Volunteer Stewardship Calendar

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Skip Navigation LinksHome » Departments » Parks and Recreation » Natural Area Preservation » Volunteering » Volunteer Stewardship Calendar

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


734.794.6627

Tina Stephens,
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Becky Hand,
Stewardship Specialist

Rachel Maranto,
NAP Supervisor

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!​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Please come out a​​nd join us for one of these free events!  

How do​ I sign up to volunteer?

​Pre-registration through VolunteerHub is encouraged for workdays, so we can be as prepared as possible. Links to to register are in each event listed below, or go directly to our VolunteerHub page

What if I h​​ave a large group?

​If you have a large group (more than five people) interested in attending a volunteer workday, please contact our Work​day Coordinator at least two weeks in advance of the event. 

We work outside rain or shine, so please be prepared:

  • Wear LONG SLEEVES, LONG PANTS, TALL SOCKS, and closed-toe SHOES OR BOOTS.
  • Dress for the weather – layers recommended.
  • Bring a water bottle.

Nature happens, so please be awa​re of hazards:

  • Natural areas may have thorns, poison ivy, ticks, and mosquitoes.
  • Work locations may be in full sun or have minimal shade.
  • Conditions in the park may be snowy or muddy.
  • Terrain may be hilly or steep.

​July 2024


K-5 Nature Crafts: Build a Fish
Wednesday, July 10
3-4:30 p.m.
Bandemer Park Shelter

Explore what lives in the Huron River (from dry land) and create your own local fish!

Meet at the Bandemer Park Shelter, entering the park from Barton Shore Drive. (Then take the trail from the southeast corner of the parking lot.) For K-5 students accompanied by an adult. Please dress to be prepared for all weather. Some trails at this park are unpaved and the group will briefly go off-trail. Preregistration through VolunteerHub is required. NAP uses VolunteerHub to manage participant waivers – please create individual accounts for each child. (Adults can use their own email address for child accounts). Feel free to call NAP for assistance, 734.794.6627.  

 
K-5 Forest Fridays: Turtle Time
Friday, July 12
4:30-6 p.m.
Gallup Park Boat Launch

Learn about Michigan turtles, what they're doing during the summer, and take a one-mile hike on and off-trail to try to spot some! It might get muddy, so wear your boots!

Meet at the Gallup boat launch parking lot, at the southeast corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Rd. For K-5 students accompanied by an adult. Please dress to be prepared for all weather. Some trails at this park are unpaved and the group will briefly go off-trail. Preregistration through VolunteerHub is required. NAP uses VolunteerHub to manage participant waivers – please create individual accounts for each child. (Adults can use their own email address for child accounts). Feel free to call NAP for assistance, 734.794.6627.  


Stewardship Workday
Ruthven Nature Area
Saturday, July 13
9 a.m.-noon

Ruthven Nature Area's unique landscape includes a kame – a sandy hill left behind by melting glaciers. This hill overlooks Gallup Pond and the Huron River valley. The slopes and different soils in this park represent an opportunity for great biodiversity! After many years of diligent work, NAP and its dedicated volunteers have expanded the natural habitat allowing the wildflowers and other native plants to thrive and attract native wildlife. Come out to help pull invasive weeds by hand and continue this work supporting biodiversity.
Meet at the park entrance off Huron Parkway. If driving: park at the Gallup boat launch parking lot, then follow the park path and use the crosswalk to get to the Ruthven Huron Parkway entrance (look for the NAP truck). Volunteers will pull herbaceous weeds from the ground by hand. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 
Nature Walk with AADL
Meet Your Parks: Birding Brigade!
Saturday, July 13
10-11:30 a.m.
Furstenberg Nature Area

Join Natural Area Preservation (NAP) and Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) for a nature walk at Furstenberg Nature Area! The second Saturday of the month we explore a new park and discover who lives there by focusing on local animals, trees, birds, insects, flowers and more! We will be on the paved trail, the boardwalk, and some narrow unpaved trails. These walks will be led by a representative from Natural Area Preservation.

Meet at the parking lot off Fuller Road. Bring your own binoculars if you have them, or some will be available to borrow. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult. Please come prepared to hike for a mile or two on uneven terrain, rain or shine.

 
Stewardship Workday
Kuebler Langford Nature Area
Sunday, July 21
9 a.m. - noon

Walking through Kuebler Langford today you might not realize that some parts of the park were used as a staging area for the construction of M-14! The majority of the park was fortunately left in good ecological condition. A prairie exists on the east end of the park – where NAP conducted a controlled burn this spring! After the regenerative practice of burning, the prairie should be looking fabulous! Come out to remove some of the remaining harmful invasive plants to help this prairie thrive!

Meet at the park entrance on Beechwood Dr, north of Sunset Rd. Volunteers will pull herbaceous weeds from the ground by hand. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 
Stiltgrass Workshop
Botsford Preserve
Wednesday, July 24
6-7:30 p.m.

Join the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation and Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation for a workshop at the Botsford Preserve to learn effective techniques for identification and management of stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum). Stiltgrass is an aggressive and prolific invasive plant spreading in parks, back yards, and other natural areas in Washtenaw County and beyond. It only takes three years for stiltgrass to take over an area – smothering native plants, and depleting biodiversity and habitat – so early detection is essential. (Not to worry, this city/county collaboration will demonstrate control methods and share success stories!)

Meet at the Forest Cove Office Campus, 3001 Miller Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Preregister through VolunteerHub so organizers can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. Botsford Preserve has rustic unpaved trails with uneven surfaces and varying widths. This event may travel off-trail.

 ​​
Stewardship Workday
Furstenberg Nature Area
FRIDAY, July 26
9 a.m. – noon

Why not spend this Friday afternoon at Furstenberg, a lovely and diverse natural area along the Huron River?  The 38 acres here offer wetland, woodland, prairie, and oak savanna natural communities. Being so close to the river, any work done to improve the natural environment here will have a lasting impact on the watershed and the wildlife and residents who depend on it. Native plants are powerhouses of filtration and flood mitigation – volunteers can help them thrive by removing invasive weeds from the ground by hand.
Meet at the parking lot off Fuller Rd. Volunteers will pull herbaceous weeds from the ground by hand. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

​ 

August 2024​


K-5 Forest Fridays
Seeking Snakes
Friday, August 2
4:30-6 p.m.
Dolph Nature Area
Learn about Michigan snakes, what they're doing during the summer, and take a (hilly) one-mile hike on and off-trail to try to spot some! Remember to wear your closed-toe shoes and long pants!

Meet at the parking lot off Wagner Rd. For K-5 students accompanied by an adult. Please dress to be prepared for weather. Trails at this park are unpaved and the group will briefly go off-trail. Preregistration through VolunteerHub is required. NAP uses VolunteerHub to manage participant waivers – please create individual accounts for each child. (Adults can use their own email address for child accounts). Feel free to call NAP for assistance, 734.794.6627.  


Stewardship Workday
Bird Hills Nature Area
Saturday, August 3
9 a.m. – noon
One of Ann Arbor's most beloved natural area​s – and the largest of Ann Arbor's parks – Bird Hills can give you that feeling of being immersed in nature. Named for the Bird family (but one could hardly be blamed for thinking it's because of the many, many amazing bird species that can be found here) this hilly park overlooks the oxbow of the Huron River. Spend a shady Sunday removing invasive plants alongside other volunteers.

Meet at the entrance on Bird Road, west of Huron River Drive (add'l parking in Barton Nature Area-Dam Entrance). Depending on weather and site conditions, volunteers will pull weeds from the ground by hand or cut shrubs using hand tools. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).
 
 
K-5 Nature Crafts
Build a Bug
Wednesday, August 7
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Island Park Shelter A
Learn about local bugs and build your own out of Catalpa tree bean pods.

Meet at Island Park Shelter A, the first shelter you'll see when arriving at the park. For K-5 students accompanied by an adult. Please dress to be prepared for all weather. Some trails at this park are unpaved and the group will briefly go off-trail. Preregistration through VolunteerHub is required. NAP uses VolunteerHub to manage participant waivers – please create individual accounts for each child. (Adults can use their own email address for child accounts). Feel free to call NAP for assistance, 734.794.6627. 


Nature Walk with AADL
Meet Your Parks: Prairie Parade!
Saturday, August 10
10-11:30 a.m.
Ruthven Nature Area
Join Natural Area Preservation (NAP) and Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) for a nature walk at Ruthven Nature Area! The second Saturday of the month we explore a new park and discover who lives there by focusing on local animals, trees, birds, insects, flowers and more! These walks will be led by a representative from Natural Area Preservation.

Meet at the Gallup boat launch parking lot, at the southeast corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Rd. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult. Please come prepared to hike for a mile or two on uneven terrain, rain or shine. Ground nesting bees can live in prairies, so this walk is not recommended for folks with allergies to stinging insects. The trail may be muddy, please wear appropriate footwear.


Stewardship Workday
Gallup Wet Prairie
Sunday, August 11
9 a.m. – noon
Wetlands! Vitally important to our communities… and our planet! A unique wetland called a wet prairie lies alongside the Border-to-Border Trail at Gallup Park. Home to several rare plant species, the sensitive wet prairie needs lots of support from human hands to keep invasive plants from intruding and taking over. Don't let that description scare you – this work is for any willing volunteer who can put don some wellies and pull some weeds – NAP will teach you everything you need to know. It's easy and fun!

Meet at the Devonshire Park trailhead on Devonshire Rd​. Depending on weather and site conditions, volunteers will pull weeds from the ground by hand or cut shrubs using hand tools. ​

  • ​Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. 
  • The Gallup wet prairie requires work in particularly wet areas with dense vegetation. 
  • The work location is ​approximately ​a 1/2 mile walk down a paved path ​from the meeting location at Devonshire. 

Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).


Stewardship Workday
Kuebler Langford Nature Area
FRIDAY, August 23
9 a.m. - noon
Since the time of its acquisition, Kuebler Langford has been a park of importance to the people of Ann Arbor. As this natural area continues to recover from top-soil removal and compaction from the 1970's, we are left with areas of stunning prairie and forests. Because Kuebler Langford was fought for and won by the people of Ann Arbor, it is a wonderful feeling to contribute to the ongoing effort to bring health and beauty back to this natural area.

Meet at the Beechwood entrance off of Sunset Rd. Depending on weather and site conditions, volunteers will pull weeds from the ground by hand or cut shrubs using hand tools. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Pre-register through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 

Swift Nights Out with Washtenaw Bird & Nature Alliance
City of Ann Arbor Area Roosts
Friday, August 23, Saturday, August 24, and Sunday, August 25
8 - 9 p.m.​
Washtenaw Bird & Nature Alliance and the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation invite you to join us for our Annual Ann Arbor-Washtenaw County Chimney Swift count. Watching Chimney Swifts enter their roosts at dusk is a spectacular sight (video and more information here). Volunteers will choose a known Chimney Swift roosting location and stake it out before dusk, counting the Swifts as they enter the chimney, as darkness falls. You can sign up for one night/one location at a time, or count each night of the weekend. 
Chimney Swifts are in steep decline across North America, so let’s help find out how they are doing in Washtenaw County. Habitat loss is one reason, as well as decline of the insects they eat, and other unknown factors. We are helping bird science by conducting this count! Bring your friends and family to show them how these very cool aerial insectivores share our cities and towns with us. ​
If you know of an active roost that’s not listed, email City Ornithologist, Juliet Berger and she will add it to the sign up. Sign up for d​ates and locations here.​


September 2024


Stewardship Workday
Dhu Varren Nature Area
Saturday, September 7
9 a.m. – noon
What has big smelly leaves, “perfect" flowers, sprawling suckers, and can be found at Dhu Varren? Find out when you join NAP for some shady September stewardship! A native understory plant, it is often found in moist, deep, rich soils like those at Dhu Varren. Invasive plants threaten the habitat of this distant relative to one of the oldest flowering plants in North America, that also can produce some delicious fruit. Help support this curious “dog-eared" plant (and other native plants and animals) by removing invasive shrubs.

Meet at the intersection of Birchwood Dr. and Dhu Varren Rd. Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).
 
 
Stewardship Workday
Patriot's Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance
Huron Parkway Nature Area
Wednesday, September 11
1-4 p.m.
As stewards of Ann Arbor's natural areas, NAP volunteers serve the greater community by bolstering the local ecosystem, maintaining, and expanding access to quality experiences in nature and strengthening bonds through volunteerism. Commemorate this Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance with NAP by working together to clean up foliage and make way for native plants to flourish.

Meet at the Park Steward's house—3470 Woodland Rd, off East Huron River Dr. Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 

Stewardship Workday
Argo Nature Area
Sunday, September 15
9 a.m.-noon
Argo Nature Area provides hikers with breathtaking views of the Huron River, and riverside habitat for native plants and animals. The slopes on the north end of the park are slowly, steadily being cleared of invasive shrubs by volunteers who want to help native plants and animals have a place to survive and thrive. Join in on the fun of cutting invasive shrubs with other motivated folks while enjoying the view!

Meet on Longshore Dr at Amherst Ave. Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 


Stewardship Workday
National Cleanup Day
Olson Nature Area
Saturday, September 21
1-4 p.m.
National Cleanup Day, in concert with the UN's World Cleanup Day, sets out to engage community members in cleaning up waste like trash and litter – so NAP is expanding the definitions to include invasive plants! What could be more trashy than rapidly spreading shrubs that threaten the ecosystem? Join other community members to clean up natural habitat and help spread awareness of the need for clean and invasive-free natural areas.

Meet at the entrance on Dhu Varren Rd, just east of Pontiac Trail. Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 


Stewardship Workday
Hickory Nature Area
FRIDAY, September 27
1-4 p.m.
One of the newest city nature areas in Ann Arbor, Hickory is ready for help from volunteers like you. Many native tree species call Hickory home like – you guessed it – hickories! Also you'll find oaks, ironwood, and hackberry trees along with trillium and prickly gooseberry. Spend your Friday afternoon helping remove invasive shrubs that divert sunlight, water, air, and nutrients away from the native plants and their wildlife friends.

Meet at the park entrance on Dillon Dr. Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).

 


Stewardship Workday
National Public Lands Day
Ruthven Nature Area
Saturday, September 28
9 a.m.-noon
#NationalPublicLandsDay is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994, this celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve #publiclands around the country. NPLD is special because it provides all lovers of the environment—old and new—an opportunity to show our appreciation for these precious natural resources through stewardship. Join NAP at Ruthven on NPLD to cut and remove invasive shrubs.  

Meet at the park entrance off Huron Parkway. If driving: park at the Gallup launch parking lot, then follow the park path and use the crosswalk to get to the Ruthven Huron Parkway entrance (look for the NAP truck). Volunteers will use hand tools to cut small-to-medium shrubs. Workday sites have unpaved trails and require going off-trail. Preregister through VolunteerHub so NAP can plan on enough staff and supplies for a safe and successful event. For your safety, wear long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. More information: How to prepare for a NAP workday (PDF).​