DNR Get Involved: State park volunteer opportunities, input on state forests

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DNR Get Involved - July 2018

dirt road through a forest

Here are a few ways to get involved in taking care of Michigan’s natural resources in the coming weeks. For more opportunities to volunteer, contribute and provide input, visit michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers.     

Stewardship volunteer opportunities in southern Michigan state parks

volunteer with invasive weed that he pulled

Help the DNR restore ecosystems during volunteer stewardship workdays, taking place at a handful of state parks in southern Michigan throughout July. Volunteers will pull invasive plants like spotted knapweed and sweet clover from prairies and dunes and cut invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and buckthorn from wet mesic flatwoods to restore balance to high-quality natural areas.

Southwest Michigan workdays:

  • Grand Mere State Park – Saturday, July 7
  • Warren Dunes State Park – Sunday, July 15
  • Grand Mere State Park – Saturday, July 28

Southeast Michigan workdays:

  • Waterloo Recreation Area –Saturday, July 7
  • Island Lake Recreation Area – Saturday, July 7
  • Brighton Recreation Area – Sunday, July 8
  • Belle Isle Park – Saturday, July 21
  • Island Lake Recreation Area – Saturday, July 21
  • Brighton Recreation Area – Sunday, July 22
  • Waterloo Recreation Area – Sunday, July 22
  • Pinckney Recreation Area – Saturday, July 28
  • Highland Recreation Area – Saturday, July 28

More information about volunteer stewardship workdays, including a calendar of opportunities, is available at michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers. To register, please complete and submit the stewardship volunteer registration form.

Have a say in how your state forests are managed

DNR forester in the forest

Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forest land require a lot of careful planning to keep them healthy and thriving. That’s why the DNR finalizes plans for each forest management unit two years in advance of when any management activities – prescribed burns, timber harvests or tree thinning, for example – actually will take place.

This summer, forest management recommendations for 2020 are being presented at open houses within those forest management units, giving people the opportunity to speak with foresters, wildlife biologists and other resource professionals. Upcoming open houses include:

  • Gaylord Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, June 27 in Indian River and Thursday, June 28 in Gaylord
  • Traverse City Forest Management Unit  Tuesday, July 10 in Traverse City and Wednesday, July 11 in Kalkaska
  • Atlanta Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, July 18 in Atlanta
  • Pigeon River Forest Management Unit – Thursday, July 19 in Vanderbilt
  • Gladwin Forest Management Unit – Tuesday, July 24 in Gladwin
  • Cadillac Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Cadillac
  • Escanaba Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Escanaba 

About a month after each forest management unit’s open house, a public compartment review meeting also will take place. That’s where the foresters will present their final decisions on management activities for that unit. Compartment review meetings coming up in July and August include:

  • Baraga Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, July 11 in Baraga
  • Gaylord Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, July 18 in Indian River
  • Traverse City Forest Management Unit – Tuesday, July 31 in Traverse City
  • Gladwin Forest Management Unit – Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Harrison
  • Pigeon River Forest Management Unit – Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Vanderbilt

For more information – including a link to the interactive forest map showing details of forest management activities, and the forest open house and compartment review schedules – visit the public input section of the DNR’s michigan.gov/forestry webpage.

Pitch in for summer clean-up at Silver Lake State Park

Want to help the Silver Lake Recreation Association clean up the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area in Oceana County? Join in the Keep it Clean in 18 summer clean-up event Saturday, July 28. Last year, the group picked up over a ton of trash! All ages are welcome with a parent or guardian. 

Help prevent the spread of invasive species

Michigan's natural areas are under threat from invasive species, and you can help protect our land and water resources. Find out how boaters, anglers, campers, hunters, trail users, landowners and others can make a difference by taking action to prevent the spread of invasive species.