Lend a hand at volunteer workdays in southern Michigan state parks

Contact: Heidi Frei, 517-284-6133
Agency: Natural Resources

April 10, 2019

volunteers picking garlic mustardThe stewardship season – a series of workdays where park fans volunteer their time pulling invasive plants, monitoring insects, native planting and other activities that help to restore natural ecosystems – is getting under way this month for state parks in southern Michigan.

Workdays currently are set for two state parks in Allegan and Berrien counties:

  • Saturday, April 13, 20 and 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County).
  • Monday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County).

The Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for people all ages to learn about and protect Michigan's natural resources. 

This month, volunteers will help locate and pull non-native, invasive weeds, such as garlic mustard and dame’s rocket, which threaten to crowd out native plants in high-quality woodlands. The work is similar to weeding a garden and is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while helping Michigan's ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants.

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

More information about volunteer stewardship workdays, including a calendar of opportunities, is available at Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers. Register by completing and submitting the stewardship volunteer registration form

Other ways to volunteer with the DNR include joining a state park friends group, serving as a campground host or a lightkeeper and many other opportunities. 

For more information on park stewardship volunteer opportunities in southwest Michigan, contact Heidi Frei at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov

An accompanying photo of state park volunteers pulling garlic mustard, an invasive weed, is available below for download.