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Natural Area Preservation

Volunteer Stewardship Calendar

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Please come out and join us for one of these free events!  There is no need to pre-register unless otherwise noted. If you have a large group (more than five people) that is interested in attending a volunteer stewardship event, please contact our Workday Coordinator at least two weeks in advance of the event.

Please remember to dress for the weather and wear shoes suitable for uneven terrain and working off-trail.  We provide tools, light snacks, water, and know-how at our Stewardship Workdays. Minors must either be accompanied by a guardian, or bring a signed release form (pdf) to attend workdays. For park directions, meet-up locations, and bus information check out this helpful guide.

AUGUST

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, August 5
Olson Park
9 a.m. to noon
This park has come a long way from its past as a gravel quarry. Now bicyclists, dog owners, soccer players and hikers all use it. Volunteers are needed to hand-pull invasive weeds where they are invading open meadows. Meet at the entrance on Dhu Varren Road, just east of Pontiac Trail. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, August 5
Black Pond Woods Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.   
Come on out to experience a woods filled with oak, hickory, maple and dogwood. Volunteers will work on removing summer invasive plant species, like Japanese hedge parsley, which have a negative impact on wildlife habitat. This is a great park to bring families out to enjoy a day outdoors. Meet us on Tibbits Ct., off Pontiac Trail. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewards' Circle – Prairie Restoration
Tuesday, August 8
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Are you interested in learning more about how to care for our natural areas? Then join the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster for an informal discussion on a monthly topic with volunteer and professional land stewards, plus others interested in nature. Free! For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.

This month's topic: Prairie Restoration: Taking on restoration of a prairie is not an easy task. Join us to learn about management techniques and which plants to target.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, August 19
Bird Hills Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
The 3 miles of trails in Bird Hills give some lovely views of the Huron River. This is the largest Nature Area in Ann Arbor, and provides a great space to get out and see wildlife and wildflowers. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive weeds like Japanese hedge parsley throughout the park. This is a great workday for the family. Join us at the Bird Road entrance to this park, west of Huron River Drive (additional parking in Barton Nature Area Dam entrance). Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, August 20
Mary Beth Doyle Park
1 to 4 p.m.
Walk along Malletts Creek, watch the birds at the pond, play a game of disc golf, or ride your bike on the paved path – no matter what you're doing in this park, you're sure to see the effects of ongoing restoration work. Mary Beth Doyle Park has been transformed by volunteers! Help continue the effort by removing invasive weeds in the open areas of this park. Meet us on Verle Ave., off of Platt Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, August 26
Bandemer Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
A patch of dry prairie lines the Border-To-Border Trail in this park along the river, with many plants that are uncommon in our area. Help maintain this patch of special habitat by hand-pulling exotic weeds. We will meet at the main parking area off Barton Drive. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Nature Walk with Ann Arbor District Library
Thursday, August 31
Furstenberg Nature Area
6:30 to 8 p.m.
This long, narrow nature area along the Huron River has many beautiful open areas, where habitats like prairies, a mitigated wetland, and even a sedge meadow are accessible via paths and boardwalks. Come learn more broadly about this beautiful nature area at this event. Staff from Natural Area Preservation will lead a family-friendly nature walk through the woods. Please meet in the parking lot off Fuller Road.

Wear comfortable clothes and bring water if desired. The nature walks are a collaboration between the AADL and Natural Area Preservation that take place once a month April through September. Some of AADL's Science Tools will be available for use during the walk!

SEPTEMBER

Bird Walk
Saturday, September 9
Mary Beth Doyle Park
5 to 6:30 p.m.

Join NAP's Ornithologist, Juliet Berger, on a walk around this diverse park, which includes a storm water retention pond often frequented by migrating shorebirds.  If there is mud around the pond, we may see Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper and other more exotic species.  There may be migrating waterfowl on the pond as well.  We'll also search for fall migrating songbirds in the woods. Bring binoculars if you have them, and be prepared for walking in potentially muddy areas. Meet us in the parking lot at the end of Birch Hollow Drive.

 

Stewardship Workday – Day of Service and Remembrance
Sunday, September 10
Mary Beth Doyle Park
1 to 4 p.m.

Unite in service and help us improve wildlife habitat during this national event that honors the lives and service of those impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The 81 acres of Mary Beth Doyle Park include a nature area, disc golf course, playground and a storm water retention pond that are enjoyed by many in our community. Meet us at the parking lot off Packard Road, across from Easy Street. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, September 12
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Are you interested in learning more about how to care for our natural areas? Then join the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster for an informal discussion on a monthly topic with volunteer and professional land stewards, plus others interested in nature. Free! For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.
This month's topic: Managing Phragmites
Phragmites is an invasive wetland grass that often outcompetes native plants and impedes access to recreation opportunities. Please join us for a discussion with a biologist from the USGS Great Lakes Science Center on the impacts of Phragmites, traditional treatment methods, and new innovative management techniques.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, September 16
Onder Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Onder Nature Area is a small neighborhood park and home to many black cherry and box elder trees with a few large oak trees. By connecting with other natural areas and features, it serves as a landscape corridor and provides convenient habitat and migration for birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Help is needed to restore Onder's small oak savanna by removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn. Meet at the intersections of Hilldale Drive and Brookside Drive. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, September 17
Redbud Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Redbud Nature Area is a favorite place for many neighbors to enjoy a walk through the woods or a short hike with their dog. Help us remove invasive species like honeysuckle so more native plants can thrive. Meet at the park entrance at the intersection of Parkwood Avenue and Jeanne Street. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, September 23
Furstenberg Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Furstenberg Nature Area is a lovely 38-acre riverside park and home to wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savanna. Help us remove invasive plants in order for the native ecosystem to thrive. Please meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road across from Huron High School. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, September 23
Ruthven Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Ruthven Nature Area's unique landscape includes a kame, a sandy hill left behind by melting glaciers. The hill overlooks Gallup Pond and the Huron River valley. The slopes and different soils in this park make for lots of wildflower diversity here. We'll be cutting invasive shrubs that threaten to overwhelm the native plants. Meet us at the Gallup Park boat dock parking lot, at the southeast corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Nature Walk with Ann Arbor District Library
Thursday, September 28
Argo Nature Area
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

This 22.5 acre preserve is an interesting combination of habitats, including emergent wetland, mesic forest, and oak-hickory forest. Come learn more about the habitat and the fascinating creatures it supports at this family-friendly nature walk! Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive.

Wear comfortable clothes and bring water if desired. The nature walks are a collaboration between the AADL and Natural Area Preservation that take place once a month April through September. Some of AADL's Science Tools will be available for use during the walk!

 

Stewardship Workday – National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 30
Argo Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Come enjoy a day by the river and learn how to identify and cut invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Doing so will allow native species to thrive and provide natural habitat for wildlife. Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

OCTOBER

Stewardship Workday

Sunday, October 1
Miller Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
Miller Nature Area has a unique history including logging, farming, and gravel mining, and now this park is enjoyed by many neighbors. Help us maintain the unique landscape that Miller has to offer by removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Meet us at the Arborview Boulevard entrance, just east of Wildwood Avenue. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, October 8
Huron Parkway Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Autumn is a great season to explore Ann Arbor's natural areas. Join us to enjoy the autumn colors while removing invasive plants, which will allow more native plant species to become established. Meet at the Park Steward's house—3470 Woodland Road, off East Huron River Drive. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, October 10
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Are you interested in learning more about how to care for our natural areas? Then join the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster for an informal discussion on a monthly topic with volunteer and professional land stewards, plus others interested in nature. Free! For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.
This month's topic: Urban Trees: Ecosystem Services and Disservices
Trees are a fundamental component of urban landscapes but their importance is often overlooked. We will discuss some of the services that they provide (e.g., temperature regulation) as well as some of their disservices (e.g., allergenic pollen). On a larger scale, how do we both actively and inadvertently manage urban tree composition, and how will that be affected by climate change?

 

Public Meeting – Controlled Ecological Burn Program
Wednesday, October 11
NAP Office, 3875 East Huron River Drive
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Fire is used as a restoration tool in many of Ann Arbor's natural areas. This meeting provides information and an opportunity for discussion about NAP's Controlled Ecological Burn Program. This is the perfect opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the ecological benefits of burning, and hear about the specifics of effectively and safely using fire as a restoration tool. Burns are conducted in city parks throughout the spring and fall.

All persons are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the City Clerk's office at 734.794.6140; via email to: cityclerk@a2gov.org; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk's Office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests made with less than two business days notice may not be able to be accommodated.

 

 Stewardship Workday
Sunday, October 15
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Come help preserve the mature oak hickory woodland in this diverse natural area. Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area gets used regularly by both neighbors and students at Mitchell Elementary and Scarlett Middle Schools. We will be cutting and removing invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and buckthorn to maintain this quality woodland. Meet in the Scarlett Middle School parking lot off Lorraine Street. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, October 21
Bluffs Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Tucked away within Bluffs' 39 acres is an open field filled with native prairie species. Come out and help us preserve this beautiful habitat by removing invasive shrubs, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, which are encroaching on the prairie. Meet at the entrance on Sunset Road near Wildt Street. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, October 21
Kuebler Langford Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Despite some parts of the park being used as a staging area for the construction of M-14, the majority of Kuebler Langford was fortunately left in good ecological condition. The north side of the wooded ravine hosts the park's greatest biological diversity with wild ginger, maiden-hair fern and doll's-eyes decorating the slopes. The park also features a prairie remnant, but invasive shrubs are encroaching on this beautiful habitat. Come out to collect native seeds and remove harmful species to help this prairie thrive! Meet at the park entrance on Beechwood Drive, north of Sunset Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, October 22
Oakwoods Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

This oak-hickory woodland includes a small pond and wetland, which are great spots for bird watching or listening for frog calls. We'll be cutting and removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle to improve the habitat. Meet us at the park entrance off of Dunwoodie. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Volunteer Appreciation Potluck
Wednesday, October 25
Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard Road
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
All volunteers, past, present, and future, are invited to our annual appreciation event! Let's celebrate our collective accomplishments while sharing food and community. Games, door prizes, and fun activities for all. Please bring a dish to pass and friends or family. Costumes are encouraged. RSVPs appreciated. Call us at 734.794.6627 or email us at NAP@a2gov.org by October 23.

 

Stewardship Workday – Make a Difference Day
Sunday, October 29
Black Ponds Woods Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

This beautiful 32-acre woodland is visited by thousands of children every year where they play and learn all about the natural environment. Work with us using handsaws and loppers to remove invasive shrubs, and help us collect native seeds to protect this ecosystem for all. This is a great park to bring families out to enjoy a day outdoors. Meet us on Tibbits Court, off of Pontiac Trail. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.


NOVEMBER


Stewardship Workday
Sunday, November 5
Sunset Brooks Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Sunset Brooks is truly a gem among our nature areas. It features 7.8 acres of beautiful wetlands and rolling woods dotted with oaks and hickories, which are further decorated by dogwood groves and wildflowers in the spring. To ensure the health of these vibrant ecological communities, the Park Stewards here need your help! Come learn how to identify and remove the invasive species threatening this much loved park. Meet us at the park entrance on Sunset Road, at the end of Brooks Street. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, November 5
Bird Hills Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Bird Hills is our largest nature area and is home to a wide array of plant and animal species. Some of these species are invasive and serve little benefit to the other species that call Bird Hills home. Come out and help us collect native seeds and remove invasives like buckthorn and honeysuckle to help provide more natural habitat for all of the park's great wildlife. Join us at the Beechwood entrance off of Sunset Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, November 11
Cedar Bend Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Cedar Bend Nature Area is the oldest park in Ann Arbor, dating back to the early 1900's. Enjoy the same scenic views of the Huron River that drew nature lovers to Cedar Bend over 100 years ago while helping to cut and remove invasive shrubs such as honeysuckle and buckthorn. Meet us at the Island Park parking lot, at the end of Island Drive. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, November 14
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Are you interested in learning more about how to care for our natural areas? Then join the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster for an informal discussion on a monthly topic with volunteer and professional land stewards, plus others interested in nature. Free! For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.
This month's topic: Communicating Conservation
One of the challenges facing restoration work is being able to communicate to a variety of audiences about its importance. Join us for a discussion on effectively communicating restoration work to improve engagement and awareness from neighbors, park visitors, and volunteers. Learn about some methods to tell your restoration story ranging from casual conversations with neighbors to field trips and nature walks with community members.

 

Stewardship Workday – Family Volunteer Day
Saturday, November 18
Dicken Woods Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon

Join the effort with NAP, the Friends of Dicken Woods, and neighbors to improve trails, clean up litter, and collect native seeds in this special woodland. Meet us at the end of Dicken Drive, off of South Maple Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, November 19
Marshall Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.

Tremendous progress has been made to increase the native habitat in this large, 87-acre preserve and we invite you to help continue the effort! We'll be removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, to give native plants a chance to thrive. Meet in the parking lot off Dixboro Road, north of Plymouth Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.


For more information about what each of these events may require, please read more about volunteering with NAP here.​​

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Contact Information
3875 E. Huron River Drive​
734.794.6627
David Borneman, Deputy Manager - Volunteerism and Natural Area Preservation​

Check out a map of Ann Arbor's parks!​
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NAP welcomes groups! We can schedule them to work at one of our public stewardship workdays, or depending on the group’s size and needs, we may schedule a special event. If you are interested in setting up a volunteer workday at a city natural area, please fill out our group form to get started!