DNR Get Involved: state park volunteer opportunities, U.P. State Fair

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DNR Get Involved - August 2018


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

Stewardship volunteer opportunities abound in southern Michigan state parks

DNR staffer shows stewardship volunteers a map

Each month, numerous state parks in both southeast and southwest Michigan host volunteer stewardship workdays.

In August, volunteers will help with prairie restoration (removing invasive plants such as spotted knapweed) and cutting invasive, non-native shrubs. These workdays are a great way to spend time in Michigan's great outdoors, while helping restore the state's natural ecosystems.

More information about volunteer stewardship workdays, including a calendar of opportunities, is available at michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers.

To volunteer, please register by completing and submitting the stewardship volunteer registration form.

Have a say in how your state forests are managed

forest with tall trees

Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forestland 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:

  • Cadillac Forest Management Unit Aug. 15 in Cadillac
  • Escanaba Forest Management Unit Aug. 15 in Stephenson
  • Roscommon Forest Management Unit Sept. 12 in Roscommon

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 include:

  • Gladwin Forest Management Unit Aug. 7 in Harrison 
  • Atlanta Forest Management Unit – Aug. 9 in Atlanta
  • Pigeon River Forest Management Unit – Aug. 15 in Vanderbilt
  • Escanaba Forest Management Unit Sept. 5 in Escanaba
  • Cadillac Forest Management Unit Sept. 11 in Cadillac

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.

Volunteers needed to mentor youth in outdoor recreation activities at U.P. State Fair

volunteer helping boy shoot bow and arrow

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity to help a young person experience outdoor recreation – helping instill in them a sense of Michigan’s great natural resources heritage and traditions – then the DNR is looking for you.

Youth mentors are needed to help staff the DNR’s Pocket Park in Escanaba during the Aug. 13-19 week of the Upper Peninsula State Fair. Activities volunteers assist with include helping kids catch and release bluegills in the U.P.-shaped pond or shoot a pellet gun or bow and arrow, staffing the fire tower or greeting visitors.

Volunteer training for all activities – as well as a meal, a T-shirt and a small gift – will be provided. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old (unless under special pre-approved circumstances) and pass a background check.

Businesses and organizations, or clubs and groups, may wish to sponsor shifts during the fair by having their employees or members volunteer as a group. Recognition of the group or business will be prominently displayed and announced.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Kristi Dahlstrom at 906-226-1331 or Jo Ann Alexander at 906-789-8200.

Learn more about volunteering at the U.P. State Fair.

Share your thoughts with us

One way you can share input and ideas on policy decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resource management and outdoor recreation opportunities is at meetings of the public bodies that advise the DNR. Find out more about upcoming meetings. 

Support bill to help wildlife 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Actgroundbreaking legislation that provides a critical source of funding to conserve fish and wildlife in greatest need – recently was introduced in the U.S. Senate. To learn more and show your support, visit OurNatureUSA.com.

Pitch in for habitat projects 

On the Ground – Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ volunteer fish and wildlife habitat improvement program – gives hunters, anglers and trappers the opportunity to donate their time for the benefit of the species they pursue. See upcoming On the Ground events.