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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 2
The Ponds Park
1 to 4 p.m.
The Ponds is a small neighborhood park that was recently upgraded with a trail through the natural area. Help us extend the trail so this area can be enjoyed by more neighbors. 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, December 3
Barton Nature Area
1 to 4 p.m.
Because of the many ecosystems found at Barton Nature Area, this park has a high diversity of native plants. However, encroaching invasive species can threaten native plants and animals. Learn to identify and remove honeysuckle and buckthorn while also collecting native seeds in the prairie. 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.

Stewardship Workday
Saturday, December 9
Stapp Nature Area
9 a.m. to noon
Stapp Nature Area is one of our more pristine natural areas, with native plants composing nearly eighty percent of the total flora. The park's mature oak-hickory forest is home to deer and several cavity-dwelling bird species, while a vernal pool draws frogs, toads, and salamanders. Volunteers and NAP staff have worked hard throughout the years to maintain the high environmental quality of this park, but invasive shrubs are threatening to undo these efforts! Join us to cut back invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn to make room for our native plants to flourish. Meet at the park sign at the corner of Huron Parkway and Tuebingen Parkway. 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, December 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: Native Seeds
Planting with native seeds is an important part of restoration. What are the best techniques for collecting and storing seeds? How do you prepare sites and design and install seed mixes? Join us to discuss the use of native seeds in your restoration efforts.

JANUARY


Stewards' Circle
Tuesday, January 9
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: Formal Approaches to Native Landscaping
Native plantings play an essential role in providing habitat, capturing stormwater, and reducing soil erosion. Sometimes native plantings are seen as unruly and disorganized. Learn about how formal approaches to native landscaping can be an effective demonstration tool in showing others how natives can be beautiful and provide important ecological value.

Stewardship Workday- Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Monday, January 15
Barton 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 Barton Nature Area and protect biodiversity by removing invasive shrubs. Meet at the Barton Dam parking lot on 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. . If you would like to learn more about the MLK Day of Service mission, please visit the organization's website at www.mlkday.gov.


Woody Plant ID in Winter
Sunday, January 21
Bird Hills Nature Area
1 to 3 p.m.
Love trees but mystified about how to recognize them without leaves? Join us for a winter walk through the woods to learn key characters for recognizing at least a dozen common Michigan species by twigs, bark, and habitat. You'll also leave with skills for using plant keys.  Please dress for spending the entire time outdoors including warm hiking boots suitable for potentially slippery trails.  Meet us in the Barton Dam parking lot on Huron River Drive.


Citizen Pruner Training
Saturday, January 27
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Looking for a new and unique way to volunteer in the community? Consider becoming a Citizen Pruner! Citizen Pruners volunteer at winter workdays 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 22, by emailing tstephens@a2gov.org or calling 734.794.6627. Pre-registration is required to attend this training, as space is limited.  

FEBRUARY


Stewardship Workday- World Wetland Day
Saturday, February 3
1 to 3 p.m.
Gallup 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. 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.


Stewardship Workday
Sunday, February 11
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area
1 to 3 p.m.
Come help preserve the mature oak hickory woodland by cutting invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. 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: Controlled Burns
Tuesday, February 13
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: Controlled Burns
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.


Stewardship Workday - Presidents' Day
Monday, February 19
Foxfire West Park
1 to 3 p.m.
This little park is nestled in a neighborhood in the northern reaches of Ann Arbor. Help us remove invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn to improve the habitat for the many frog and toad species that call this area home. Meet 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.


Public Meeting:
  Controlled Burn Program
Wednesday, February 21
Veterans Memorial Park Meeting Room
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 22
DTE Energy 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 20, 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.

MARCH

Salamander Survey Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 3
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave
Noon- 2 p.m.
Learn how to help NAP monitor salamanders in Ann Arbor's parks– we have at least 5 species here! Volunteers will be trained to identify salamanders and select parks to survey. Must be willing to walk in the woods on rainy cold nights in early spring, and take day surveys in spring and summer. Please register by March 1. 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 3
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Everyone is invited to help monitor frog populations in Ann Arbor! Volunteers will be trained to identify frogs by ear and eye and will select a route to survey. No previous experience required! Surveying is done on night trips, at least once per month, March through June. Most routes require driving. Please register by March 1. 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 13
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.


Photo Monitoring Kick-off & Training
Saturday, March 24
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 beautiful photos at specific locations in parks throughout the year 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 22. 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 24
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive
Noon – 5 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 22. 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!