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.

 

July 2016

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Holland State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come join help us remove spotted knapweed from the dune overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan with Stewardship Intern Jacob J.!  We’ll be pulling this invasive herbaceous weed to help our native dune grasses become better established.  Long sleeves and long pants are recommended as some may be sensitive to this plant.  Please also plan to bring water as we’ll be working in the full sun and sturdy shoes for climbing.  Meet at the east end of the Lake Michigan beach parking lot (near the dune). GPS coordinates: 42.77421, -86.20832.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Campers and volunteers are welcome to join in to remove spotted knapweed to prevent it from invading our dunes with Stewardship Intern Nicole A.!  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/beach parking area.  Go past the entrance booth, turn right at the first road.  GPS coordinates: 43.126638, -86.273743.

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
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join in to help remove spotted knapweed with Stewardship Intern Nicole A.!   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).  GPS coordinates:  43.230895, -86.335257.

Sunday, July 31, 2016
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 with Stewardship Intern Tony B. 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. Long sleeves and long pants are recommended as some people may be sensitive to this plant. GPS coordinates:  42.605545, -85.462838.

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.

Friday, August 5, 2016
Yankee Springs Recreation Area , 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for invasive species week with the help of Explorer Guide Nicole C.!  We’ll be working on removal of invasive woody shrubs like autumn olive and honeysuckle from the Deep Lake area.  No experience is necessary to join in!  Meet at the mountain bike staging area next to the campground office in the Deep Lake Campground. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016
Holland State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy a nice day in the woods and helping to protect the forest and dunes from unwanted shrubs!  Volunteer Stewards will continue the search for scattered Japanese barberry, autumn olive and honeysuckle from the trails and natural area.   Meet at campground visitor lot near the campground office.  Please arrive on time as we will hike from the campground to the forested dune to the north.

Saturday, August 6, 2016
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Want to help remove invasive shrubs from a high quality natural area? Then join us! We’ll be cutting within Haven Hill Natural Area to remove some invasive shrubs. We want to keep these invasive, non-native shrubs from moving farther into this beautiful woodland. 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

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.

Saturday, August 13, 2016
Grand Mere State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join in to help remove spotted knapweed from these beautiful open dunes!   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).

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our summer projects will include cutting invasive, non-native shrubs and stump treating them with herbicide to restore the wet mesic flatwoods. Meet at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.3471816,-82.964199

Saturday, August 20, 2016
Warren Woods State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 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.  </p> 

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Fort Custer Recreation Area,  10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for a fun session of putting black locust in its place… that is out of our restored native prairies!  Volunteer stewards will cut and stump treat pesky black locust as we continue to hold our ground and push this encroaching population out of native habitat.  No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided.  Meet at the park headquarters and we will caravan to the work location.  GPS coordinates:  42.324901, -85.351755

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Help us remove invasive shrubs from a high quality natural area! We’ll be continuing the work we started last winter cutting invasive shrubs from an area within Haven Hill Natural Area. You can help keep these invasive, non-native shrubs from moving farther into this beautiful woodland. 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

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come help us remove an overlooked population of barberry hiding in the dunes!  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 trailhead near the entrance to the Felt Mansion.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Removing invasive shrubs from this prairie fen will allow all of the neat native grasses and wildflowers to thrive. We hope to either control an “island” of glossy buckthorn in what is otherwise a large open prairie fen or work along the edges of the fen. Meet on Bauer Road north of the Murray Lake campground entrance; look for a state truck. Roadside parking. GPS coordinates: 42.51420,-83.8120 ***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 28, 2016
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***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.


September 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our summer projects will include cutting invasive, non-native shrubs and stump treating them with herbicide to restore the wet mesic flatwoods.  We will focus on areas around the perimeter. Meet at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo parking lot. GPS coordinates: 42.3471816,-82.964199

Sunday, September 11, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will start to remove invasive shrubs and oriental bittersweet from McClure woods, where we spend much of the spring pulling garlic mustard. Join us as we embark on this new journey! Our shrub cutting efforts will keep help keep this woodland more open and maintain room for native plants. We’ll be focusing on cutting oriental bittersweet to push back its spread. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***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, September 18, 2016
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Help us keep invasive, non-native shrubs from moving farther into the beautiful woodlands in Haven Hill Natural Area. We will cut and herbicide and then pile these invasive shrubs to restore this high quality woodland. 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

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Sterling State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with us! We will likely be collecting native prairie seed from grasses or wildflowers to restore lakeplain prairie. Meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. GPS coordinates: 41.92390,-83.3455

Sunday, September 25, 2016
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help remove invasive shrubs from this dry sand prairie and oak barrens to allow all of the neat native grasses and wildflowers to thrive. There is a lot of autumn olive that needs to be cut and herbicided and then piled to keep the area open. 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

 

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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