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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 Southeast 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.

 

July 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Privet, Japanese barberry and other common landscape escapees are invading the natural area at Warren Dunes! You can help us protect the native forest by helping us remove these non-native plants that threaten biodiversity. No equipment is necessary; please plan to work in the woods (sturdy shoes, long sleeves and long pants are recommended). Meet at the picnic area immediately south of the campground entrance. From the main park entrance travel past park headquarters to the picnic area on the left (west) side of the road. Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location.

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to noon

Join Mebby Pearson with the Belle Isle Conservancy to remove invasive shrubs and restore a special wet mesic flatwoods in the process. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the Nature Zoo Auditorium. Contact Mebby Pearson at 248-647-7841 or Melvadean.Pearson@gmail.com with questions and to register.

Saturday, July 19, 2014
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. Meet at the Dodge picnic area (approx. 15 minutes from the park entrance on Kensington Road).

Sunday, July 20, 2014
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. 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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Ionia State Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteer Stewards will continue searching for and removing invasive, non-native shrubs from the forests near Sessions Lake. Our targets will be honeysuckle, Japanese barberry and autumn olive. No experience is necessary to join in! Meet at the Point Picnic Area. Travel over the dam on the main park road and the picnic area will be on the right hand side.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to noon

Help remove invasive shrubs that threaten to take over this unique fen wetland. One such shrub is glossy buckthorn and we need to keep it from moving farther into the fen! We will cut glossy buckthorn from target areas around the Graham Lakes. 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, but not necessary. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request. Old boots that you don’t mind getting muddy will work too.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
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).

Sunday, July 27, 2014
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. Meet at the entrance on Teahen Road where there are two pull-off parking spots; look for a state truck parked nearby. Roadside parking.

Sunday, July 27, 2014
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. ***This site has been known to have ground-nesting, stinging insects; please bring your sting relief kit if you are allergic.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Join in to help remove spotted knapweed! This invasive pest grows in open sun and sandy soils and has its sights set on our dunes! You can help protect the dunes by preventing the spread of spotted knapweed. We'll have gloves to lend but you are welcome to bring your own favorite pair. Please also wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin. We'll be working in the open sun so please also plan to bring a hat and plenty of water. Meet at the day use area parking just west of Channel campground (south end of the park).


August 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014
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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014
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 allysum 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. For day-of questions call Sally at 734-730-2143.

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us restore lakeplain prairies and oak openings by removing invasive shrubs. We will cut and stack these plants that threaten to take over globally rare ecosystems. Meet at the small parking lot on the east side of Marsh Road, just south of Swartout Road (on the park’s west side). From the park headquarters on M-29, drive north, turn left onto Roberts Road, then turn left when Roberts Road dead ends at Marsh Road.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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. ***This site has been known to have ground-nesting, stinging insects; please bring your sting relief kit if you are allergic.

Saturday, August 9, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to noon

Help us stay ahead of the glossy buckthorn that threatens to take over this unique fen site. We will cut and pile these invasive shrubs. 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, but not necessary. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request. Old boots that you don’t mind getting muddy will work too.

Sunday, August 10, 2014
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. Meet on Waterloo Road just west of M-52. ***This site has been known to have ground-nesting, stinging insects; please bring your sting relief kit if you are allergic.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Holland State Park, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Hardy hikers wanted! You can help protect the natural areas by joining us on a hike, on trail and off trail, to seek out and remove unwanted invasive shrubs! We'll be seeking out barberry, honeysuckle and other unwanted friends from taking over the native forest. Meet at park headquarters and we'll begin hiking from there.

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to noon

Join Mebby Pearson with the Belle Isle Conservancy to remove invasive shrubs and restore a special wet mesic flatwoods in the process. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the Nature Zoo Auditorium. Contact Mebby Pearson at 248-647-7841 or Melvadean.Pearson@gmail.com with questions and to register.

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Take a hike along the mountain bike trails to the beautiful peninsula surrounded by Eagle Lake! We'll be removing invasive shrubs, like buckthorn and honeysuckle, from this serene location while enjoying views of the surrounding lake. Meet at the mountain bike trailhead, which is off the road to Eagle Lake (if you've reached the lake, you've gone too far). Please arrive on time as we will enjoy a short hike to the work location.

Sunday, August 17, 2014
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! Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot to help out. We may 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 or foliar herbicide small autumn olive shrub resprouts. So, come for a smorgasbord of invasive plant control to maintain room for all of the neat native plants! From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Grand Mere State Park, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy a beautiful summer day at this nice reclaimed site! Volunteers will hand pull spotted knapweed and sweet clover from the open areas allowing native flora to grow and thrive! Please wear long sleeves and long pants as some may be sensitive to vegetation. We'll be working in the open sun so please also plan to bring a hat and plenty of water. Meet at the end of Willow Rd. From the main park entrance continue south on Thornton Dr. Turn right on Willow.

Saturday, August 23, 2014
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 we cut and herbicide and then pile invasive shrubs like autumn olive and honeysuckle. Meet at the Meadow Picnic Area parking lot. Please arrive on time or early as we may caravan to a different site.

Saturday, August 23, 2014
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers can enjoy a beautiful walk along the North Country Trail and a nice morning in the prairie! We'll work together to help protect this unique upland prairie by pulling spotted knapweed. Meet at the North Country Trail parking area off of Yankee Springs Rd. Please arrive on time as we'll enjoy a short hike to the work location.

Sunday, August 24, 2014
Warren Woods State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Spend a day in the woods helping to protect native habitat! This beautiful example of beech-maple forest has some unwelcome visitors and we need your help to remove them. Volunteers will learn to identify Japanese barberry, privet and other invasive shrubs. We'll enjoy a nice walk through the woods while searching for small plants to treat with herbicide. Please wear long sleeves, pants and sturdy shoes to walk in the woods off of the trail. Meet at the main entrance off of Elm Valley Rd.

Sunday, August 24, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Want to help remove invasive shrubs from a really high quality natural area? Then join us! We’ll try to cover as much ground as possible and do some follow-up treatment in areas we have worked before. Follow-up shrub control is critical to staying ahead of invasives and this gorgeous woodland provides a scenic place to work. Meet at the Goose Meadow Picnic area parking lot a few minutes south of the park entrance on M-59.


September 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to noon

Glossy buckthorn, a non-native wetland invader, doesn’t stand a chance to take over if we keep removing it from this fen. Please join us in this effort! 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, but not necessary. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request. Old boots that you don’t mind getting muddy will work too.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Bald Mountain Recreation Area!!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: East Graham boat launch parking lot

Saturday, September 6, 2014
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come help us protect our precious dunes and forest systems by taking out harmful invasive species that can alter habitat for native birds and plants! Volunteers will be trained to identify and remove these unwanted plants to help protect our native forests. We will be traveling on and off trail and hiking up some steep dunes so please be prepared to spend the day in the woods in some tough terrain! Join in by meeting at the Homestead Trail trailhead at the Gillette Visitor Center (located at the east end of the parking lot).

Sunday, September 7, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Let's stop barberry from spreading throughout the dunes and wooded areas of this beautiful, lakeside park! Barberry has been introduced to the park and is slowly threatening our native landscapes! Meet at the Snug Harbor parking area across from the Park Headquarters.

Sunday, September 7, 2014
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help! Glossy buckthorn and other invasive shrubs are growing in this prairie. We need you to help us remove them. Controlling these plants may include foliar spraying herbicide so please wear long pants and long sleeves. Meet at the entrance on Teahen Road where there are two pull-off parking spots; look for a state truck parked nearby. Roadside parking.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Brighton Recreation Area!!
Sunday, September 7, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Teahen Road parking area

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help keep oak savannas and prairies in the park beautiful and full of native grasses and wildflowers. Join us as we search and destroy (cut and herbicide) and then pile invasive shrubs like autumn olive and honeysuckle from prairies and woodlands. Meet at the Meadow Picnic Area parking lot.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Island Lake Recreation Area!!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Meadow Picnic Area parking lot

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

Let's keep invasive shrubs out of our beautiful dunes by removing honeysuckle and other unwanted plants like privet and autumn olive 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, September 14, 2014
Ionia State Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What a better way to wind down on a busy summer season than enjoying a hike along Sessions Lake and the satisfaction of helping to protect habitat! Volunteers will join in the effort to help remove invasive shrubs, like honeysuckle and autumn olive, that threaten this nice forest remnant. Meet at the peninsula picnic area, past the mountain bike trailhead and before the campground. Please arrive on time as we will enjoy an easy hike to the work site.

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will remove invasive shrubs, especially glossy buckthorn, to restore this fen wetland. Join us for 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 following up on areas we have not worked in for a few years. Follow-up shrub control is critical to staying ahead of invasives and this gorgeous wetland provides a scenic place to work. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Mt. Hope and Glenn Roads. ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site, but not necessary. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request. Old boots that you don’t mind getting muddy will work too.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Waterloo Recreation Area!!
Sunday, September 14, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Parking area on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to noon

Join Mebby Pearson with the Belle Isle Conservancy to remove invasive shrubs and restore a special wet mesic flatwoods in the process. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the Nature Zoo Auditorium. Contact Mebby Pearson at 248-647-7841 or Melvadean.Pearson@gmail.com with questions and to register.

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The special woodlands in Haven Hill Natural Area need your help! Please join us at this workday. Help us remove shrubs that are encroaching on these important ecosystems and crowding out native species. We’ll be covering as much ground as possible in this scenic and diverse woodland. Meet at the Goose Meadow Picnic area parking lot a few minutes south of the park entrance on M-59.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Highland Recreation Area!!
Saturday, September 20, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Goose Meadow Picnic Area parking lot

Sunday, September 21, 2014
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hankerd dry sand prairie and oak barrens needs your help! Help us remove invasive plants to maintain room for all of the neat native plants! We will likely be cutting and piling shrubs and small trees or applying herbicide to small autumn olive shrub resprouts. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake parking lot. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Pinckney Recreation Areas!!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Halfmoon Lake parking lot

Sunday, September 21, 2014
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteer stewards are making a big difference at this beautiful location! You can join in by helping us remove buckthorn from the peninsula overlooking Eagle Lake. No experience is necessary! We'll enjoy a short hike along the mountain bike trails to access the site. Meet at the mountain bike trailhead, which is off the road to Eagle Lake (if you've reached the lake, you've gone too far). Please arrive on time!

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Sterling State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with us! We hope to be planting native grasses and wildflowers to restore lakeplain prairie. If not, we may collect native prairie seed or remove invasive shrubs. Either way, meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Sterling State Park!!
Saturday, September 27, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Park Headquarters parking lot

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy your time outdoors and the satisfaction of helping protect our resources by volunteering near Deep Lake! Volunteers will meet at the mountain bike trailhead and work to remove honeysuckle, autumn olive and other invasive shrubs from the forest near the campground. It's a great way to add an outdoor learning opportunity to your recreation experience at the park! Meet at the mountain bike staging area off of Yankee Springs Rd.

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Your help is needed to remove Japanese barberry and multiflora rose from the beach trail. This is a great opportunity to help protect the park while enjoying a day in the park! Meet at the picnic area south of the campground. Follow the drive towards the campground, turn left at the picnic area. We'll also enjoy a nice hike along the trail and dunes so please arrive on time!

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Want to enjoy a day of restoring high-quality lakeplain prairies? Then join us as we do one of the following: collect native prairie seed, plant native plugs, or remove invasive plants. Meet in the day-use area parking lot near the main park entrance and the picnic shelter.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Algonac State Park!!
Sunday, September 28, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Day-use parking lot (near the picnic shelter)



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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