Sustainability & Natural Resources

Natural Features

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​​​​Home to more than 163 parks, the Huron River, gorgeous tree-lined streets, and so much more, Ann Arbor has countless natural features that made it one of the most desirable communities in America. This page explores some of the activities underway to preserve many of these features.

Urban Tree Planting  

A properly managed and diverse urban forest provides many environmental, economic and social benefits to the community. These community benefits include reducing stormwater runoff, improving water and air quality, increasing biodiversity and resiliency against invasive species, moderating summer temperatures, lowering utility costs, improving quality of life and beautifying the city. Learn more at the City's urban forestry page and by checking out our new 10,000 Trees Initiative​, which can help you get trees for your property.

​The Huron River

The Huron River Watershed spans a land area of more than 900 square miles (including Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties) and drains water to the Huron River through hundreds of tributary creeks and streams. The Huron River flows more than 125 miles from its headwaters at Big Lake, near Pontiac, to its mouth in Lake Erie. Drinking water for the City of Ann Arbor comes from the Huron River. The River also provides numerous recreational opportunities including a water trail, fishing, boating, and swimming. The City works in close collaboration with the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) to protect the Huron River, including efforts to monitor the health of the river, conduct restoration activities, and coordinate operations along the River's vast reaches.  

​GIVE 365 

GIVE 365​ is the Parks and Recreation Volunteer and Outreach Program. This program works with volunteers to make improvements and enhancements to the Ann Arbor Park system. Did you know there are more than 163 parks in Ann Arbor? That's a lot of parks! The Natural Area Preservation team takes care of the natural areas in our parks so most of our volunteer opportunities are in the non-natural park areas, including all of the recreation facilities as well as various city sponsored special events. Learn more or sign up to volunteer by emailing [email protected]

Natural Area Preservation (NAP)

Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. This involves conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring, and stewardship projects in Ann Arbor parks. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. Learn more or sign up to volunteer on the NAP website.

​The Greenbelt

The Greenbelt program is an innovative land preservation program that has protected over 5,060 acres of farmland and open space surrounding the city of Ann Arbor, and has leveraged over $24 million through grants, landowner donations and other locally funded programs. Learn more on the Greenbelt's website. 


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Office of Sustainability & Innovations (OSI)
301 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor 
[email protected]
OSI Manager 

Dr. Missy Stults
[email protected] 

Staff Directory​​​