City of Ann Arbor to launch National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Volunteers needed from Feb. 24 through March 2

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Credit: City of Ann Arbor NAP

ANN ARBOR - For the first time, Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation is holding National Invasive Species Awareness Week from Feb. 24 through March 2 and is looking for volunteers to remove non-native invasive species in six Ann Arbor parks.

According to NAP, "National Invasive Species Awareness Week is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of invasive species. Invasive species are those non-native species that can significantly disrupt natural communities causing environmental or economic harm. They lack the natural population controls that keep them in check in their native ecosystems. The lack of population controls, in addition to their rapid growth and reproduction, allows them to out-compete and replace native plants. This creates a loss in habitat and food sources for wildlife."

NAP will be kicking off the week with a Winter Nature Walk in the Furstenberg Nature Area from 10 a.m. to noon to teach residents how to identify non-native and native trees and shrubs.

Those who are interested are asked to prepare for a long hike in cold weather. The group will be meeting at the parking lot off Fuller Road (map).
 
The remainder of the week includes daily volunteer sessions beginning in the morning. 

Here is the full schedule:

Monday, Feb. 25
Oakwoods Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
"This oak-hickory woodland includes a small pond and wetland, which are great spots for birdwatching or listening for frog calls. Meet at the park entrance off of Dunwoodie (map)."
 
Tuesday, Feb. 26

Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
"This park is 13 acres of oak, hickory, and maple trees. Meet at the intersection of Birchwood Drive and Dhu Varren Road (map)."
 

Wednesday, Feb. 27
Leslie Woods Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon 
"This woodland has some of the largest oaks in the Ann Arbor parks, plus a very diverse understory. Meet us at the park entrance at the north end of Upland Drive, north of Plymouth Road (map)." 
 
Thursday, February 28
Argo Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
"The oak-hickory woods here overlook Argo Pond, and owls and hawks nest in the trees. Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive (map)."
 
Friday, March 1
Arbor Hills Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
"Arbor Hills Nature Area is a small park, but home to an intricate community of wetlands and woods. Meet at the park entrance on Ashburnam (map)."
 

Saturday, March 2
Furstenberg Nature Area
10 a.m. to noon
"This park along the river has high ecological diversity, including restored prairie and oak savanna. Meet in the parking lot off Fuller Road (map)."

NAP asks that volunteers for the Stewardship Workdays wear waterproof shoes and dress in layers. All participants will have to complete a release form and a guardian must accompany minors at all times.

No RSVP is necessary and the events are free.

As always, tools, know-how and snacks are provided.

For questions and to register a group of 10 or more volunteers, contact NAP at 734-794-6627 or at NAP@a2gov.org.

About NAP 
City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation 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 parks. Both staff members and volunteers perform these tasks. For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP
 

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