DNR Get Involved: state park volunteer opportunities and more

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DNR Get Involved - January 2019

snowy forest with river running through it

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

Stewardship volunteers needed in southern Michigan state parks

DNR staff member shows volunteers example of invasive plant

State parks in southern Michigan will host a number of volunteer stewardship workdays in January.

Volunteers are needed to help locate and cut non-native, invasive shrubs that threaten to crowd out native plants and disrupt balance in high-quality ecosystems. Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while restoring Michigan's ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants.

Workdays will take place:

  • Saturday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County)
  • Saturday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County)
  • Sunday, Jan. 20, 1 to 4 p.m. at Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County)
  • Saturday, Jan. 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Sunday, Jan. 27, 1 to 4 p.m. at Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County)

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.

Enjoy a historic summer as a Tawas Point Lighthouse keeper; apply by Feb. 1

couple that volunteers as keepers stands in front of Tawas Point Lighthouse

The Tawas Point Lighthouse Keeper Program is now accepting applications for keepers for May 1 through Oct. 29. Those selected will get to live in the restored keeper’s quarters at the historic Tawas Point Lighthouse, located in Tawas Point State Park off Tawas Bay in Lake Huron.

Each participant pays a $75 per-person fee and provides roughly 35 hours of service each week in and around the historic lighthouse that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Keeper duties include greeting visitors, giving tours, providing information about the lighthouse and routine cleaning and maintenance. Keepers stay in the second story of the keeper's quarters attached to the lighthouse. Accommodations include two bedrooms sleeping up to four adults, a modern kitchen, bath and laundry. Keepers must commit to a two-week stay at the lighthouse.

The lighthouse keeper program looks for teams of two, three or four adults – especially those with knowledge of lighthouse lore or Great Lakes maritime history – but there is no requirement for such a background. Prospective keepers should be physically able to climb up and down the 85 lighthouse stairs and have excellent customer service and public speaking skills.

The application and additional information are available at the Lighthouse Keeper Program webpage. For more information, contact dnr-tawaskeepers@michigan.gov. The application period is open through Feb. 1.

Help grassland wildlife by adopting a game area

The Adopt-a-Game-Area program allows you to sponsor habitat projects on state-managed lands that you use and enjoy. Your support of this program will provide valuable nesting, brood-rearing, foraging and winter habitat for a wide range of wildlife including deer, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, cottontail rabbits, songbirds, and pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies.

Share your thoughts with us at upcoming meetings

One opportunity to share input on decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resource management and outdoor recreation opportunities is at meetings of public bodies that advise the DNR and, in some cases, set policies for natural resource management. Several boards, commissions, committees and councils will hold public meetings in January

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