Volunteer eco-workdays return to the Arb, Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor

A fall eco-workday group poses for a photo in October 2019. (University of Michigan)

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens has announced that its volunteer eco-workdays -- paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- are “optimistically, and safely, back for fall 2021.”

Some things are different, like pre-registration for all attendees as opposed to dropping in on the workday activities.

“This assists us with staff, tools, resources, and most importantly safety throughout the ongoing COVID transitions,” reads MBGNA’s website.

To see which dates have available spots and to sign up, click here.

Private eco-workdays are also available for groups. Those interested in signing up for a private volunteer experience should contact mbgna-volcoord@umich.edu.

During the workdays, volunteers can expect to:

  • Remove invasive, non-native plants
  • Cut, drag and pile brush using loppers and hand saws (fall/winter)
  • Hand weed areas (spring/early summer)

According to MBGNA’s website, volunteers should:

  • Dress for comfort and safety.
  • Wear layers and use sun protection, hats, etc.
  • Study close-toed shoes are required in all settings.
  • Long pants are strongly suggested when working in natural areas to protect against potentially poisonous plants and wildlife.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottle.

Volunteers who are under the age of 18 must submit a Youth Permission Form prior to their chosen activity. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

According to MBGNA, some activities are not suitable for younger participants, even with an adult present.

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.