni with day-of questions at 734-353-7140. Meet at the two pull-off parking spots at one of Teahen Road’s 90 degree turns. Roadside parking. GPS coordinates: 42.48549,-83.82480

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help to hand pull spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that would otherwise take over in this neat prairie remnant. Removing this plant will improve habitat for native species. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer steward, Charity S. will be leading this workday; contact her with day-of questions at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. 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.

Sunday, July 17, 2016
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove invasive plants like spotted knapweed, Japanese hedge parsley, mullein and hoary alyssum from special dry sand prairies and adjacent oak barrens. Help us pull these plants to maintain room for neat native wildflowers. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to spotted knapweed. Pulling knapweed requires wearing gloves, so if you have a favorite pair of work gloves please bring them. Gloves will also be available to borrow. Volunteer steward, Danny M. will be leading this workday; contact him with day-of questions at 734-645-5687. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot on Hankerd Road. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help hand pull spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that is starting to take over in this neat prairie remnant. Removing this plant will improve habitat for native species. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer stewards Toni and Ken S. will be leading this workday; contact Toni with day-of questions at 734-353-7140. Meet at the Dodge picnic area (approx. 15 minutes from the park entrance on Kensington Road). GPS coordinates: 42.50635,-83.7379

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join volunteer steward, Sheila B. to hand pull spotted knapweed. Help keep this invasive weed from taking over a nice prairie remnant and displacing native plants. We need your help to remove this plant before it goes to seed and it’s easy to pull. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Contact Sheila with any day-of questions at 734-972-1428. 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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help! Spotted knapweed and other weeds are growing in this neat prairie. Join us to remove these invasive non-native plants and restore balance to this ecosystem. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer stewards, Toni and Ken S. will be leading this workday; contact Toni with day-of questions at 734-353-7140. Meet at the entrance on Teahen Road where there are two pull-off parking spots. Roadside parking. GPS coordinates: 42.48549,-83.82480

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Highland Recreation Area, Silo Field Trial Area, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join ongoing efforts to restore this area to an open grassland. Volunteers will be hauling and piling brush and stacking fire wood. Meet at the Silo Field Trial Area parking lot off Livingston Road, between Pettibone Lake and Beaumont Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.638344, -83.595671

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Island Lake 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. Removing this plant will improve habitat for native species and give the neat wildflowers more room to grow. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer steward Betsy P. will be leading this workday; contact her with day-of questions at 734-634-6083. Meet at the Dodge picnic area (approx. 15 minutes from the park entrance on Kensington Road). GPS coordinates: 42.50635,-83.7379

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help volunteer steward, Sally R., remove invasive spotted knapweed, Japanese hedge parsley, mullein and hoary alyssum from special dry sand prairies and adjacent oak barrens. Help us pull these plants to make room for neat native wildflowers. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to spotted knapweed. Pulling knapweed requires wearing gloves, so if you have a favorite pair of work gloves please bring them. Gloves will also be available to borrow. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot off Hankerd Road. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the parking lot on the left. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955 For day-of questions call Sally at 734-730-2143.

August 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Do you ever feel like pulling your hair out by the roots? Well, we have a different activity for you to do instead and you can pull until your heart's content and still save your hairdo! Join us as we pull spotted knapweed, a miserable invasive plant that has to be ripped out by hand. Pulling it is a great stress reliever and we unfortunately we have a large supply. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer steward, Charity S. will be leading this workday; contact her with day-of questions at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. 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.

Sunday, August 7, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help hand pulling spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that could take over in this neat prairie remnant. Removing this plant will improve habitat for native species and give the native wildflowers more room to grow. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Volunteer steward Charity S. will be leading this workday; contact her with day-of questions at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. Meet on Waterloo Road just west of M-52. 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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hankerd dry sand prairie and oak barrens is a neat place that needs ongoing removal of invasive plants to keep it in good condition! We will likely be pulling spotted knapweed, so please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. We also may cut and pile evergreens. So, come for a smorgasbord of invasive plant control to maintain room for all of the neat native plants! Volunteer steward, Danny M. will be leading this workday; contact him with day-of questions at 734-645-5687. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot to help out. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left. GPS coordinates: 42.414,-83.9955

Saturday, August 20, 2016
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help keep our Meadow Unit prairie remnants and adjacent oak woodlands beautiful and full of native plants. Join us as hand pull spotted knapweed and other prairie invaders. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to spotted knapweed. Volunteer steward Betsy P. will be leading this workday; contact her with day-of questions at 734-634-6083. Meet at the Meadow Picnic Area parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.5043,-83.7020

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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