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.

 

June 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Muskegon State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help protect this spectacular open dune system from invasive spotted knapweed!  This noxious weed has the potential to crowd out native species of grasses and wildflowers, with are ecologically more important and far better looking!   No experience is necessary to join in.  We will be working in the open sun; sunscreen and a hat are recommended.  Long-sleeves and gardening gloves are also helpful as some people may be sensitive to this plant.  Soft gloves will be available to loan.  Meet at the small parking area west of the Channel Campground.  Meeting location: 43.230895, -86.335257.

Sunday, June 26, 2016
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Help us oust spotted knapweed from this beautiful isolated upland prairie!  With the help of volunteers, we’ve been able to keep knapweed at bay and encourage native prairie grasses and forbs!  Volunteers will take a short hike (about .75 miles) along the North Country Trail to our work location.  Dress to be in an open, sunny area for the duration of the volunteer session.  Meet at the North Country Trail parking area off of Yankee Springs Rd, south of the intersection with Gun Lake Rd. Meeting location:  42.605545, -85.462838.

Sunday, June 26, 2016
Waterloo 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 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. 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016  
Fort Custer Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Seed collection efforts are underway for continued prairie restoration!  Volunteers will help harvest lupine seeds and maintain our prairie plant propagation area by pulling invasive weeds like sweet clover, mullein and spotted knapweed from the propagation area.  Please dress to be in the open sun.  Long  sleeves are recommended as some are sensitive to spotted knapweed.  Meet at the Whitford Lake parking area: 42°18'40.7"N 85°21'37.9"W.

July 2016

Saturday, July 9, 2016
Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m
Help remove spotted knapweed from nice prairie remnants with volunteer stewards Bill B. and Kathy W.. Contact Kathy at 248-444-2970 with any day-of questions. Meet at the Dodge picnic area (approx. 15 minutes from the park entrance on Kensington Road). GPS coordinates: 42.50635,-83.7379

Sunday, July 10, 2016
Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help hand pull sweet clover and other invasive, non-native weeds that will otherwise take over in this neat prairie remnant. Removing these plants will improve habitat for native species and keep their seeds out of the seed bank. Volunteer stewards Toni and Ken S. will be leading this workday; contact Toni with day-of questions at 734-353-7140. Meet at the two pull-off parking spots at one of Teahen Road’s 90 degree turns. Roadside parking. GPS coordinates: 42.48549,-83.82480

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We need your help to hand pull spotted knapweed, an invasive weed that would otherwise 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 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.

Sunday, July 17, 2016
Pinckney Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Help us remove invasive plants like spotted knapweed, Japanese hedge parsley, mullein and hoary alyssum from special dry sand prairies and adjacent oak barrens. Help us pull these plants to maintain 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. 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 on 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

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

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
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.

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.

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

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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