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City of Ann Arbor to resume outdoor volunteer opportunities with new safety measures

Credit: City of Ann Arbor
Credit: City of Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR – The city of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation will be resuming in-person volunteer opportunities this month with new safety protocols.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused NAP to hold its first-ever virtual event in May which encouraged community members to pull invasive species outside of its usual group setting.

However, as the state begins to reopen various sectors, the city is ready to relaunch volunteer efforts with the following safety protocols in place:

  • Stay home when ill or showing signs of illness.
  • Wear long pants.
  • Wear closed-toed shoes.
  • Be accompanied by a guardian if of minor age.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times during the events.
  • Bring bottled water, snacks, insect repellant and sunscreen.
  • Preregister here. Registration for each event must take place by noon on the Friday prior to the weekend which it occurs. Unique links to each event in Rec-1 are provided below.

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NAP conducts volunteer Stewardship Workdays year round to protect and restore the city’s natural areas and parks. Staff and volunteers work together to conduct plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring, controlled burns and more.

For the latest news on NAP events, visit www.a2gov.org/NAPevents.

Below are NAP’s June events from the city of Ann Arbor’s website:

Stewardship Workday: Oakwoods Nature Area

Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.–noon

Oakwoods Nature Area is a lovely woodland and a hidden gem, but parts of it needs some love! Recent residential growth in north Ann Arbor resulted in an expansion of Oakwoods Nature Area north to M-14. Invasives here bloom and set seed by shooting seeds several feet from the parent plant. Help NAP by pulling the invasives and stopping the cycle! Preregistration through Rec-1 is required, as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Sugarbush Nature Area

Saturday, June 13, 1–4 p.m.

Join NAP in this scenic part of Ann Arbor to pull invasive species. These non-native and aggressive plants impact the ability for native species to thrive. Help protect delicious fruiting plants like the native pawpaw grove for future generations at Sugarbush. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Argo Nature Area

Sunday, June 14, 9 a.m.–noon

The narrow strip of parkland that protects the Huron River just north of the Argo Canoe Livery needs help! Invasive plants threaten the health of the river and push out beautiful native flowers that support butterflies and other pollinators. Join NAP to keep these natural treasures safe and healthy. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Cedar Bend Nature Area

Sunday, June 14, 1–4 p.m.

Did you know? The hairpin turn in the trail at Cedar Bend was designed to mimic the riverbend below. Invasive plants are crowding the view in this park and are making it difficult to get the full Cedar Bend experience. Join NAP to help keep this park free from non-native, aggressive plants! Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Black Pond Woods Nature Area

Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m.–noon

This shady woodland is a wonderful place to spend a summer morning! Enjoy the fresh air and rolling hills while pulling invasive species that threaten the health of this ecologically important park. Then, take a peek at the natural feature NAP is working to protect at the end of the day: Black Pond! Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Dhu Varren/Foxfire South

Saturday, June 20, 1–4 p.m.

Native pollinators rely on native plants to raise their young; and this park is the place to be for pollinators! Help NAP protect the population of wild indigo duskywing butterflies, a rare species in our area, by removing encroaching invasive species from the butterfly’s habitat. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Mary Beth Doyle Park

Sunday, June 21, 9 a.m.–noon

This wonderland of a park has everything you can think of! Disc golf, a stream, a wetland, paved trails, natural trails, boardwalks, beautiful native flowers … and invasive species, too! Help NAP remove these non-native, aggressive plants and protect the wildflowers that call this park home. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Redbud Nature Area

Sunday, June 21, 1–4 p.m.

Redbud Nature Area contains a moist woodland bordering Malletts Creek and has large swaths of wild ginger and other cool native plants. It may be too late to see the beautiful redbuds in bloom but volunteers can still lend a hand! Pulling one invasive plant here will prevent up to 5,500 new seeds from being spread and make a huge difference. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Kuebler Langford Nature Area

Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m.–noon

Now is the time to visit this nature area! Discover a tall grass prairie, rolling woodlands and a creek in a shaded ravine while assisting with invasive plant removal. See how this area has responded to a prescribed burn last fall; and possibly spy some plants found in very few other parks. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.

Stewardship Workday: Barton Nature Area

Saturday, June 27, 1–4 p.m.

Discover prairies wedged between the oxbow of the Huron River and railroad tracks whose trains sparked fires that kept many midwestern prairies alive for all to enjoy today. NAP has been working hard to expand the prairies here and control the spread of invasive plants, but more help is needed! Spend the afternoon enjoying the bird songs and learning more about this important habitat. Preregistration through Rec-1 is required as space is limited. Participants must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Meeting location will be provided after registration. Register here.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.