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Help remove invasive plants from state parks

Help remove invasive plants from state parks

Get out and enjoy Michigan state parks and recreation areas in southwest Michigan and help protect natural habitat. The Department of Natural Resources recently announced its July schedule of volunteer steward activities at state parks and recreation areas throughout southwestern Michigan.

Volunteers will work alongside DNR staff to remove invasive, non-native shrub species that damage Michigan’s natural areas. Sometimes people plant these species, such as Japanese barberry and common privet, in home landscapes without realizing that the plants can damage local ecosystems. Invasive plants can then spread and threaten habitats for native birds and other species. Volunteers will learn to identify these plants and make a significant impact by properly removing them from natural areas within the parks. No experience is necessary and training and equipment are provided.

Japanese barberry

Japanese barberry

Dates, times and locations (counties) of group workdays are:

• Saturday, July 12: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Sunday, July 13: Ludington State Park (Mason), 1-4 p.m.

• Saturday, July 19: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Saturday, July 26: Ionia State Recreation Area (Ionia), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Tuesday, July 29: Muskegon State Park (Muskegon), noon-3 p.m.

Volunteers should bring gloves and drinking water and wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes. All volunteers, especially large groups, are encouraged to register in advance. Questions should be directed to Heidi Frei at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov.

For more details on DNR volunteer steward activities, including meeting location and activity descriptions, please visit www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and click on the link for Calendar of Volunteer Steward Workdays.

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Ray Winnie
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