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 8
Oakwoods Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Aristotle said in all things nature, there is something marvelous. Take the opportunity to admire the starker beauty of winter while fostering native habitat by removing non-native plants. Meet us at the park entrance off Dunwoodie. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground. All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.


Stewardship Workday
Saturday, December 8
Bluffs Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
Bluffs Nature Area is around 40 acres of beautiful Michigan habitat. Under NAP's care, prairies and oak seedlings are establishing here after many years of disturbance. Take part in our effort to restore this area by removing invasive shrubs such as honeysuckle. Meet us at the entrance on Sunset Road near Wildt Street. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.


Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, December 11
Bruegger's Bagels, 709 N University Ave
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 am
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: Controlling invasive shrubs
During the fall and winter our work often turns to non-native shrubs. What can be done to keep these aggressive invaders out? Join us to discuss the dynamics of controlling invasive shrubs and restoring with natives.

JANUARY

Stewardship Workday- National Bird Day
Saturday, January 5
Olson Park
1 to 3 p.m.
Bird day celebrates the beauty, song, and flight of birds. Olson Park is great place to bird watch, from migrant waterfowl in the wetland to songbirds in the meadow. Help us improve the habitat for these native birds by removing invasive shrubs. Meet us at the park entrance on Dhu Varren Road, just east of Pontiac Trail. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, January 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: Maximizing the Benefits of Controlled Burns
Some controlled burns can be more effective than others. Let's discuss how we can be more rigorous about choosing where to burn and how to maximize the benefits. Bring your examples of burns that have had minimal or maximum effects.

Stewardship Workday- Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Monday, January 21
Barton Nature Area
1 to 3 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “anyone can be great because anyone can serve". Honor his legacy by turning your “day off" into a “day on" for community service at Barton Nature Area. The wetlands along this horseshoe shaped curve in the river benefit both humans and wildlife. Help us improve these wetlands and create habitat for turtles. 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 participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

Citizen Pruner Training
Classroom session: Wednesday, January 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Outdoor skills session: Saturday, January 26, 10 a.m. to noon
Looking for a new and unique way to volunteer in the community? Consider becoming a Citizen Pruner! Citizen Pruners volunteer at tree pruning workdays that happen on select weekends between January and March. We'll teach you everything you need to know. Please note that both sessions and a commitment to volunteering with the program is required. Please register by January 21, by emailing tstephens@a2gov.org or calling 734.794.6627.

FEBRUARY

Stewardship Workday- World Wetlands Day
Saturday, February 2
Gallup Park
1 to 3 p.m.
World Wetlands Day highlights the importance of wetlands to our communities and our planet. A unique wetland lies alongside the Border-to-Border Trail at Gallup Park. This wet prairie is home to several rare plant species. Join in our efforts to keep this ecosystem healthy by removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn. 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 participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, February 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: New Invasives
We all know too well about buckthorn, Phragmites, and garlic mustard and what they do to our native habitats, but what are the newer SE Michigan invaders to be on the lookout for? Learn about wild parsnip, swallow-wort, Chinese yam, mile-a-minute, and other invasives that are only now starting to gain a toe-hold in our area. What are the key characteristics to identify them and how do you report and control them when seen?

Stewardship Workday
Sunday, February 17
Foxfire West Park
1 to 3 p.m.
Being outside in nature in the winter has proven health benefits. Get some fresh air and vitamin D while working to improve biodiversity! The wetlands at Foxfire West are threatened by non-native shrubs. Help improve the habitat for frogs and other wildlife by removing these invaders. Meet us at the park entrance on Birchwood Drive, between Hickory Point Drive and Timbercrest Court. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

Stewardship Workday- Presidents Day
Monday, February 18
Leslie Park
1 to 3 p.m.
Spend your day off volunteering to help wildlife! A wet meadow lies on the border of Leslie Park and Black Pond Woods, but it is threatened by invasive shrubs. Clearing shrubs from this wetland will benefit both frogs and butterflies. Meet at the parking lot at the end of Leslie Park Circle, off Dhu Varren Road. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

Public Meeting:  Controlled Burn Program
Tuesday, February 19
Northside Community Center, 815 Taylor Street
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
Wednesday, February 20
DTE Energy Nature House, Leslie Science and Nature Center
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 18, as enrollment is limited. Call 734.794.6627 or email NAP@a2gov.org to register or for more information. Some portion of training may be outdoors.

Winter Nature Walk
Sunday, February 24
Furstenberg Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
Want to learn more about how to identify different types of trees without their leaves? Can you tell the native species from the non-native? Kick off National Invasive Species Awareness week with us by learning to identify native and non-native trees and shrubs in the winter. Please dress for the weather and be prepared for a long hike. Meet at the parking lot off Fuller Road.

Stewardship Workdays- National Invasive Species Awareness Week
Invasive species are among the greatest threats to our native biodiversity. Each morning this week we will be working to remove non-native invasive species such as honeysuckle and buckthorn from Ann Arbor's Nature Areas. Join us to improve habitat in our city. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.  All participants must complete a release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.

  • Monday, February 25
    Oakwoods Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    This oak-hickory woodland includes a small pond and wetland, which are great spots for birdwatching or listening for frog calls. Meet at the park entrance off of Dunwoodie.
  • Tuesday, February 26
    Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    This park is 13 acres of woodland surrounded by oak, hickory, and maple trees. Meet at the intersection of Birchwood Drive and Dhu Varren Road.
  • Wednesday, February 27
    Leslie Woods Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    This woodland has some of the largest oaks in the Ann Arbor parks, plus a very diverse understory. Meet us at the park entrance at the north end of Upland Drive, north of Plymouth Road.
  • Thursday, February 28
    Argo Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    The oak-hickory woods here overlook Argo Pond, and owls and hawks nest in the trees. Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive.
  • Friday, March 1
    Arbor Hills Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    Arbor Hills Nature Area is a small park, but home to an intricate community of wetlands and woods. Meet at the park entrance on Ashburnham.
  • Saturday, March 2
    Furstenberg Nature Area
    10 a.m. to noon
    This park along the river has high ecological diversity, including restored prairie and oak savanna. Meet in the parking lot off Fuller Road.

MARCH

Salamander Survey Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 9
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave
Noon- 2 p.m.
Learn how to help NAP monitor salamanders in Ann Arbor's parks – there are 5 species here! Volunteers will select parks to survey and learn how to identify these rarely-seen amphibians. Must be willing to walk in the woods on rainy cold nights in early spring, and look under logs in spring and summer. Please register by March 6. For more information or to register call NAP at 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

Frog and Toad Survey Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 9
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Everyone is invited to help monitor frog populations in Ann Arbor! No experience required! You will learn to identify frogs by ear and eye, and will select a route to survey. Then, once per month, March through June travel a route through the city at night, stopping to listen for frogs along the way. Most routes require driving. Please register by March 6. For more information or to register call NAP at 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, March 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: Personal Safety in the Field
Are you concerned about doing field work alone? What should you do if you see suspicious activity? What can you do to protect yourself? Join us and Ann Arbor police to discuss keeping yourself safe while out in the field.

Photo Monitoring Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 23
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive
10-11 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 photos at specific locations in parks throughout the year to record ecological changes and the progress of our restoration work. Come join us at this informational meeting for more details about this volunteer opportunity! Please register by March 21. For more information or to register call NAP at 734.794.6627, or send us an email at NAP@a2gov.org.

Workday Leader Training
Saturday, March 23
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive
Noon – 3:30 p.m.
This is for volunteers interested in leading and/or co-leading NAP volunteer stewardship workdays. We will focus on procedures, ecological consideration, and 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 21. For more information or to register call NAP at 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!