January 6, 2017 - City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. This involves conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring and stewardship projects in Ann Arbor parks. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. Volunteer opportunities coming up in February are listed below. For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground for workday events. Workdays are suitable for all ages, but minors must be accompanied by a guardian, or contact NAP in advance to obtain a release form. Tools, snacks and know-how provided. Free.
Saturday, Feb. 4, 1–3 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.
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1–3 p.m.
Furstenberg Nature Area
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.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7:30–8:30 a.m.
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N. University Ave.
This free, informal discussion with the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor cluster is 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.
Monday, Feb. 20, 1–3 p.m.
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.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7–8:30 p.m.
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
Thursday, Feb. 23, noon–5 p.m.
Leslie Science and Nature Center's Nature House, 1831 Traver Road
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 Feb. 21, as enrollment is limited. Call 734.794.6627 or email NAP@a2gov.org to register or for more information.
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