DNR Get Involved: volunteer at state parks, be a photo ambassador & more

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DNR Get Involved - November 2020

people walking over bridge with fall foliage surrounding it

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

Help remove invasive species, restore natural areas at state parks

group of stewardship volunteers wearing face masks

Several state parks in southern Michigan will host volunteer stewardship workdays in November. Volunteers are needed to help with removing invasive plants that threaten high-quality ecosystems in the parks.

Please note that preregistration is required for all volunteer workdays, and participation may be limited due to social distancing requirements.

Although these are outdoor programs and proper social distancing of at least 6 feet is required, participants still are encouraged to wear face coverings as an added precaution.

Workdays will take place:

  • Sunday, Nov. 8, at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Saturday, Nov. 14, at Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Sunday, Nov. 15, at Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)
  • Saturday, Nov. 21, at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Sunday, Nov. 22, at Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Saturday, Nov. 28, at Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Sunday, Nov. 29, at Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)

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

Sign up for webinar to learn about red swamp crayfish invasion response

A group of people in waders  looks for red swamp crayfish in burrows in a river

Invasive species pose a threat to Michigan’s environment, economy, and sometimes even human health. What is at stake? What is being done?

The new NotMISpecies webinar series from Michigan’s Invasive Species Program takes an in-depth look at efforts across the state to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants, insects, animals and diseases.

If you are concerned about the effects of invasive species or interested in the techniques used to control them, join us as we examine species-specific actions, innovations in research and technology, and programs designed to help communities prevent and manage harmful invasive species.

The next webinar in the series is:

Delicious but dangerous: Responding to the Michigan red swamp crayfish invasion
Nov. 17, 9 to 10 a.m.

The newest crayfish invader in Michigan draws a spectrum of opinions. Although many associate red swamp crayfish with crawfish boils, they are also one of the world’s most widespread invasive crayfish species and can have a range of negative effects. Join us to learn about the risks red swamp crayfish pose, the ongoing response efforts in Michigan and the research underway to improve control efforts. Presenters Lucas Nathan, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Michigan DNR, and Brian Roth, associate professor at Michigan State University, will share their field experience and answer questions.

Each webinar is presented live, with recordings available for viewing approximately one week after the live event. Learn more about the NotMISpecies webinar series.

Become a Michigan state parks photo ambassador

Aerial photo of Tawas Point Lighthouse

We’re looking for photo ambassadors interested in exploring Michigan state parks and associated state-managed properties and sharing those stories and experiences with the world.

Michigan state park photo ambassadors should have:

  • A love for the outdoors and Michigan state parks, trails and waterways.
  • An eye for capturing interesting and engaging photos.
  • A public Instagram account and ability to post engaging content on the platform.
  • The ability to encourage others to visit Michigan state parks, trails and waterways.


Photo ambassadors will:

  • Share posts from @MiStateParks with your followers every month.
  • Provide the Michigan DNR with at least four high-quality photos per month that will become property of the Michigan DNR, with credit to you, when applicable.
  • Share your own stories about Michigan state parks on your Instagram account every month.


  • Expanded social media influence by getting featured on @MiStateParks Instagram account.
  • Access to our invite-only Facebook group.
  • Complimentary Michigan state parks swag.
  • Opportunities for your images to be used in official Michigan DNR promotions, with credit to you, when applicable.

To apply, register online or text the word “photo” to 80888 by Nov. 20.

All ambassadors will be subject to a background check.

Serve on a board or commission

People riding horses on equestrian trail

One way to get involved in the work we do is to serve on one of the public bodies that advise the DNR and, in some cases, also set policies for natural resource management. The following boards and commissions are currently seeking applicants to fill open seats:

  • The Equine Trails Subcommittee, an advisory group providing guidance and recommendations on a statewide network of pack and saddle trails, has an open seat for the northern Lower Peninsula. Send letter of interest and resume to DNR-Trails@Michigan.gov by Nov. 14 if interested. For more information, contact Anna Centofanti at 517-331-6219.
  • The Michigan Freedom Trail Commission is seeking candidates to fill four vacant seats available in February. Candidates must have knowledge of historic preservation and active involvement in civil rights and must be academic-community knowledgeable in African-American history. Applications must be submitted by early December. Contact Sheri Giffin at 517-335-2591 for more information or apply online.
  • The Michigan State Waterways Commission is seeking a candidate to fill a vacant seat. It’s the commission’s goal to establish a new member, who will represent the general public, before its Dec. 4 meeting. For more information, contact Michelle Wieber at 517-285-0747, or apply online.

Get gear that gives back to the great outdoors

Buy state parks apparel, find gifts and rent gear from businesses that give back to state parks, trails and waterways at Goods4Mi.com. "These Goods are Good for Michigan" features partners who work with the DNR to raise awareness and support through revenue sharing.

Join ranks of hunters helping hungry families

Nearly 83,000 pounds of venison were processed and distributed to families in need last year thanks to hunters and anglers who donated money when purchasing licenses. If you hunt, you can help – consider a venison or monetary donation to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.