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’s parks. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. Volunteer opportunities coming up in April are listed below. For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP.
For stewardship workdays, please 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.
Tuesday, April 9, 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: Rain Gardens. Are you interested in creating a rain garden on your property? Find out what makes a rain garden different than other gardens, get tips and tricks for installation and maintenance, and discover ways to talk to your neighbors about rain gardens.
Breeding Bird Survey Kick-off and Training
Thursday, April 11, 7–9 p.m.
Natural Area Preservation Office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive
Learn how to survey for breeding birds in Ann Arbor’s parks! Some experience in bird identification is necessary. Sign up for your favorite park, pick up survey materials, and learn about the 2018 survey results. Please register by April 8. For more information, or to register, call NAP at 734.794.6627, or email NAP@a2gov.org.
Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.–noon
Berkshire Creek Nature Area
Berkshire Creek Nature Area contains a mature oak-hickory forest in need of a little care. The native plant communities here protect the waters of Mallett’s Creek, but invasive plants are threatening to take over. Help us restore this 5–acre forest by removing plants such as garlic mustard. Meet at the end of Warwick Road off Glenwood, north of Washtenaw Avenue (map).
Sunday, April 14, 1–4 p.m.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to volunteer, meet neighbors and spend time outside this spring? Pulling invasive weeds at Folkstone Park might be the right opportunity for you. Join us to pull exotic species to improve the biodiversity in this nature area. Meet at the park entrance at the north end of Folkstone Court (map).
Stewardship Workday– Earth Day
Saturday, April 20, 1–4 p.m.
Cedar Bend Nature Area
Celebrate Earth Day with NAP! The hills of Cedar Bend provide beautiful views of the Huron River valley as it awakens from winter. Migratory birds stop in these trees on their way north. Listen to the birdsong while improving their habitat by removing exotic species such as dame’s rocket. Meet us at the Island Park parking lot, at the end of Island Drive (map).
Nature Walk with AADL
Thursday, April 25, 6–7:30 p.m.
Mary Beth Doyle Park
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Mary Beth Doyle Park. Spring rains turn the forest floor into a carpet of wildflowers. Join us on a family-friendly nature walk through this beautiful park. Meet at the parking lot off Packard Road, across from Easy Street (map). Wear comfortable clothes and bring water if desired. The nature walks are a collaboration between the Ann Arbor District Library 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– Arbor Day
Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m.–noon
Mary Beth Doyle Park
Arbor Day is a holiday traditionally observed by planting trees. Celebrate with NAP by planting shrubs along Mallett’s Creek. These shrubs will protect the clean water, provide homes for wildlife and increase the biodiversity at this park. Join us for this annual tradition. Meet at the parking lot off Packard Road, across from Easy Street (map).
Saturday, April 27, 1–4 p.m.
The Ponds Park
Celebrate the end of winter and the start of a new spring season by beautifying one of Ann Arbor’s neighborhood parks. The Ponds is a small park adjacent to a pond full of life. Help this park reach its potential by removing non-native plants threatening the native beauty. Meet at the park entrance on the corner of Emerald Avenue and Candlewick Drive (map).
Sunday, April 28, 9 a.m.–noon
White Oak Park
White Oak Park is one of Ann Arbor’s hidden gems. Only 3-acres in size and tucked away in the Newport Hills subdivision, this park is teaming with plants, birds and butterflies. Come lend a hand by removing invasive garlic mustard, dame’s rocket, and bittercress. Don’t know what these plants look like? NAP will show you! Meet at the park entrance on White Oak Drive (map).
Sunday, April 28, 1–4 p.m.
Molin Nature Area
Margaret Atwood said, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Come get your hands dirty and restore native habitat with fellow nature lovers. We’ll be removing spring invasive plants such garlic mustard from this long narrow park. Meet at the end of Powell Road on Columbia (map).
Turtle Steward Kickoff and Training
Sunday, April 28, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave.
At least six species of turtles live and nest in the city, maybe more! Help us maintain and protect nest sites, monitor populations and look for turtles in habitats along the Huron River and nearby creeks! We’ll cover species identification, nest maintenance and monitoring and how to report your turtle observations. This training will be indoors. Please register by April 25. For more information or to register call NAP 734.794.6627, or email NAP@a2gov.org.
Natural Area Preservation