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Volunteers needed to remove garlic mustard from state parks in southwestern Michigan

Contact: Heidi Frei, 269-685-6851, ext. 147 or Sarah Lapshan, 517-241-1736
Agency: Natural Resources

May 29, 2013

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and join in the effort to protect critical dune, prairie and forest habitats stretching from Berrien to Muskegon counties. State recreation officials recently announced the schedule of volunteer stewardship activities for the month of June throughout southwestern Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

Volunteering for these workdays is an opportunity to GO Get Outdoors in many of Michigan's cherished state parks, breathe some fresh air, have fun, and get a bit of exercise while enjoying beautiful scenery and precious landscapes.

Volunteers are needed to help remove and map locations of garlic mustard, an invasive, non-native plant that grows in the forest understory. Removal, similar to weeding a garden, and is a good way to spend time outdoors.

Dates, times, and locations of group workdays are as follows:

  • Saturday, June 1: Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 2: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 8: Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 9: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 15: Ionia State Recreation Area (Ionia County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 16: Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 23: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29: Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30: Muskegon State Park (Muskegon County), 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and bring gloves and drinking water.

Volunteers also are able to work on an individual basis pulling, mapping and locating garlic mustard populations or as a part of new efforts to monitor forest health. All volunteers are asked to register using the online volunteer registration form. Please contact Heidi Frei at 269-685-6851, ext. 147 or freih@michigan.gov for registration or questions about the Volunteer Steward workdays, or how you can be involved in the Forest Health Watch program in southwest Michigan.

The Volunteer Steward program is part of the Parks and Recreation Division, Stewardship Unit's mission to "preserve, protect and restore the natural and cultural resources present within Michigan State Parks for this and future generations." For information about the activities at each workday, to find directions or park information, and to check the Volunteer Steward calendar of events, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers, and link to the "Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays."

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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