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Volunteering at Ann Arbor Parks

By Gina

Are you looking for a volunteering opportunity in which you can learn about the local natural areas, contribute to preserving the environment and meet with other people in Ann Arbor? Participating in various volunteering activities conducted by NAP, Natural Area Preservation, is a great way to explore different nature areas and contribute to the environment we live in.

Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas and to foster environmental ethics within the community. Their involvement is wide ranged, from conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring, to stewardship projects in Ann Arbor parks. In addition to cleaning up the nature area, people can maintain biodiversity and restore damaged ecosystems by participating in various volunteering events.

Volunteers usually work on weekends, and you can sign up for it on the website. I personally volunteered for “workdays” multiple times when I removed invasive plants in different parks in Ann Arbor. Although it can be physically demanding work for many people, I really enjoyed working and helping native plants to thrive in the ecosystem. After the work, instructors from NAP took the people on a nature walk around the park, explaining about the history of the park and different plants and animals living in the nature area. As the weather gets warmer, there are many fun activities besides workday, such as bird surveys and turtle stewards where you can actually search for animals and interact with many nature scenes.

I participated in NAP’s volunteer events this year and I wish I would have known about them earlier. This is a great opportunity to explore the wonderful nature area around Ann Arbor and learn how the environment is important for our lives.

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