DNR Get Involved: state park volunteer opportunities, Happy Little 5K & more

Share or view as webpage  |  Update preferences

DNR Get Involved - January 2020

Group of state park volunteers in winter

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

Help restore natural areas, fight invasive species at state parks

Volunteer carrying invasive shrubs for removal

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

Volunteers are needed to help with clearing out invasive shrubs that threaten to crowd out native plants and other efforts to restore high-quality ecosystems.

Workdays will take place:

  • Saturday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Sunday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)
  • Sunday, Jan. 19, 9 a.m. to noon at Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to noon at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Sunday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County)

More details about each workday can be found on the DNR volunteer events calendar.

Learn more about volunteer stewardship workdays and other opportunities to get involved at Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers.

Be a host at Hartwick Pines Memorial Building, camp for free

three people in front of Hartwick Pines Memorial Building

Hartwick Pines State Park, located just northeast of Grayling, is seeking volunteer hosts for the newly reopened Memorial Building this summer. Participating hosts will have the privilege of camping for free at Hartwick Pines State Park campground, and presenting programs and leading tours at the historic Memorial Building. The host schedule is designed to allow time to enjoy recreational activities on your own while providing valuable volunteer services.

The Memorial Building – a rustic, lodge-style building that was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and served as the park’s visitor center until 1994 – is a popular landmark in the park.

The program will take place from May 19 through Oct. 31. Hosts are asked to participate for at least one week but no longer than one month.

The Hartwick Pines Memorial Building Host Program application period is open through Feb. 29. 

Learn more about this and other DNR volunteer host opportunities – including the campground host and Tawas Point Lighthouse keeper programs – at Michigan.gov/DNRHosts

Register for Happy Little 5K / Run for the Trees, support tree planting at state parks

Run for the Trees T-shirt, bib and medal

Registration is now open for the first Happy Little 5K / Run for the Trees virtual race, part of the DNR’s Happy Little Trees program in partnership with Bob Ross Inc. The program supports the restoration of native Michigan ecosystems and other natural resources by growing native trees, shrubs, grasses and plant products for use in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and public boating access sites.

No matter how you reach the finish line – walk, run or hike – you pick the pace and the place. Just complete the virtual 5K anywhere outdoors sometime between April 17 and 26. Your virtual race will make a real difference – all proceeds will go toward planting trees at state parks throughout Michigan.

Each participant will be shipped a Happy Little T-shirt, a commemorative bib and a medal.

Happy Little 5K / Run for the Trees registration information.