Native Prairie Seed Collection

We need volunteers to hand collect native prairie seeds at several state parks and recreation areas throughout the month of October and early November. Seeds from a number of wildflowers will be collected for planting to restore native tallgrass prairie, lakeplain prairie, and oak savanna ecosystems. Some seed from prairie grass plants such as big bluestem, little bluestem, and Indian grass, will be collected as well.

Southern Michigan once supported vast expanses of prairie and oak savanna. Today prairies and savannas persist only in tiny remnant patches, many in state parks and recreation areas. Seed collection is a key step in restoring these lost landscapes. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of these rare landscapes while doing something positive to help restore and preserve them for future generations. 

Volunteers should bring an empty, clean, dry gallon milk jug or small bucket to collect seed, and wear sturdy shoes. Hiking distance will vary depending on location. These are often very sunny places so a hat and drinking water are also recommended. An adult must accompany children under the age of 18.

If you belong to an organization or group and prefer to volunteer during the week, specific arrangements may be made for a private workday.

For more information about Southeast Michigan contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper at malvitzl@michigan.gov or 517-719-2285.

For more information about Southwest Michigan contact Heidi Frei at freih@michigan.gov or 517-202-1360

All volunteers are required to register for seed collecting by completing a registration form or by emailing the information on the registration form to one of the contacts above.