DNR Get Involved: state park volunteer opportunities, elk license plate & more

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DNR Get Involved - February 2021

close-up of frost on tree branch

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

Help remove invasive plants from state parks

two female volunteers in face masks in snowy forest

Several state parks in southern Michigan will host volunteer stewardship workdays in February. 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:

  • Saturday, Feb. 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Algonac State Park (St. Clair County)
  • Sunday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)
  • Saturday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. to noon at Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. to noon at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Saturday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Sunday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)

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

Support wildlife conservation while on the go

wildlife habitat license plate with elk illustration

Purchase a wildlife habitat license plate for your vehicle and help protect Michigan’s most vulnerable species.

For each sale of the $35 license plate, $25 will go to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund to protect endangered, threatened and nongame wildlife. Kirtland’s warblers, lake sturgeon, Mitchell’s satyr butterflies and hundreds of other species have benefited from habitat projects funded by the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

To celebrate one of Michigan’s greatest conservation success stories, the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk, a bugling elk was chosen to be featured on the specialty license plate in 2018.

There’s still time to celebrate this historic milestone by purchasing an elk license plate. Place an order for your plate online at Michigan.gov/SOS or visit a Secretary of State office.

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

Run for the Trees / Happy Little 5K graphic with Bob Ross

The Run for the Trees/ Happy Little Virtual 5K is set for spring, and registration is now open. No matter how you reach the finish line –  walk, run or hike – you pick the pace and the place, anywhere outdoors.

You have between April 22 and 30 to complete it. For good measure, Earth Day and Arbor Day serve as bookends to this state parks-supporting race.

For only $34 per person, your virtual 5K counts! All proceeds support tree-planting and preservation efforts in state parks.

Everyone who participates will be shipped a keepsake Happy Little T-shirt, commemorative bib and finisher's medal featuring a real Bob Ross painting. We encourage you to wear your T-shirt and bib while completing your 5K and to proudly wear your medal after completion.

Register for Run for the Trees / Happy Little Virtual 5K.

Share your thoughts with us at virtual meetings

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

Join the DNR team this summer

Looking for an interesting summer job that gets you outdoors and helping people enjoy natural resources? Join the more than 1,200 seasonal park workers hired each summer and fall to work in Michigan's 103 state parks, state forest campgrounds, boating access sites and harbors. The application process is easy. Learn more at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs