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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 seventeen 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, 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.

 

 

April 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help stomp out a small, isolated population of garlic mustard hiding in this beautiful forest with Volunteer Steward Pricilla A.! Volunteers will enjoy a short hike through the beech/maple forest to the work location. Meet at the main park entrance off of 138th street. No experience is necessary to join in! Be sure to arrive on time as we will be walking about 10 minutes to the work location.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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, April 19, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join volunteer steward Charity S. for a garlic mustard pull to keep this invasive plant from infesting a beautiful woodland. Bring your children and help us celebrate Earth Day! Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. Contact Charity at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy an easy opportunity to give a little back to nature. A miserable, stinky, invasive weed called garlic mustard is infiltrating high quality natural areas in Waterloo Recreation Area. Happily, it is very easy and satisfying to pull; like cleaning a really dirty house you can quickly see where you've been and what you've accomplished. Bonus: it's a lot less work than housecleaning and it's outdoors to boot! This workday will be led by volunteer steward Charity Steere. Contact her at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Steve P., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from neat woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. Come and see first-hand how this plant starts taking over in woodlands if we don’t do anything to stop it! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Please arrive on time as we may caravan to a different location. For day-of questions please call Steve at 248-877-4386.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Holland State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us eradicate garlic mustard from the forested dunes at Holland State Park! No experience is necessary to join in. Meet at the park headquarters.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Sterling State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help pull garlic mustard, an invasive, non-native plant, from areas of the park! This activity is great for the whole family. Meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. Please arrive early so we can caravan to the work location.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Island Lake Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Help combat the spread of garlic mustard by pulling these weedy plants from nice woodlands! Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Warren Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Spring is a great time to be at Warren Dunes! Enjoy meeting fellow stewards and budding wildflowers while removing harmful garlic mustard plants throughout the park! Removing this unwelcome weed will help improve forest conditions for native species. No experience is necessary to join in; we’ll help you identify garlic mustard. Meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Lane.

May 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Want to enjoy a day in the woods? Help us remove garlic mustard from the trails and wooded areas in this amazing state park and keep hundreds of its seeds out of the seed bank. Meet in the day use area near the main park entrance on M-29.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Proud Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Dee Pasquantonio and the Proud Lake Friends Group to pull invasive garlic mustard plants. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the Powers Unit, Oak Shelter parking lot off Wixom Road, just north of the Huron River. Call Dee at 248-624-6054 or 248-961-9538 (cell) for more information or weather cancellations.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We’ll continue our efforts to rid lovely natural areas of invasive garlic mustard. It’s easy to pull and fun for the whole family. Join volunteer steward Kathy C. for a few hours of pulling and bagging garlic mustard. You’ll be preserving a gem of a woodland in the process. While looking for garlic mustard, you may find some native wildflowers in bloom or even some wild morels! Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. For day-of questions please call Kathy at 734-678-7276.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. **note time change!**

Help us make this park garlic mustard free! Volunteer stewards will search the dunes along the popular and beautiful Homestead Trail. Pulling garlic mustard is similar to weeding and is an enjoyable way for youth and others to spend the morning in the woods. Meet at the Gillette Nature Center. Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
Holland State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Garlic mustard is an unwanted, invasive plant that takes over the forest understory. Join in for an afternoon of hand-pulling this tenacious weed from this beautiful Lake Michigan park along with fellow stewards from Ottawa County Parks! Meet at the main park entrance.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Steve P., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from neat woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. See first-hand how this plant starts taking over in woodlands if we don’t do anything to stop it! Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Please arrive on time as we may caravan to a different location. Day-of questions can be directed to Steve at 248-877-4386.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove non-native garlic mustard from the woodlands near Hankerd Road. This is a great activity for the whole family! Meet us 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.

Saturday, May 10, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join our efforts to keep Bald Mountain Recreation Area’s nice woodlands from being taken over by garlic mustard, a non-native invasive plant. We will pull it out by the roots, easy and satisfying work, and remove it from the site. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park's North Unit. We will likely caravan to another location, so please arrive on time.

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

Help hand pull garlic mustard, a stubborn invasive weed that could take over in this amazing woodland. Removing this plant will make the area more suitable for native plants and animals. Volunteer steward, Danny M. will be leading this workday; contact him with day-of questions at 734-645-5687. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea.

Saturday, May 10, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enjoy the beautiful forest and a short hike at Saugatuck Dunes State Park as we work to protect it from garlic mustard! Join Volunteer Steward Allison S. to remove this invasive weed that threatens our native species of wildflowers and tree saplings. Removal of garlic mustard is similar to weeding and is a great activity for the family to enjoy the outdoors. Meet at the parking area adjacent to the Felt Mansion (at the end of 138th St.).

Sunday, May 11, 2014
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Marie R., volunteer steward, in pulling non-native, invasive garlic mustard from a beautiful woodland at Brighton Recreation Area. Bring your mom along to celebrate Mother’s Day in a unique way! This plant will take over if we don't do anything to stop it and there are far too many cool native plants to let that happen! Please bring gloves and wear boots you don't mind getting muddy. Meet on Chambers Road between Swarthout and Schafer Roads. Roadside parking. For day-of questions please call Marie at 734-223-1174.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nancy R., volunteer steward, needs your help pulling garlic mustard in high quality woodlands at Highland Recreation Area. Enjoy a few hours outdoors reclaiming the woods from garlic mustard, a nasty, non-native invader. For day-of questions please call Nancy at 248-202-6885. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Please arrive on time as you may caravan to another location.

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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, May 17, 2014
Island Lake Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Bill B. for a morning of fresh air, exercise, and camaraderie. We will be pulling garlic mustard, an invasive plant. All hands are welcome! Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot. Contact Bill at 517-294-9632 with any day-of questions.

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Sterling State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Sharon Venier, the River Raisin Institute and the Stewardship Network Western Lake Erie Cluster to pull invasive garlic mustard plants. Everyone is welcome! Meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. Please arrive early so we can caravan to the work location. Call Sharon at 734-735-7681 for more information or weather cancellations.

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We’re on a mission to search and remove! Help search for populations of garlic mustard and other invasive species throughout the park. Work will involve scouting and removal by hand pulling located populations. Meet at the Winter Sports Complex along Scenic Drive. Please arrive on time as we will begin hiking from the meeting location to search for plants by 10:15.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Ludington State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Travel north to this beautiful lakeside park and help protect its resources from unwanted invaders like garlic mustard and spotted knapweed! No experience is necessary; we’ll cover basic plant identification and provide all necessary equipment. Meet at the main entrance parking area.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove invasive garlic mustard from the woodlands adjacent to special dry sand prairies. Help us eradicate this plant to make room for neat native wildflowers. 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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help to keep thousands of garlic mustard seeds out of the seed bank! Join us to pull invasive garlic mustard and keep it from invading this beautiful woodland. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. Please arrive on time, as we may caravan to a different site.

Saturday, May 31, 2014
Saugatuck State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There is still more work left to do to stop the spread of garlic mustard in the park! Removing garlic mustard will improve wildflowers and native tree saplings thrive! No experience is necessary to join in the fun! Meet at the main day use area parking lot near the end of State Park Dr. off of 138th St. Please arrive on time as we may take a short hike to the work location.

June 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Warren Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Start the summer season by helping the park and having fun! Volunteers will enjoy the trails and environment at Warren Dunes State Park while protecting native plants and animals. We will be removing invading garlic mustard plants from along the trails near one of the beautiful Great Warren Dunes Natural Area. Meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Lane. Please arrive on time as we will take a short hike to the work location.

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

Join us for our last chance to remove non-native garlic mustard from the woodlands near Hankerd Road before they set seed. Meet us 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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy an easy opportunity to give a little back to nature. A miserable, stinky, invasive weed, garlic mustard, is infiltrating high quality natural areas in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Happily, it is very easy and satisfying to pull...like cleaning a really dirty house you can quickly see where you've been and what you've accomplished. Bonus: it's a lot less work than housecleaning and it's outdoors to boot! This workday will be led by volunteer steward Charity; contact her at 517-522-5010 or 517-462-6999. Meet at the park headquarters at 16345 McClure Road in Chelsea. Please arrive on time, as you may caravan to a different site.

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Let’s stop garlic mustard at its invading edge before it spreads farther into a high quality woodland. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park’s North Unit. Please arrive on time as we may split up into different groups to “divide and conquer” and travel to other areas of the park.

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us as we work to eliminate garlic mustard from the picnic area! Pulling garlic mustard will help us prevent any seeds from ‘hitchhiking’ along the trails and further into the forest. Come enjoy a day outdoors and stay to enjoy the trails and the beach! Meet at the main parking area/day use area at the end of 138th St.

Sunday, June 8, 2014
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Garlic mustard removal will continue along the Homestead Trail as we work to eliminate this noxious weed that threatens our forested dunes. Volunteers will hike approximately ¾ mile to the work location and will be working in some uneven terrain, please wear sturdy shoes and plan to enjoy a beautiful walk in the woods! Meet at the Gillette Visitor Center near the entrance to the Homestead Trail. Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location.

Sunday, June 8, 2014
Island Lake Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Help us make a push to get as much of the garlic mustard pulled before it goes to seed. We need lots of hands to pull these weedy, invasive plants. Meet at the Riverbend Picnic Area parking lot.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Join us for an extra work session lead by volunteer steward Jenny S.. We will continue pulling garlic mustard in high priority areas of Bald Mountain’s North Unit, either pulling small, outlier patches or starting in on some of the larger core patches. Where we work will depend on our progress at other workdays and volunteer participation. Meet at the East Graham Boat Launch parking lot on the north side of Predmore Road in the park's North Unit. We may drive to another location to work, so please arrive on time. Jenny’s cell is 248-736-1775.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Like to kill weeds? Help restore woodlands by removing garlic mustard and help restore prairies by removing sweet clover and spotted knapweed that could otherwise take over. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to spotted knapweed. Meet at the Teahen prairie entrance (look for a state truck where Teahen Road makes a 90 degree turn). Roadside parking.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteer stewards will be back on barberry detail! Help us protect the dunes from this landscape invader that crowds out native species in the forest understory. We’ll meet at the Snug Harbor parking area (across from park headquarters) and work towards the Devil’s Kitchen. Please arrive on time as we will take a short hike to the work location.

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Warren Dunes State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Let’s get a great group together for our final garlic mustard workday at Warren Dunes! Meet at the picnic area on the west side of the road as you travel towards the main campground. The work site is just a short walk from this day use area. Please be sure to arrive on time! Don’t forget to bring along your bathing suite, hiking shoes, volleyball or anything else so when the work is done you can enjoy all that Warren Dunes has to offer!

Saturday, June 21, 2014
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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, June 21, 2014
Highland Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for the last garlic mustard pulling workday of the year! We need to find the outliers before they invade this beautiful woodland. Meet at the bike trailhead parking lot on the north side of Livingston Road between Duck Lake and Waterbury Roads. Please arrive on time as we will likely share rides and caravan to another parking area to get closer to our target garlic mustard infestation.

Saturday, June 21, 2014
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help for our final garlic mustard workday at this beautiful lakeside park! Help us remove garlic mustard from the dunes! Volunteers will hike and pull this unwanted invading plant to prevent it from spreading throughout the park. Meet at the parking area adjacent to the Felt Mansion.

Sunday, June 22, 2014
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers will join in for our final garlic mustard pull of the season at Hoffmaster! We’ve had a productive season and are getting closer to declaring this park garlic mustard free! Enjoy a short one-mile hike to the work site through beautiful forest! This is our last chance to get garlic mustard this season so don’t miss out! Meet at the Gillette Visitor Center. Please arrive on time as we will be hiking to the work location.

Sunday, June 22, 2014
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help protect this unique fen ecosystem by removing the glossy buckthorn that threatens to move in and take over. We have removed most of the large invasive shrubs over the past many years but there is plenty of maintenance to do to keep this fen in good shape! We’ll see a lot of neat native plants in bloom in the vicinity. Meet at the entrance to Murray Lake Campground on Bauer Road, between Cunningham Lake and Bishop Lake Roads. ***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. Availability is limited; first come, first served. Old boots that you don’t mind getting muddy will work too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join in the fun to protect rare plant and animal habitat in one of the park fens! Volunteers will enjoy a beautiful morning along Deep Lake while working to remove unwanted invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and autumn olive from this unique wetland. No experience is necessary and all equipment is provided. Meet at the boat launch parking area in the Deep Lake Campground.

Saturday, June 28, 2014
Island Lake Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 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. Please wear long pants and long sleeves as some individuals are sensitive to this plant. Meet at the Dodge picnic area parking lot.

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Algonac State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Want to take part in restoring globally rare lakeplain prairies and oak openings? Help us cut and stack invasive shrubs that threaten to take over these beautiful areas and enjoy a short summer hike. 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.

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Muskegon State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us remove this landscape plant gone bad! Japanese barberry is commonly planted as a landscape ornamental, but has escaped and is spreading in our forests and dunes! Join in the effort to stop the spread. No experience is necessary! We will be removing scattered plants along the trail to beautiful Lost Lake. Meet at the Snug Harbor parking area (across from park headquarters).

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help please! Hand pull spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that could take over in this neat prairie remnant that is a primary native seed-gathering location for restoring our prairies. Let’s pull spotted knapweed now so we don’t have to worry about it getting mixed in with the native seeds we gather in the fall and we can protect this area from further infestation. If you have your own dandelion-digging tool, please bring it. Volunteer steward, Danny M. will be leading this workday; contact him with day-of questions at 734-645-5687. Meet on Waterloo Road just west of M-52. Roadside parking.


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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