January volunteer opportunities with Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation

Credit: City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation
Credit: City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation

ANN ARBOR – Love nature? Love giving back? Start off the new year by volunteering with the city of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation.

According to officials with the city, 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's parks."

Throughout the year, NAP posts volunteer opportunities for residents to get involved in improving the natural landscapes in Ann Arbor.

January schedule:

National Bird Day (Stewardship Workday)
Saturday, Jan. 5
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Olson Park

City of Ann Arbor's description: 
"Bird day celebrates the beauty, song and flight of birds. Olson Park is great place to bird watch, from migrant waterfowl in the wetland to songbirds in the meadow. Help improve the habitat for these native birds by removing invasive shrubs. Meet at the park entrance on Dhu Varren Road, just east of Pontiac Trail. Please dress in layers, and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground."

Stewards' Circle: Maximizing the Benefits of Controlled Burns
Tuesday, Jan. 8
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Bruegger's Bagels at 709 N. University Ave.

City of Ann Arbor's description:
"Are you interested in learning more about how to care for our natural areas? Then join the Stewardship Network's Huron Arbor Cluster for an informal discussion on a monthly topic with volunteer and professional land stewards, plus others interested in nature. 

NAP staff hold a controlled burn demo at the Leslie Science and Nature Center on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)


"Some controlled burns can be more effective than others. Let's discuss how we can be more rigorous about choosing where to burn and how to maximize the benefits. Bring your examples of burns that have had minimal or maximum effects." 

For more information, visit

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (Stewardship Workday)
Monday, Jan. 21
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Barton Nature Are​​​a

City of Ann Arbor's description:
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said 'anyone can be great because anyone can serve.' Honor his legacy by turning your 'day off' into a 'day on' for community service at Barton Nature Area. The wetlands along this horseshoe-shaped curve in the river benefit both humans and wildlife. Help improve these wetlands and create habitat for turtles. Meet at the Barton Dam parking lot off Huron River Drive. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground."

Citizen Pru​​​ner Training
Wednesda​y, Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Classroom session)
Sa​​turday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to noon (Outdoor skills session)

City of Ann Arbor's description:
"Looking for a new and unique way to volunteer in the community? Consider becoming a citizen pruner! Citizen pruners volunteer at tree pruning workdays that happen on select weekends between January and March. NAP will teach you everything you need to know. Please note that both sessions and a commitment to volunteering with the program is required."

Registration ends Monday, Jan. 21. To register, email or call 734-794-6627.

For specified stewardship workdays, all participants must sign a release form. A guardian must accompany minors. Snacks, tools and know-how are provided each day.

For more information, visit

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