Local Volunteer Opportunities in May for A2’s Natural Area Preservation

If you’re looking to spend more time in nature, meet people, and find new ways to benefit your community and environment, then volunteering for Ann Arbor’s NAP Workdays is a great way to check those boxes. And, NAP has just announced its volunteer opportunities for May 2022.  

City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. This involves conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring, and stewardship projects in Ann Arbor’s parks. These tasks are performed by both staff and volunteers. 

To attend a workday, participants are encouraged to preregister using VolunteerHub at https://cityofannarbor.volunteerhub.com/lp/nap; links to each event in VolunteerHub are also provided with each description.

NAP is continuing to closely monitor recommendations from city and other health officials. As a result, the events planned are subject to change in order keep volunteers and the public safe. 

Should it be prudent to make changes to the event schedule, NAP will update its website and notify anyone registered for events. Visit www.a2gov.org/NAPevents for the most up-to-date information.

At all NAP workdays, please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, bring a water bottle and gardening gloves. All minors should be accompanied by a guardian. Tools and know-how provided. Stay home if you are feeling unwell. For more information about NAP, visit www.a2gov.org/NAP.


Stewardship Workday
Global Youth Service Days
Botsford Recreational Preserve
Sunday, May 1
9 a.m.–noon

Global Youth Service Days is an initiative to create a culture of participation among youth. Volunteers of all ages are invited to join NAP at Botsford Recreational Preserve to hand pull invasive species like garlic mustard to make room for spring wildflowers — and to celebrate youth volunteerism! Park in the Park and Ride lot on Miller Road, then meet at the Botsford Recreational Preserve entrance, west on Miller. (map: tinyurl.com/BotsfordParkNRide). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Botsford050122.


Stewardship Workday
Mary Beth Doyle Park
Sunday, May 1
1-4 p.m.

Springtime at Mary Beth Doyle Park brings a bounty of incredible native wildflowers in bloom, and this year you’ll get to see and work in the new area added to the park! Years of restoration has allowed plants like trillium and May-apple to flourish, but they are still battling the invasion of aggressive non-native plants. Spend the afternoon pulling these weeds to help populations of native plants reestablish and spread throughout the park. Meet at the corner of Cardinal Avenue and Sharon Drive (map: tinyurl.com/MBDSharon). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/MBD050122.


Stewardship Workday
Huron Parkway Nature Area
Saturday, May 7
9 a.m.–noon

The woods in this park contain many uncommon species, including hazelnut, flowering dogwoods and chinkapin oaks. Help NAP manage the nature area and improve wildlife habitat by removing garlic mustard. Meet at the Park Steward’s house, 3470 Woodland Road, off East Huron River Drive (map: tinyurl.com/HuronParkwayWoodland). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/HuronParkway050722.


Stewardship Workday
Molin Nature Area
Saturday, May 7
1–4 p.m.

Come enjoy an afternoon in this lovely 7.2-acre park where park stewards and other volunteers have been hard at work restoring native habitat. Lend a hand and learn how to identify and remove invasive species such as garlic mustard and dame’s rocket. Removal allows native species to get the sun, water and soil resources they need to thrive! Meet at the end of Powell Road on Columbia (map: tinyurl.com/MolinPowell). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Molin050722.


Stewardship Workday
Fuller Park
Saturday, May 14
9 a.m.–noon

Tucked away on a bend of the Huron River and behind expansive soccer fields is Fuller Park’s floodplain forest. When springtime rain raises the water level of the Huron River, Fuller Park’s low bottomland deciduous forest temporarily floods. This natural system of water storage helps mitigate flooding events downstream. As climate changes and rainfall patterns become more unpredictable, this ecosystem is important to maintain. Help protect and restore this crucial habitat by removing non-native plants. Tools and know-how provided. Meet at parking lot at the end of Island Drive (map: tinyurl.com/CedarBendIslandDrive). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Fuller051422.


 Stewardship Workday
Argo Nature Area
Saturday, May 14
1–4 p.m.

Bring family and friends out to remove invasive weeds, opening space for tree seedlings and native wildflowers. The oak-hickory woods here overlook Argo Pond, and owls and hawks nest in the trees. Meet on Longshore Drive at Amherst Avenue (map: tinyurl.com/ArgoLongshore). 

Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Argo051422.


 Huron River Day
Sunday, May 15
Gallup Park
Noon–4 p.m.

Enjoy the beautiful Huron River with free, family-friendly river activities. Learn, explore and have fun celebrating Ann Arbor’s wonderful freshwater with discounted boat rentals (free if you ride your bike to the event!), children’s activities, river exhibits, NAP-led nature walks, music and local food. For more information, visit a2gov.org/hrd.


Stewardship Workday
World Migratory Bird Day
Bird Hills Nature Area
Sunday, May 15
1–4 p.m.

It’s easy to forget you’re in the city in Bird Hills Nature Area’s 146-acre woodland. Migratory birds stop in these trees on their way north. Listen to the birdsong while improving their habitat by removing exotic species such as dame’s rocket. Meet at the Bird Road entrance to this park, west of Huron River Drive (map: tinyurl.com/BirdHillsBird); additional parking in Barton Nature Area-Dam Entrance). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Bird051422.


Stewardship Workday
World Bee Day
Sunset Brooks Nature Area
Saturday, May 21
9 a.m.–noon

Some bees use “buzz pollination” to get flowers to release pollen — their buzzing vibrates the anthers of the flower and the pollen just shakes off. This process is also called “sonication” and is one of many ways bees and other pollinators interact with flowers to collect pollen. Come celebrate bees with NAP while working to remove invasive plants from this park! Meet at the Beechwood entrance to the park (map: tinyurl.com/SunsetBeechwood). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Sunset052122.


Stewardship Workday
Endangered Species Day
Cedar Bend Nature Area
Saturday, May 21
1–4 p.m.

Many threatened and endangered species come through Ann Arbor’s natural areas, whether to stop during migration, or to make a home. NAP volunteers are land stewards, protecting and restoring Ann Arbor’s natural areas. Celebrate the collective work of all land stewards who make a difference to endangered species by coming out to pull invasive weeds threatening habitat. Meet at the Island Park parking lot, at the end of Island Drive (map: tinyurl.com/CedarBendIslandDrive). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Cedar052122.


Stewardship Workday
International Day for Biodiversity
Marshall Nature Area
Sunday, May 22
9 a.m.–noon

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of great value to future generations, the number of species in the world is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Lend a hand at Marshall to remove invasive plants and improve biodiversity. Meet in the parking lot off Dixboro Road, north of Plymouth Road (map: tinyurl.com/MarshallDixboro). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/Marshall052222.  


Stewardship Workday
International Day for Biodiversity
Black Pond Woods Nature Area
Sunday, May 22
1–4 p.m.

Running an ecosystem is hard work — good thing we have each other! Every organism from the microscopic to the massive, contributes to healthy ecosystems; and they depend on each other for survival. In our natural areas, invasive and non-native plants threaten biodiversity by blocking access to resources needed by native species. Join NAP to celebrate and protect biodiversity by hand-pulling invasive plants. Meet on Tibbits Court, off Pontiac Trail (map: tinyurl.com/BlackPondTibbits). Preregistration through VolunteerHub is encouraged; please stay home if you are feeling ill. NAP continues to monitor recommendations from health officials, volunteers registered for events will be notified in advance of any changes to the workday. Register at tinyurl.com/BPW052222.


Spring Nature Walk
Sunday, May 29
Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area
1–2p.m.

Scarlett Mitchell is 88 acres of mixed habitat — oak forest, wet meadow, shrubland — and a fabulous place to spot some cool birds, rare plants and interesting mushrooms. Join this walk, then come back to Scarlett Mitchell next month for a Stewardship Workday! Meet in the Scarlett Middle School parking lot off Lorraine Street (map: tinyurl.com/ScarlettMiddleSchool). Make sure to dress for the weather (walks happen rain or shine), and bring a water bottle. The nature walks are a collaboration between the Ann Arbor District Library and NAP that take place once a month. Some of AADL’s Science Tools will be available for use during the walk! Registration is strongly encouraged so NAP can accommodate everyone! Register at tinyurl.com/ScarlettWalk052922.