Volunteers can make an impact by removing invasive, non-native shrubs in natural areas within state parks and recreation areas. Targeted invasive species include: honeysuckle, autumn olive, barberry and Lombardy poplar. Removing them from the landscape will help protect and restore unique habitats by improving conditions for native species and restoring ecosystem function. In doing so, volunteers will be benefiting many species, some of which are threatened or endangered, while also learning about invasive species and management hands-on.
Volunteers in need of service credit, such as Conservation Stewards, Master Gardeners, scouts, service clubs and school groups, as well as others interested in conservation, are welcome to attend.
Dates, times and locations of the workdays are as follows:
- Saturday, Jan. 14; Grand Mere State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 15; Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 22; Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 28; Muskegon State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 29; Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County), 1 to 4 p.m.
The Volunteer Steward program is part of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division, Stewardship Unit’s mission to “preserve, protect and restore the natural and cultural resources present within Michigan state parks for this and future generations.”
For information about the activities on each workday, find directions or park information and to check the Volunteer Steward calendar of events, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and link to the “Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.” All volunteers are asked to register using the forms available on the website.
Please contact Heidi Frei at 269-685-6851 ext. 147 or firstname.lastname@example.org for registration or questions about the Volunteer Steward program in southwest Michigan.