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.

 

November 2017

*please note the meeting location change*
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Our last stewardship Saturday of the year will be cutting invasive, non-native shrubs and stump treating them with herbicide to restore this special wet mesic flatwoods. Spotting invasive shrubs, which stay green longer than our natives, is easier this time of year so we can do a thorough job. Join us for our last stewardship Saturday of 2017! Meet on Vista Drive at the parking area across from the athletic fields and building. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.340013, -82.979474
 

December 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017 
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. GPS coordinates: 42.638344, -83.595671
 
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m
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Join us for a winter morning of invasive black locust removal near the beautiful dunes!  With the assistance of park staff, we will be cutting and stump treating large black locust and creating brushpiles before the locust encroach further into the natural landscape.  No experience is necessary but please note that participants will be working in an area near running chainsaws and may not be suitable for small children.   Meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Rd.  GPS coordinates:  41.921620, -86.578874
 
Saturday, December 2, 2017 
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
We will remove invasive glossy buckthorn and others to restore this fen wetland; join in the fun! Our efforts will give the native, sun-loving prairie plants more room to grow and keep glossy buckthorn from invading. We'll be trekking deep into the fen so bring your sense of adventure. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. GPS coordinates: 42.3123,-84.2093 ***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). 
 
Sunday, December 3, 2017 
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 continuing our work within Haven Hill Natural Area to remove large common buckthorn and other non-native, invasive shrubs. We want to keep these 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, December 9, 2017
Grand Mere State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for a morning removing Japanese barberry and other invasive woody shrubs from some lesser traveled portions of Grand Mere State Park!  No experience is necessary as many of these plants stand out from our native understory species and are easy to identify in the winter.  Meet at the small parking area at the end of Willow Dr.  Please arrive on time as we’ll caravan/carpool to the work location (limited parking).  GPS coordinates:  41.985645, -86.553083
 
Saturday, December 9, 2017 
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. GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***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). 
 
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
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Help us remove protect our native prairies from encroaching black locust!  Wind and cold won’t keep us from removing these nasty, clonal alien invaders!  Meet at the Park Headquarters and we’ll caravan to the work location.  GPS coordinates:  42.324901, -85.351755
 
Sunday, December 10, 2017 
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 shrubs to keep it in good condition! We will be cutting small autumn olive and any other shrubs that don’t belong. Help us protect this site and the neat native plants that call it home! Meet at the Halfmoon Lake entrance to help out. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left. GPS coordinates: 42.4140822,-83.9927
 

January 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018
Aid restoration efforts at the Graham Lake fen complex by cutting and piling glossy buckthorn, a terrible wetland invasive shrub. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Knee-high rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request (please specify size). Availability is limited; first come, first served.
 
Sunday, January 7, 2018
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 shrubs to keep it in good condition! We will be cutting small black locust and any other shrubs that don’t belong. Help us protect this site and the neat native plants that call it home! Meet at the Halfmoon Lake entrance to help out. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.4140822,-83.9927
 
Saturday, January 20, 2018 
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join us for stewardship Saturdays. Our winter project will focus on cutting invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Meet on Vista Drive at the parking area across from the athletic fields and building. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.340013, -82.979474
 
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Removing invasive shrubs and vines from a high quality natural area takes many hands! We’ll be targeting oriental bittersweet and several invasive shrub species and we need your help. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926
 
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
We will remove invasive glossy buckthorn and others to restore this fen wetland; join in the fun! Our efforts will give the native, sun-loving prairie plants more room to grow and keep glossy buckthorn from invading. We'll be trekking deep into the fen so bring your sense of adventure. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.3123,-84.2093 ***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, January 27, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, Silo Field Trial Area, 9 a.m. to 1 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. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.638344, -83.595671

February 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Assist us in clearing out invasive shrubs that could take over neat prairie remnants and crowd out native plants. We will try to cover a lot of ground over the winter, so please come prepared to hike a distance. Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.504968, -83.709577
 
Saturday, February 10, 2018
The Graham Lake Fen Complex needs your help. Come cut and pile glossy buckthorn and other shrubs that threaten this unique ecosystem. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Knee-high rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request (please specify size). Availability is limited; first come, first served.
 
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thickets of black locust and other invasive shrubs don’t belong in this sand prairie and oak barrens ecosystem. Help remove them and make room for some neat, native plants. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake entrance to help out. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.4140822,-83.9927 
 
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join us for stewardship Saturdays. Our winter project will focus on cutting invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Meet on Vista Drive at the parking area across from the athletic fields and building. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.340013, -82.979474
 
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, Silo Field Trial Area, 9 a.m. to 1 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. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.638344, -83.595671
 
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We will be searching for oriental bittersweet and invasive shrubs in the higher quality areas of McClure woods. Help us cut scattered, outlier invasives to keep them from taking over; the native flora and fauna will thank us. Please arrive on time so we can get a prompt start and cover a lot of ground. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672
 
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join us in removing invasive shrubs and vines from a high quality natural area! We’ll be removing a smorgasbord of invasive species and we need your help. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926

March 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Help remove autumn olive and other invasive shrubs from the Meadow unit. We need your help to restore these prairies and adjacent woodlands! This work will give native flora and fauna a fighting chance. Meet at the Meadow Picnic Area parking lot. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.5043,-83.7020
 
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Stop oriental bittersweet and several invasive shrub species from invading this beautiful natural area. We will work in a few thicker areas to slow the spread of these plants farther into Haven Hill Natural Area. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926
 
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Glossy buckthorn and other invasive, non-native shrubs, continue to slowly move into the Graham Lake Fen area. Let’s stop them in their tracks and protect this rare type of wetland. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.786267, -83.190904 ***Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for this site. Knee-high rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request (please specify size). Availability is limited; first come, first served.
 
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Come out and help remove invasive black locust and other shrubs that don't belong in this dry sand prairie and oak barrens, making room for neat native plants. Meet at the Halfmoon Lake entrance to help out. From North Territorial Road, take Hankerd Road north until you see the entrance on the left. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.4140822,-83.9927 Don’t forget daylight saving time starts today; set your clocks an hour ahead or you could be an hour late to the workday! 
 
Saturday, March 17, 2018 
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join us for stewardship Saturdays. Our winter project will focus on cutting invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Meet on Vista Drive at the parking area across from the athletic fields and building. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.340013, -82.979474
 
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, Barn Course 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 Barn Field Trial Area parking lot on the north side of Cooley Lake Road between Duck Lake and Beaumont Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.6105,-83.5857
 
Sunday, March 18, 2018 
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Help us remove oriental bittersweet and invasive shrubs from the higher quality areas of McClure woods. We need to remove scattered outlier invasives and patches of bittersweet to keep them from taking over and crowding out our native plants. Please arrive on time so we can get a prompt start and cover a lot of ground. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.33298, -84.10672
 
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We will likely be pulling garlic mustard. Plants may be small but they should still be visible. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Map/GPS coordinates: 42.639536, -83.576926
 
 

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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