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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.

JUNE

Stewardship Workday – National Trails Day
Saturday, June 3
Bird Hills Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
The site of NAP's first ever public workday in 1994, and ranked second highest overall in the City's Floristic Quality Assessment, Bird Hills is a great place to participate in stewardship activities! Bring friends and family to help do some trail maintenance for the benefit of park-goers. Meet at the Newport Rd. entrance, just north of M-14. 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 provided.


Summertime Frog & Toad Survey Training
Saturday, June 3
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Dr.
1 to 3 p.m.
Learn to identify and record summer breeding frogs & toads by sight and sound in this second kick-off training. Surveys are fun, family-friendly, and require no previous experience. For more information or to register, please call NAP at 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.


Stewardship Workday – National Trails Day
Saturday, June 3
The Ponds Park
1 to 4 p.m.
Come help build a trail through the park and come back to enjoy the fun playground features and scenic pond that this site has to offer. Meet at the park entrance at the corner of Emerald Ave and Candlewick 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, June 4
Huron Parkway Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Huron Parkway Nature Area is a 19-acre park with an oak-hickory woodland and an open understory. Bring friends and family out to support the beautiful native plants of this park by hand pulling garlic mustard and other invasive plants. 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.

 

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, June 4
Leslie Woods Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
This is not a large park, but it has some of the most towering trees in the city! Come visit them, and protect their seedlings from invasive garlic mustard and other species. We've made a lot of progress restoring the woodland here, and we want to keep the momentum. Family and friends are welcome to help pull. Meet us at the park entrance at the north end of Upland Drive, 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.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, June 10
Ruthven Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
We've made many improvements restoring native wildflowers here, and now we need to maintain Ruthven's trails. Meet us at the Gallup 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.

 

Bird Walk
Saturday, June 10
Ann Arbor Landfill/Wheeler Service Center
7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
The fields at Wheeler Service Center are home to uncommon grassland birds, including Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. We'll find these and other grassland species and look for waterfowl on the pond. Please come prepared to walk in fields of tall grass. Bring binoculars if you have them, but they are not required. Use the Platt Road entrance and look for us in the small parking lot at the first turnoff on the right.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, June 10
Furstenberg Native Garden
9 a.m. to noon
Help us weed and preserve this native garden amidst the 38 acres of Furstenberg Nature Area, featuring some of the most diverse flora anywhere in Ann Arbor. You're certain to learn a lot about native plants from Park Steward and Master Gardener Aunita Erskine.  Please meet in the parking lot off Fuller 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, June 10
Argo Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
Come enjoy a day by the river in this 22-acre park. We will be pulling springtime invasives to make room for wildflowers and other native plants. We may also do some trail work. These activities will make the area more accessible to visitors while improving 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.

 

Stewardship Workday – National Get Outdoors Day
Sunday, June 11
Redbud Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
Redbud Nature Area is home to a wonderful small prairie that needs your help. It has many native plants that are competing with invasive species like garlic mustard. Help us remove these invasive species so more natives can thrive and provide food and habitat for wildlife. 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.

 

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, June 13thth
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:
Sometimes it can be good to go back to the basics when a new summer season comes around. Join us for a discussion about land preservation basics with Barry Lonik! Whether you are new to land preservation or you've been stewarding for a long while, a return to the basics can be a great intro or an opportunity to contribute your knowledge. 


Stewardship Workday - Pollinator Week
Saturday, June 24
Bluffs Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Bluffs Nature Area offers trails for bikers, walkers and runners along with interesting views of the river and a small hidden prairie. Volunteers are needed to pull invasive plants that provide little food for wildlife and crowd out native wildflowers. 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.

 

Nature Walk with Ann Arbor District Library
Thursday, June 29
Barton Nature Area
6:30 to 8 p.m.
This unique nature area is cradled by an oxbow in the Huron River, which supports a patchwork of interesting habitats like wet meadow, upland prairie, and mesic forests. Much of this nature area is old farmland. Come learn about and experience these communities! Staff from Natural Area Preservation will lead a family-friendly nature walk through the woods. Meet at the Barton Dam parking lot on Huron River 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!


JULY

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, July 9
Barton Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Restoration work here has brought back a grassland in this bend of the river, but it is being invaded by exotic weed species. Volunteers will help protect the park's diversity by pulling summer invasives in these prairies. Meet at the Barton Dam parking lot on 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.

 

Huron River Day
Sunday, July 9
Gallup Park
12 to 4 p.m.

Huron River Day activities will be held at Gallup Park from noon to 4 p.m. Have fun discovering and learning about the Huron River. Paddle a boat with $5/boat canoe and kayak rentals, visit the exhibit tents to learn about the river and enjoy live music all on the banks of the beautiful Huron River. Among the many activities offered will be a children's tent with the enviro-challenge game; step into a Butterfly House; and try out stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Musical entertainment and food will all be part of the fun. Ride your bike to the event, and your boat rental will be free. Bicycle valet parking will be provided by Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition.


Stewards' Circle – Political Action
Tuesday, July 11
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: Political Action with Yousef Rabhi
Join us for a discussuion with State Representtive Yousef Rabhi about how to navigate the political system to advocate for the environment at all levels of government.

 

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, July 15
Furstenberg Native Garden
9 a.m. to noon
Park Steward and Master Gardener Aunita Erskine will lead this workday, maintaining the Native Garden at this park. Furstenberg's Native Garden is a living demonstration of the beauty of native wildflowers, both a help for identification and an example of how they can be used in landscaping. Please meet in the parking lot off of Fuller 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, July 15
Furstenberg Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
This park along the river has high ecological diversity, including restored prairie and oak savanna. Help is needed to protect it from invasive weeds that crowd out natives and provide little food for wildlife. Please meet in the parking lot off Fuller 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, July 27
Bluffs Nature Area
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Home to many trails with access to a small prairie tucked away within the oak-hickory woods, Bluffs is around 40 acres of beautiful Michigan habitat. Under NAP's care, prairies and oak seedlings are establishing here after many years of disturbance. Staff from Natural Area Preservation will lead a family-friendly nature walk through the woods. Meet at the entrance on Sunset Road near Wildt Street. 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
Saturday, July 29
Bluffs Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Volunteers are needed to remove invasive plants that provide little food for wildlife and crowd out native wildflowers. This park offers some interesting views of the river and has a small hidden 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
Sunday, July 30
Marshall Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
This large park (almost 90 acres) is near natural areas owned by the County and the University of Michigan. This large area of contiguous natural habitat makes each individual part that much more valuable for conservation. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive plant species that are invading the open woodlands and meadows here. 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.

 

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!



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!