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. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. Volunteer opportunities coming up in October are listed below.
For stewardship workdays, 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.
Sunday, Oct. 1, 1–4 p.m.
Miller Nature Area
Miller Nature Area has a unique history including logging, farming and gravel mining, and now this park is enjoyed by many neighbors. Help us maintain the unique landscape that Miller has to offer by removing invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Meet us at the Arborview Boulevard entrance, just east of Wildwood Avenue.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 9 a.m.–noon
Huron Parkway Nature Area
Autumn is a great season to explore Ann Arbor’s natural areas. Join us to enjoy the autumn colors while removing invasive plants, which will allow more native plant species to become established. Meet at the park steward’s house, 3470 Woodland Road, off of East Huron River Drive.
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 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: Urban Trees — Ecosystem Services and Disservices. Trees are a fundamental component of urban landscapes, but their importance is often overlooked. We will discuss some of the services they provide (e.g., temperature regulation) as well as some of their disservices (e.g., allergenic pollen). On a larger scale, how do we both actively and inadvertently manage urban tree composition, and how will that be affected by climate change?
Public Meeting – Controlled Ecological Burn Program
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7–8:30 p.m.
NAP Office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive
Fire is used as a restoration tool in many of Ann Arbor’s natural areas. This meeting provides information and an opportunity for discussion about NAP’s Controlled Ecological Burn Program. This is the perfect opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the ecological benefits of burning, and hear about the specifics of effectively and safely using fire as a restoration tool. Burns are conducted in city parks throughout the spring and fall. All persons are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the City Clerk’s office at 734.794.6140; via email to: [email protected]; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk’s Office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests made with less than two business days’ notice may not be able to be accommodated.
Sunday, Oct. 15, 1–4 p.m.
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area
Come help preserve the mature oak hickory woodland in this diverse natural area. Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area gets used regularly by both neighbors and students at Mitchell Elementary and Scarlett Middle Schools. We will be cutting and removing invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and buckthorn to maintain this quality woodland. Meet in the Scarlett Middle School parking lot off Lorraine Street.
Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m.–noon
Bluffs Nature Area
Tucked away within Bluffs’ 39 acres is an open field filled with native prairie species. Come out and help us preserve this beautiful habitat by removing invasive shrubs, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, which are encroaching on the prairie. Meet at the entrance on Sunset Road near Wildt Street.
Saturday, Oct. 21, 1–4 p.m.
Kuebler Langford Nature Area
Despite some parts of the park being used as a staging area for the construction of M-14, the majority of Kuebler Langford was fortunately left in good ecological condition. The north side of the wooded ravine hosts the park’s greatest biological diversity with wild ginger, maiden-hair fern and doll’s eyes decorating the slopes. The park also features a prairie remnant, but invasive shrubs are encroaching on this beautiful habitat. Come out to collect native seeds and remove harmful species to help this prairie thrive! Meet at the park entrance on Beechwood Drive, north of Sunset Road.
Sunday, Oct. 22, 1–4 p.m.
Oakwoods Nature Area
This oak-hickory woodland includes a small pond and wetland, which are great spots for bird watching or listening for frog calls. We’ll be cutting and removing invasive shrubs, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, to improve the habitat. Meet us at the park entrance off of Dunwoodie.
Volunteer Appreciation Potluck
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard Road
All volunteers, past, present and future, are invited to our annual appreciation event! Let’s celebrate our collective accomplishments while sharing food and community. Games, door prizes and fun activities for all. Please bring a dish to pass and friends or family. Costumes are encouraged. RSVPs appreciated. Call us at 734.794.6627 or email [email protected] by Oct. 23.
Stewardship Workday – Make a Difference Day
Sunday, Oct. 29, 1–4 p.m.
Black Ponds Woods Nature Area
This beautiful 32-acre woodland is visited by thousands of children every year where they play and learn all about the natural environment. Work with us using handsaws and loppers to remove invasive shrubs, and help us collect native seeds to protect this ecosystem for all. This is a great park to bring families out to enjoy a day outdoors. Meet us on Tibbits Court, off of Pontiac Trail.
Natural Area Preservation