Volunteers are needed to harvest native seeds from prairie plants throughout most of October. The workday at Brighton Recreation Area will focus on cutting and piling invasive, non-native shrubs from a high-quality wetland. These activities will help protect and restore unique natural areas in southeastern Michigan state parks. Volunteering for these workdays is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the crisp, cool, autumn weather, learn something new and give back to the parks.
The native seeds collected will be used to restore tallgrass prairie, lakeplain prairie and oak savanna ecosystems within the state parks and recreation areas.
Dates, times and locations of the workdays are:
- Saturday, Oct. 6 - Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 7 - Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 13 - Sterling State Park (Monroe County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 14 - Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 20 - Sterling State Park (Monroe County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 21 - Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 21 - Algonac State Park (St. Clair County), 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 27 - Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 28 - Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County), 1 to 4 p.m.
Prairie and oak savanna ecosystems, nearly eliminated during the European settlement, exist today in small remnants, many in Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas. Seed collection is a key step in restoring these lost landscapes, but it is a step that requires many hands. Volunteers who plan to collect seed are asked to bring sunscreen and an empty, clean, dry milk jug in which to collect seeds. All volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work (including long pants and sturdy closed-toed shoes) and bring gloves and drinking water. Children under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
What to Wear and Bring
Please remember to wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and work boots. Please also bring drinking water, work gloves, and eye protection (especially prescription safety glasses). Waterproof boots, either knee-high rubber boots or hip waders, are recommended for fen and other wetland sites. If you don't have waterproof boots and would like to borrow a pair, please note that when you register and efforts will be made to try and provide them to you.
What NOT to Bring
Be sure your outerwear, gloves, and boots are free of mud and hitchhiking seeds before coming to the workday. Otherwise, you may inadvertently spread invasive plant seeds into these high quality natural areas.
For details about each workday and to obtain maps and directions, 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 form available on the website or via email. Any questions should be directed to Laurel Malvitz-Draper at 248-359-9057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org