Being a Park Neighbor

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​​​​​​​​ 3875 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Remy Long,
Deputy Manager

Tina Stephens,
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Becky Hand,
Stewardship Specialist

Rachel Maranto,
NAP Supervisor

As a park neighbor, you have probably discovered the many joys of living near a park, but did you know they also need our help? Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about how to care for our beautiful natural areas. If you can’t find the answer to your nature area question here, contact us at [email protected] or 734-794-6627.

What shoul​​d I do if I notice a problem in the park?

  • If there is an emergency or someone is breaking the law, call 911

  • If there is a non-emergency problem, like a tree has fallen across a trail or the park has been vandalized in some way, drop us an email or give us a call at 734-794-6627.

How can I h​el​p protect and restore the nature area in my neighborhood?

  • Please stay on trails.

    Damage can occur when vegetation or critters are crushed. Compounding the problem of vegetation loss is the potential for soil erosion.

  • Leave plants and other materials for others to enjoy. 

    Picking one or two flowers might not seem like a big deal, but what would happen if everyone who visited the park picked just one? 

  • Do not dump yard waste or other plant materials into the park. 

    They smother and kill any plants they cover.  Besides being unsightly, dangerous, and degrading our parks, dumping on park property is illegal and subject to fines.​

  • Pick up litter if you see it.

  • Do not build structures in the park.

  • Keep pets on a leash. 

    Do it for your pet’s sake!  A pet running off trail can be exposed to ticks, poison ivy, thorns, and burrs.  Additionally, even the most well behaved dogs can scare people or leave behind waste when off leash.

  • Enjoy camping at a campground or in your back yard, but not in the city parks. 

  • Volunteer with Natural Area Preservation (NAP). 

    Want to help in your favorite park?   Visit our volunteer page and check out our current volunteer stewardship calendar for upcoming events and trainings.

What can I do to keep invasive plants out of the nature areas?

  • Avoid using invasive plants when gardening or landscaping.
    As a park neighbor, what you grow in your yard can have a direct effect on the park.  Non-native, invasive plants can easily escape your planting and significantly disrupt natural communities. Note that most of them are garden escapees. If you have any questions about the plants listed, please don't hesitate to call us and ask!​
  • Use native plants whenever possible.
    NAP offers a series of five brochures on native plants: trees; shrubs; wildflowers; and vines, ferns, grasses, rushes and sedges. These are available for sale to assist you in choosing native plants for your garden. You can stop by our office and pick some up.  For a handy printable factsheet about native plants, you can click here (pdf); if you'd just like more information, head over to
  • Help remove invasives in the park and your yard.
    If you are already working to remove invasive species, thank you!  Please remember to properly dispose of yard waste to prevent invasives from spreading.  For more information, check out our Park Neighbors and Yard Waste Factsheet (pdf).

How ​can I stay in touch with NAP new​​s and events?

Click here to view our current newsletter and calendar of events.  If you would like to receive our free newsletter with the latest calendar of events quarterly, send us an email and let us know if you'd rather an electronic version or paper copy.

You can friend us on Facebook.