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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.

 
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).

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Hoffmaster State Park!!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: XC Ski Trailhead Picnic Shelter

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.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Muskegon State Park!!
Sunday, September 7, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Snug Harbor Picnic Shelter

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.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Saugatuck Dunes State Park!!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Main parking area picnic shelter

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.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Ionia State Recreation Area!!
Sunday, September 14, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Point Picnic area

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 Area!!
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!

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Fort Custer Recreation Area!!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Eagle Lake Hilltop Picnic Shelter

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.

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Yankee Springs Recreation Area!!
Saturday, September 27, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Deep Lake Mt. Bike parking lot

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!

Volunteer Thank-you Event and Refreshments, Warren Dunes State Park!!
Sunday, September 28, 2014
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Nature Trail Picnic Shelter

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)

October 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014,
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us cut scattered, outlier glossy buckthorn plants to keep them from taking over in this rare wetland; the native flora and fauna will thank us. The plan is to trek farther than normal so we can cut areas we haven’t worked in yet. Please arrive on time so we can get a prompt start and cover lots of ground. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. ***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, October 11, 2014,
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Aid restoration efforts at the Graham Lake fen complex by cutting and piling glossy buckthorn, a terrible wetland invader. 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. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).

Sunday, October 12, 2014,
Sterling State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Collect native wildflower seeds from lakeplain prairie and Great Lakes marsh ecosystems! Meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. Please arrive on time as we will need to caravan to the seed collection site.

Saturday, October 18, 2014,
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Mebby Pearson of the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Island Stewardship Committee and the DNR as we remove invasive shrubs to restore a special wet mesic flatwoods. Meet at the Nature Zoo Auditorium. Contact Erica Hill at 313-331-7760 or <hille@belleisleconservancy.org> to register.

Sunday, October 19, 2014,
Sterling State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us collect native wildflower seeds from lakeplain prairie and Great Lakes marsh ecosystems. We might explore a different seed collecting site, so join us for extra fun at this seed collecting day. Meet at the park headquarters at 2800 State Park Road, Monroe, MI 48162. Please arrive on time as we will need to caravan to the seed collection site.

Saturday, October 25, 2014,
Highland Recreation Area, Barn 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 Barn Field Trial Area parking lot on the north side of Cooley Lake Road between Duck Lake and Beaumont Roads.

Saturday, October 25, 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! 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. Rubber boots are available to borrow, upon request; first come first served (please specify size).

Sunday, October 26, 2014,
Algonac State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us for a fun afternoon of collecting native prairie wildflower seeds! Seeds will be used to help us restore other areas of the park. You will enjoy less than a ½ mile hike to the wildflower seed collection site. Enter the park through the main entrance on M-29 and meet at the day use area parking lot (near the picnic shelter).

November 2014

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

We will remove shrubs from this area to restore a fen wetland; join in 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 to make the best use of the fall leaf color difference (invasives shrubs generally stay green longer than native shrubs). We haven’t worked this far into the fen for several years, but follow-up shrub control is critical to staying ahead of the spread of invasives. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. ***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, November 2, 2014,
Highland Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The fen and wet meadows near Teeple Lake need your help! Removing shrubs, especially glossy buckthorn, will keep them from encroaching on these vulnerable ecosystems and crowding out native species! Meet at the sheep barn parking lot, about 5 minutes south of the park entrance on M-59. ***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, November 8, 2014,
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Graham Lake Fen Complex needs your help. Come cut and pile the glossy buckthorn and other invasive 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. ***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, November 9, 2014,
Pinckney Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thickets of shrubs don’t belong in these mesic and wet mesic prairies. Help remove them and make room for some neat, native plants. Meet at the South Lake boat launch parking lot on Joslin Lake Road. From North Territorial Road, take Joslin Lake Road north until you see the boating access site on your left. ***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, November 15, 2014,
Belle Isle Park, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Mebby Pearson of the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Island Stewardship Committee and the DNR as we remove invasive shrubs to restore a special wet mesic flatwoods. Meet at the Nature Zoo Auditorium. Contact Erica Hill at 313-331-7760 or <hille@belleisleconservancy.org> to register.

December 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014,
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.

Saturday, December 6, 2014,
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will remove invasive shrubs to restore this fen wetland; join in 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 continuing work started in October and November. Meet at the small parking lot on the southeast corner of Glenn and Mt. Hope Roads. ***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 7, 2014,
Highland Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us protect this wet meadow, a vulnerable ecosystem in Michigan, from invasive shrubs. We will cut shrubs and small trees, especially invasive glossy buckthorn, from the grassland edges of Teeple Lake to allow the native flora and fauna to thrive. Please join us at this workday! Meet at the sheep barn parking lot, about 5 minutes south of the park entrance on M-59. ***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, December 13, 2014,
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. ***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 14, 2014,
Pinckney Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Get outdoors and help remove shrubs that are too abundant in this wet prairie. This will make room for neat native prairie plants that should grow in this ecosystem. Meet at the South Lake boat launch parking lot on Joslin Lake Road. From North Territorial Road, take Joslin Lake Road north until you see the boating access site on your left. ***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).


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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