Go Get Outdoors this May with the State Park Volunteer Steward Program in southwestern Michigan

Enjoy spring weather, flower blooms and the outdoors at Michigan state parks and recreation areas by
helping to protect critical dune, prairie and forest habitats stretching from Berrien to Muskegon Counties. State recreation officials recently announced the schedule of volunteer stewardship activities for the month of May throughout Southwestern Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

Volunteering for these workdays is a great way to Go Get Outdoors in many of Michigan's cherished state parks, breathe some fresh air, have fun and get a bit of exercise while enjoying beautiful scenery and precious landscapes.

Volunteers will help locate and remove garlic mustard, an invasive, non-native plant that grows in the forest understory. This obnoxious weed out-competes beautiful native wildflowers like trillium and bloodroot. Removal is easy and ideal for youth groups, classes, scouts and service clubs. Volunteers will pull plants, similar to weeding a garden, while enjoying our spring blossoms and the company of other stewards.

Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work - including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes - and bring gloves and drinking water.

Dates, times, and locations of group workdays are as follows:
  • Saturday, May 4 - P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, May 5 - Fort Custer Recreation Area, (Kalamazoo County), 1 to 4 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 11 - Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, May 12 - P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 1 to 4 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 18 - Muskegon State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, May 19 - Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 1 to 4 p.m. 
Volunteers are also able to work on an individual basis pulling, mapping and locating garlic mustard populations. All volunteers are asked to register using the form available the DNR volunteer stewardship workdays calendar Web page. Please contact Heidi Frei at 269-685-6851, ext. 147 or freih@michigan.gov for registration or questions about the volunteer stewardship workdays.

The Volunteer Steward program is part of the 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 at 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.”