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. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. Volunteer opportunities coming up in February are listed below. For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground to workday events. Workday events are suitable for all ages but minors must be accompanied by a guardian or contact NAP in advance to obtain a release form. Tools, snacks and know-how provided. Free.
Stewardship Workday — World Wetland Day
Saturday, Feb. 3, 1–3 p.m.
Take advantage of this winter opportunity to explore and improve one of Ann Arbor’s special wetlands, usually inaccessible in warm months. Rare native wetland plants along the river here are threatened by invasive exotic shrubs. Help NAP protect the natural diversity in this park by using hand tools to remove invasive species. From Gallup’s main entrance, drive across the wooden bridge, meet in the first lot after the bridge.
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1–3 p.m.
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area contains a mature oak hickory woodland as well as wetlands, which support several species of frogs and salamanders. Come help preserve this diverse nature area by cutting invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Meet at the park entrance on Turnberry Lane, off of Packard Road.
Stewards’ Circle: Controlled Burns
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 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: Controlled Burns — Fire can be used to control invasive species and allow native plants to regain their competitive edge. Join us to discuss the challenges of controlled burns as well as tips for using fire as a restoration tool.
Stewardship Workday – Presidents Day
Monday, Feb. 19, 1–3 p.m.
Foxfire West Park
This little park is nestled in a neighborhood in the northern reaches of Ann Arbor. Despite being small, it is very diverse, with woodlands, wetlands and a sedge meadow. Help remove invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn to improve the habitat for the many species that call this area home. Meet at the park entrance on Birchwood Drive, between Hickory Point Drive and Timbercrest Court. Please dress in layers and wear shoes suitable for snow or wet ground.
Public Meeting: Controlled Burn Program
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7–8:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Park Meeting Room, 2150 Jackson Ave.
Fire is used as a restoration tool in many of Ann Arbor’s natural areas. This meeting will be a discussion about the controlled ecological burn program. Ask questions and learn more about the benefits of effectively and safely using fire as a restoration tool. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
Thursday, Feb. 22, noon–5 p.m.
DTE Energy Nature House, Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road
Become a part of NAP’s volunteer burn crew! This is the required training session for anyone interested in assisting with NAP’s controlled burns. Burns typically take place Monday through Friday between noon and 7 p.m. Registration is required by Tuesday, Feb. 20, as enrollment is limited. Call 734.794.6627 or email NAP@a2gov.org to register or for more information. Some portion of training may be outdoors.