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Preserving our natural areas is at the heart of our stewardship efforts, and with your help we’re working towards our mission of conserving and restoring the landscapes of our state parks.
Our efforts include invasive species removal through stewardship workdays, photo monitoring to document changes over time, monitoring rare insects, identifying early stages of forest disease and much more.
Volunteer stewardship workdays engage volunteers through hands-on restoration and education as they help remove invasive plants threatening high-quality ecosystems in state parks across southern lower Michigan.
Volunteers learn plant identification, see rare ecosystems, connect with others and more. No experience is necessary and equipment and instruction are provided.
Find a workday
Check our volunteer calendar to find upcoming workdays. Exact location information (GPS coordinates for the workday meeting place) can be found on the event details for each workday on the calendar.
A moment in time: Inside our photo monitoring efforts
Volunteers and stewardship staff play important roles in photo monitoring, which provides critical data that assist in identifying proper management approaches. These time-lapse videos reveal the ways natural areas change over time.
Protecting animal and plant species, and the natural areas in which they live, is at the heart of photo monitoring efforts in our state parks. It’s a longstanding project – starting in the 1990s – that reveals how dunes, forests, marshes and other landscapes change over time.
Individual volunteer opportunities
Interested in volunteering on your own? Some training and coordination is required; however, once you are trained, these activities can be performed whenever it is convenient for you! If you're interested, please email Kelsey Dietz or call 517-388-8517.
Forest health watch
Learn to identify the early stages of forest diseases, so we can detect and treat cases at the early stage.
Belle Isle trees
With support from hundreds of volunteers, more than 150 native, local genotype trees have been planted in Belle Isle Park. Volunteers interested in helping to care for these newly planted trees will work closely with the DNR to ensure their success. Please contact Kelsey Dietz to learn more.
Tree planting and partnerships
The Belle Isle Canopy Work Group works toward increasing tree canopy cover and protection in day-use areas. Interested organizations and individuals may submit project proposals and ideas for increasing tree cover or aiding in tree protection by contacting Heidi Frei, state park forest health specialist, by Sept. 30 each year.