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 July are listed below.
On stewardship workdays, volunteers should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. All participants must complete a 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, July 1, 1–4 p.m.
Marshall Nature Area
Pockets of prairie bloom in this park where farm fields were once located, but the biodiversity is threatened by non-native species. Join us to pull summer invasives and preserve the native community. Meet in the parking lot off of Dixboro Road, north of Plymouth Road.
Saturday, July 7, 9 a.m.–noon
A patch of dry prairie can be found along the railroad tracks at Bandemer Park, where sparks from passing trains occasionally ignited wildfires that maintained this open habitat. It is now home to tall grasses and goldenrods. Help pull exotic weeds to maintain the quality of this special habitat. Meet at the south end of the park, in the parking lot off of Lake Shore Drive (via Main Street).
Tuesday, July 10, 7:30–8:30a.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: Building management plans. Do you have a natural area that you want to manage but don’t know here to start? How do you prioritize stewardship activities? Come learn about building management plans so you can get the most out of your restoration work.
Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m.–noon
Furstenberg Native Garden
Furstenberg’s Native Garden is a living demonstration of the beauty of native wildflowers, and it serves as a helpful guide for native plant identification and an example of how they can be used in landscaping. Join Park Steward and Master Gardener Aunita Erskine to maintain this special garden. Meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road.
Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m.–noon
Furstenberg Nature Area
The prairie at Furstenberg Nature Area blooms with beautiful colors and is an important habitat for many birds and pollinating insects. However, non-native species that provide little food for wildlife are crowding out native flowers. Join us to pull invasive species in order to allow the native plants to thrive. Meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road.
Saturday, July 14, 1–4 p.m.
Ruthven Nature Area
A glacial hill, called a kame, is the dominant feature in Ruthven Nature Area. Extensive progress has been made in restoring the native habitats here. Help continue this work by pulling invasive plants in the hillside prairie. Meet at the Gallup Park boat launch parking lot (not the canoe livery), at the southeastern corner of Huron Parkway and Geddes Road.
Nature Walk with Ann Arbor District Library
Thursday, July 26, 6–7:30 p.m.
Black Pond Woods Nature Area
Named for the dark waters of its vernal pool, Black Pond Woods Nature Area is used as an outdoor classroom by the adjacent Leslie Science and Nature Center. Join NAP staff on a family-friendly walk through these woods. Meet on Tibbits Court, off of Pontiac Trail. Wear comfortable clothes, and bring water if desired. These nature walks are a collaboration between the AADL and NAP, and they take place once a month April through September. Some of AADL’s Science Tools will be available for use during the walk!
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Natural Area Preservation
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