The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (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 parks. Both staff and volunteers perform these tasks. Volunteer opportunities coming up in September are listed below.
For stewardship work days, please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Every participant must present a completed release form, and all minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools, snacks, and know-how provided.
For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP.
Saturday, Sept. 9, 5–6:30 p.m.
Mary Beth Doyle Park
Join NAP’s ornithologist, Juliet Berger, on a walk around this diverse park, which includes a storm water retention pond often frequented by migrating shorebirds. If there is mud around the pond, we may see killdeer, spotted sandpiper and other more exotic species. There may be migrating waterfowl on the pond as well. We’ll also search for fall migrating songbirds in the woods. Bring binoculars if you have them, and be prepared for walking in potentially muddy areas. Meet us in the parking lot at the end of Birch Hollow Drive.
Stewardship Workday – Day of Service and Remembrance
Sunday, Sept. 10, 1–4 p.m.
Mary Beth Doyle Park
Unite in service, and help us improve wildlife habitat during this national event that honors the lives and service of those impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The 81 acres of Mary Beth Doyle Park include a nature area, disc golf course, playground and a storm water retention pond that are enjoyed by many in our community. Meet us at the parking lot off Packard Road, across from Easy Street.
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7:30–8:30 a.m.
Bruegger’s Bagels, 709 N. University Ave.
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. Free! For more information go to www.stewardshipnetwork.org. This month’s topic: Managing Phragmites. Phragmites is an invasive wetland grass that often outcompetes native plants and impedes access to recreation opportunities. Please join us for a discussion with a biologist from the USGS Great Lakes Science Center on the impacts of phragmites, traditional treatment methods and new innovative management techniques.
Saturday, Sept. 16, 9 a.m.–nooon
Onder Nature Area
Onder Nature Area is a small neighborhood park and home to many black cherry and box elder trees with a few large oak trees. By connecting with other natural areas and features, it serves as a landscape corridor and provides convenient habitat and migration for birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Help is needed to restore Onder’s small oak savanna by removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn. Meet at the intersections of Hilldale Drive and Brookside Drive.
Sunday, Sept. 17, 1–4 p.m.
Redbud Nature Area
Redbud Nature Area is a favorite place for many neighbors to enjoy a walk through the woods or a short hike with their dog. Help us remove invasive species like honeysuckle so more native plants can thrive. Meet at the park entrance at the intersection of Parkwood Avenue and Jeanne Street.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m.–noon
Furstenberg Nature Area
Furstenberg Nature Area is a lovely 38-acre riverside park and home to wetlands, woodlands, prairie and oak savanna. Help us remove invasive plants in order for the native ecosystem to thrive. Please meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road across from Huron High School.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 1–4 p.m.
Ruthven Nature Area
Ruthven Nature Area’s unique landscape includes a kame, a sandy hill left behind by melting glaciers. The hill overlooks Gallup Pond and the Huron River valley. The slopes and different soils in this park make for lots of wildflower diversity here. We’ll be cutting invasive shrubs that threaten to overwhelm the native plants. Meet us at the Gallup Park boat dock parking lot, at the southeast corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Road.
Nature Walk with Ann Arbor District Library
Thursday, Sept. 28, 6–7:30 p.m.
Argo Nature Area
This 22.5 acre preserve is an interesting combination of habitats, including emergent wetland, mesic forest, and oak-hickory forest. Come learn more about the habitat and the fascinating creatures it supports at this family-friendly nature walk! Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive. Wear comfortable clothes and bring water if desired. The nature walks are a collaboration between the AADL and Natural Area Preservation that take place once a month April through September. Some of AADL’s Science Tools will be available for use during the walk!
Stewardship Workday – National Public Lands Day
Saturday, Sept. 30, 1–4 p.m.
Argo Nature Area
Come enjoy a day by the river and learn how to identify and cut invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Doing so will allow native species to thrive and provide natural habitat for wildlife. Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive.