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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 are sponsored by the State Park Stewardship Unit to help protect and restore natural areas at eighteen parks in our state park system, across southern Michigan.  We focus on natural areas that are known or potential sites for species of greatest conservation need.

Ongoing workdays are held in southern Michigan at:
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.

in Southwest Michigan at:
Fort Custer Recreation Area, Grand Mere State Park, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, Ionia Recreation Area, Muskegon 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.

 
November 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Let's keep invasive shrubs out of our beautiful dunes by removing non-native honeysuckle, autumn olive and other unwanted plants from the forest! Volunteers will learn to identify these unwanted shrubs and will join in the effort to restore our native forest type by cutting and removing them. Please meet on time at the main entrance to the park at the end of 138th Avenue.

Sunday, November 23, 2014
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hardy hikers wanted! Enjoy a nice fall day in the woods and help us search the dunes for unwanted rogue shrubs! We'll be going off trail to find small invasive plant populations before they turn into a big problem! Meet at the Gillette Visitor Center near the Homestead Trail trailhead (on the east end of the parking lot). Comfortable hiking boots are recommended as we plan on hiking both on and off trail.

December 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014,
Highland Recreation Area, Silo Field Trial Area, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join ongoing efforts to restore this area to 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.

Saturday, December 6, 2014,
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will remove invasive shrubs to restore this fen wetland; join in the fun! Our shrub cutting efforts will give the native, sun-loving prairie plants more room to grow and keep glossy buckthorn from invading. We'll be covering as much ground as possible and continuing work started in October and November. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).

Saturday, December 6, 2014
Ionia State Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join us for a winter morning of invasive elimination in one of the prairies in Ionia! We will be cutting and stump treating scattered autumn olive in the fields. No experience is necessary. We'll be working in an open area so please dress appropriately for the weather. Meet at the Field Trial headquarters parking area on Harwood Rd.

Sunday, December 7, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Join in the effort to remove invasive shrubs from the Channel Campground before they have a chance to spread across the sensitive dunes! Volunteers will learn to identify honeysuckle, autumn olive and Japanese barberry as well as gain hands-on experience in proper removal. Meet at the day use area parking area just west of the Channel Campground.

Sunday, December 7, 2014,
Highland Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us protect this wet meadow, a vulnerable ecosystem in Michigan, from invasive shrubs. We will cut shrubs and small trees, especially invasive glossy buckthorn, from the grassland edges of Teeple Lake to allow the native flora and fauna to thrive. Please join us at this workday! Meet at the sheep barn parking lot, about 5 minutes south of the park entrance on M-59. ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).

Saturday, December 13, 2014,
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join ongoing efforts to keep glossy buckthorn and other invasive shrubs in check in the Graham Lake Fen Complex. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Invasive species are a major threat to habitat and biodiversity of our native landscapes. Fortunately, you can help as we remove black locust and other invasive species from the forest and shoreline. Don't forget your hiking boots or snow shoes to enjoy the park after the workday! Meet at the main day use area parking lot near the end of 138th Ave. We'll enjoy a short hike to the work location so please arrive on time.

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us remove invasive shrubs encroaching on native prairie plantings. We'll target species of autumn olive and honeysuckle that line the roadway. Meet at the Park Headquarters.

Sunday, December 14, 2014,
Pinckney Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Get outdoors and help remove shrubs that are too abundant in this wet prairie. This will make room for neat native prairie plants that should grow in this ecosystem. Meet at the South Lake boat launch parking lot on Joslin Lake Road. From North Territorial Road, take Joslin Lake Road north until you see the boating access site on your left. ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).


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 269-685-6851 x147 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 269-685-6851 x147 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.

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 269-685-6851 x147 or freih@michigan.gov with any questions about volunteering in southwest Michigan parks.

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