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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.

 

DECEMBER

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, December 3
Ruthven Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Ruthven Nature Area is lesser-known compared to nearby Furstenberg and Gallup Parks, but it certainly doesn't lack any of the beauty! Its unique landscape features a kame, a landform resulting from a crack in a glacier filling with sediment, which allows for incredibly complex ecological communities. Unfortunately, honeysuckle and buckthorn are encroaching on this great natural area and pushing out native plants. Help us remove these invasive species and provide better habitat for the wildlife that calls Ruthven home! Please meet at the Gallup boat launch parking lot, on the southeast corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Road. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. All minors must present a completed release form and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks and know-how are provided. Free.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, December 10
Miller Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Miller Nature Area's 22 acres include magnificent elm trees, breathtaking spring wildflowers, and miles of winding trails. 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. All minors must present a completed release form and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks and know-how are provided. Free.


JANUARY

Stewards' CircleTools for Restoration
Tuesday, January 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 - woods, creeks, prairies, wetlands? 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. This month's topic: Tools for Restoration. Restoration is a hands-on process and can require a lot of physical work. Learn about tools to make the job a bit easier and how to keep your tools properly maintained. For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.
 

Stewardship Workday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Monday, January 16
Black Pond Woods Nature Area
1 to 3 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity to make your day "off" a day "on" for community service. Help improve a park and protect biodiversity by removing invasive shrubs from Black Pond Woods Nature Area. Meet at the park entrance on Tibbits Court. If you would like to learn more about the MLK Day of Service mission, please visit the organization's website at www.mlkday.gov

Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground. All minors must present a completed release form, and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Citizen Pruner Training
Saturday, January 21
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Love trees? Looking for a new and unique way to volunteer in the community? Consider becoming a Citizen Pruner! Citizen Pruners volunteer during work days to care for newly planted city trees. We'll teach you everything you need to know. Training includes both indoor and outdoor time, so come prepared to be comfortable in both settings. Please register by January 17, email tstephens@a2gov.org or call 734.794.6627.

 

FEBRUARY

Stewardship Workday- World Wetland Day
Saturday, February 4
1 to 3 p.m.
Barton Nature Area
Take advantage of this winter opportunity to explore and improve one of Ann Arbor's special wetlands, usually inaccessible in warm months. Rare native wetland plants along the river here are threatened by invasive exotic shrubs. Help NAP protect the natural diversity in this park by using hand tools to remove invasive species. Meet at the Barton Dam parking lot off Huron River Drive. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All minors must present a completed release form, and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewardship Workday-
Sunday, February 12
Furstenberg Nature Area
1 to 3 p.m.
Build a "Fursty the Snowman" after participating in cutting invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and buckthorn at Furstenberg Nature Area. Furstenberg has lots of different habitat to protect, and with the ground frozen, we can work in the wetlands here, protecting rare wetland wildflowers. Meet in the parking lot off Fuller Road, across from Huron High School.

Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground. All minors must present a completed release form, and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Stewards' Circle:  Prescribed Fire
Tuesday, February 14
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 am
A free, informal discussion with the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster. Open to anyone interested. This month's topic: Fire is our most historically accurate restoration tool. What is the role of fire in ecosystems? What invasive species is fire particularly useful for removing? What are some of the obstacles to using fire in an urban setting and how do you address them? Stewards will discuss these tough questions. For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org.

Stewardship Workday - Presidents' Day
Monday, February 20, 1 to 3 p.m.
Gallup Park
Gallup Park is one of Ann Arbor's most popular recreation areas, and also contains a high quality sedge meadow. The meadow is rich with special native grasses, sedges, and wildflowers that are adapted to living in wet soils. We'll take advantage of the frozen ground to get in and remove invasive woody shrubs that crowd out native species. From Gallup's main entrance, drive across the wooden bridge, meet in the first lot after the bridge.

Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground. All minors must present a completed release form, and should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

 

Public Meeting:  Controlled Burn Program
Wednesday, February 22
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Fire is used as a restoration tool in many of Ann Arbor's natural areas. This meeting will be a discussion about our Controlled Ecological Burn Program. Ask questions and learn more about the benefits of effectively and safely using fire as a restoration tool.

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.

 

Volunteer Burn Crew Training
Thursday, February 23
Leslie Science and Nature Center's Nature House
1831 Traver Rd
Noon to 5 p.m.
Become a part of NAP's Volunteer Burn Crew! This is the required training session for anyone interested in assisting with NAP's controlled burns. Burns typically take place Monday through Friday between noon and 7 p.m. Registration is required by February 21, as enrollment is limited. Call 734.794.6627 or email NAP@a2gov.org to register or for more information.

 

MARCH


Salamander Survey Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 11

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road
Noon to 2 p.m.
Did you know we have at least five species of salamanders in Ann Arbor? If you have a willingness to get muddy, you're invited to help monitor populations and the health of their habitats. Surveying is done three to six times in early spring at multiple sites, and each round is a few hours long. Please register by March 9. For more information or to register call NAP 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

 

Frog and Toad Survey Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 11
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road
2:30 to 5 p.m.
Everyone is invited to join us to help monitor frog populations in Ann Arbor! It's fun learning to identify the frogs of Michigan by ear and eye. No previous experience required. Family-friendly! Surveying is done three to six times from early spring through June, and each round lasts a few hours. Please register by March 9. For more information or to register call NAP 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

 

Stewards' Circle – River and Stream Restoration
Tuesday, March 14
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
A free, informal discussion with the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster. Open to anyone interested. This month's topic: River and Stream Restoration: A lot of our conservation focus is spent on terrestrial ecosystems and restoration, however, it is just as important to protect our rivers and streams. Join us for a discussion about rivers, fluvial ecosystems, and the best practices to protect them. For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org

 

Photo Monitoring Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 25
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Dr
10 to 11:00 a.m.
Do you like photography and spending time outdoors? Photo monitoring may be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! We need volunteers to take beautiful photos at specific locations each season to record the progress of our restoration work. Come join us at this informational meeting for more details about this volunteer opportunity! Please register by March 19. For more information or to register call NAP 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

 

Workday Leader Training
Saturday, March 25

NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Dr
Noon to 5:30 p.m.
For volunteers interested in leading and/or co-leading NAP volunteer stewardship workdays. We will focus on procedures, ecological considerations, tips and tricks to lead a successful event. An interest and background in ecology (and plant ID) is strongly desired, but not required. A strong commitment to preserving the environment, while fostering community and engaging the public is necessary. Participants should be dressed for classroom and possible field training. Minimum age of 18. Please register by March 19. For more information or to register call NAP 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.


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!