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Categorized | Outdoors

Volunteers invited to collect native seeds at state parks

The Department of Natural Resources announced that volunteers are needed to harvest native prairie seeds on weekends throughout October and early November this year. Seed collection activities will take place at the following eight state parks and recreation areas: Algonac State Park (St. Clair County), Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County), Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County), Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County), Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County), Sterling State Park (Monroe County) and Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County).

Seeds will be used to restore tallgrass prairie, lakeplain prairie, and oak savanna ecosystems throughout southern Michigan. A complete schedule of the 15 collection dates, meeting locations and registration forms are available on the DNR Web site: www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers then click on the Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays link.

Prairie and oak savanna ecosystems were nearly eliminated during European settlement and exist today in small remnants, many in Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas. Seed collection is a key step in restoring these lost landscapes, but it is a step that requires many hands.

“This is an important opportunity to restore and expand these natural ecosystems and preserve them for future generations,” said Ray Fahlsing, the DNR Parks and Recreation Division’s stewardship manager.

Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a clean, empty milk jug to collect seeds, drinking water and sunscreen. Children under 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper at (248) 359-9057 or malvitzl@michigan.gov.

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