Volunteers assist NAP in all aspects of our work, and are vital to NAP's efforts. NAP projects take volunteers beyond the realm of litter clean-up into working to restore and care for natural areas. Through hands-on tasks and scientific knowledge, we encourage a connection between volunteers and their surrounding natural environment. Volunteers play an key role in fostering an environmental ethic in the community.
How can I volunteer with Natural Area Preservation?
Check out our Volunteer Stewardship Calendar for future events and trainings!
Join us in Ann Arbor's natural areas to remove invasive species, improve trails, and collect and disperse native seeds. In the spring and summer, we pull invasive weeds by hand, and in cooler (and cold!) months, we cut down invasive shrubs with loppers and hand saws.
Workdays are scheduled on most weekends during the spring, summer, and fall throughout the park system. To join in, pre-registration through VolunteerHub is encouraged, so we can be prepared. If you're bringing a group of five or more, please email us in advance so we can have enough equipment and staff. Find out where there’s a workday near you by checking out our volunteer stewardship calendar or calling an Outreach Coordinator at (734) 794-6627.
We conduct prescribed burns in natural areas for a few weeks in early spring and fall. We rely on volunteers in this limited time frame. To join the crew, attend our yearly burn crew training. Volunteers get to engage in all stages of a prescribed burn from prep and tool maintenance to laying down fire and fire control. This is our most physically demanding activity.
Natural Features Inventory
Join us at our spring kickoff sessions to learn about inventory procedures, routes, and training. Please see the calendar for details. We currently have four surveys: Salamanders, Frogs and Toads, Turtle Stewards, and Breeding Birds. We also partner with the Michigan Butterfly Network and the Kalamazoo Nature Center on butterfly surveys.
Park Stewards get to to help design and take part in stewardship activities, monitor park ecology, run workdays and more.
We need people who like to take pictures! Help us record our restoration activities by taking photos in the parks at specific points during certain seasons. We ask that photo monitors supply their own camera.
We always need volunteers who have office and publicity skills, especially in social media and graphic design. We do accept a small number of interns, mostly in the fields of biology and ecology.
Looking for a volunteer opportunity for a group such as a church, business or scout troop?
NAP welcomes community groups. Depending on the group’s size and needs, we may schedule a special event, or have the group attend a public workday. We work with scout troops, community groups, church groups, businesses, schools, and others on restoration projects throughout the city. Please fill out our group form to start planning your group workday. After completing the form, you will hear back from our Workday Coordinator shortly.
How can I learn more about restoration and stewardship?
There are many ways to learn more about restoration and stewardship. A good place to start is at home: learn what plants are considered native to our area. Check out NAP publications:
NAP staff can also suggest other resources that focus on natural areas, native plants, or restoration and stewardship. Join in with our volunteer activities and you are sure to learn more!
If you're planning on going to a workday, please fill out and sign our Volunteer Release & Waiver (PDF). For volunteers under 18, please fill out and have a parent or guardian sign the form above.