Volunteer Opportunities


WE NEED YOU!

Upcoming Saturday Workdays

Upcoming Wednesday Warrior Workdays

SWMLC volunteers provide immeasurable assistance to our conservation efforts, allowing us to broaden our resources.  There are many different ways to volunteer, depending on your areas of interest.  Volunteers are needed for stewardship, land protection, office, and outreach. Opportunities include: lopping brush, putting up signs, and pulling invasive plants; conducting species inventories; setting up and staffing information tables for events; helping with bulk mailings; and taking photographs on preserves and easements and at special events.

Volunteers also serve on committees such as Stewardship Team, Land Protection Team, and Outreach Team, or on our Board of Directors.

This is only a partial list of ongoing activities for volunteers.  Your support as a volunteer will have a lasting impact on the natural and scenic features that make our region so unique.  Please contact us if you would like more information, or complete our volunteer form and mail or fax it to SWMLC at 6851 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage, MI 49002.  Fax (269) 324-9760.

[Brian Dobbie working hard to fix erosion.  Photos and montage by Nate Fuller.]


 

Saturday Workdays Winter/Spring 2016

Anyone is welcome to pitch in to help keep our preserves up to snuff. It's a wonderful way to experience the preserves with the folks who know them best, plus get acquainted with other active people who share the conservation spirit. RSVPs are always nice; just call the office at 269-324-1600 or email conserveland@swmlc.org.

April 30,  9:00 am -12:00 pm
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven
Weed and seed: Spotted knapweed pulling and wildflower seeding
details

Special Friday Workday
May 13, 
 1:00 -4:00 pm
Black River Preserve, Geneva Twp., Van Buren Co.
Trail maintenance and improvement
details

May 21,  9:00 am -12:00 pm
Bow in the Clouds Preserve, City of Kalamazoo
Weed warriors: Community Garlic mustard Pull Challenge: 25 bags for 25 Years of SWMLC!
details

June 11,  9:00 am -12:00 pm
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Township
Trail mix: Trail improvement and plant rescue


 


 


Saturday Workday at Pilgrim Haven Natural Area

WHEN:
Saturday, April 30, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


WHERE:
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven Twp., Van Buren Cnty.

DETAILS:
This time round, it's Weed and Seed, the yin and the yang of stewardship! We'll pull invasive spotted knapweed while its sprouting rosettes are still tender and easy to yank, then spend time encouraging the spread of native wildflowers by planting seeds that were collected at other sites last fall.

RSVP's are always nice, just call the office at 269-324-1600 or email Mitch at lettow@swmlc.org.

DIRECTIONS:

Pilgrim Haven Natural Area is located just north of VanBuren State Park. From the Kalamazoo area, travel west on M-43 until you come to the intersection with CR 380 at Jericho Corners (look for a brown Van Buren State Park sign and a green airport sign.) Turn left at the intersection and continue on CR 380 (aka 20th Ave.) for approximately 4.5 miles. Turn right (north) onto Blue Star Highway, travel a short distance, then take the left fork at the intersection with 77th Street. Again, travel a short distance, then turn left (west) onto 18th Ave. Look for event signs and the preserve entrance on the right.

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Friday Trail Workday at Black River Preserve
 

WHEN:
Friday, May 13, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

WHERE:
Black River Preserve, Geneva Twp., Van Buren Cnty.

DETAILS: 
Black River Preserve's has a beautiful and extensive trail system that takes visitors through 121 acres of upland meadows, mature oak forest, soft squishy wetlands, hemlock ravines with streams at their heart, and magnificent views of the Black River. As more people come to learn about and enjoy this lovely preserve, its trails need regular maintenance and spring-cleaning. Please give us a hand in keeping them up to snuff by joing us for this special Friday Workday.

RSVP's are always nice, just call the office at 269-324-1600 or email Mitch at lettow@swmlc.org.

DIRECTIONS:

From M-43 and the traffic circle at Maple Grove Corners, take CR-689 north to the T-stop at 8th Ave. Turn right (east) on 8th Ave, and look for the preserve and its beautiful new parking lot on the south side. If you get to 68th St, you’ve gone too far. 

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Saturday Workday at Bow in the Clouds Preserve . . . and 25-Bag Challenge!
 

WHEN:
Saturday, May 21, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

WHERE:
Bow in the Clouds Preserve, City of Kalamazoo

DETAILS: 
Community garlic pull! In honor of our 25th Anniversary, we're challenging ourselves to fill 25 garbage bags with narsty and invasive garlic mustard. Just think of the pile that 25 full bags will make! And the gratification will be instant as we rip out the narsty invasive weed and create space and habitat for Bow in the Clouds' native flora to flourish once again. Is there enough galic mustard there to fill 25 garbage bags? Help us find out!

RSVP's are always nice, just call the office at 269-324-1600 or email Mitch at lettow@swmlc.org.

DIRECTIONS:
The preserve is on Nazareth Road (about one mile west of Sprinkle Road), behind the campus of the former Nazareth College (now home to Transformations Spirituality Center, 3427 Gull Rd.). From Gull Road, turn north onto Nazareth Road. The preserve entrance is about half a mile ahead on the left side of the road. Look for our old gray barn up off the road. 

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Wednesday Workday Warriors

 

Lucky Season 13!

Anyone is welcome to pitch in to help keep our preserves up to snuff. It's a wonderful way to experience the preserves with the folks who know them best, plus get acquainted with other active people who share the conservation spirit. RSVPs are always nice; please email Mitch at lettow@swmlc.org or leave him a message at the office at 269-324-1600 x305.

Wednesday, May 4

The garlic mustard onslaught continues at another forest wonderland bursting with spring wildflowers!

WHERE: Pritschet-Davis Preserve, Hopkins Twp., Allegan Co.

WHEN: We will meet at the D Avenue/US-131 carpool lot at 8:30 a.m., or meet at the preserve around 9 a.m. Directions to both are below.

ACTIVITY: Garlic mustard pulling

BRING:  Bring work gloves, water, and a snack.


DIRECTIONS: 
To carpool: 
Meet at the D Avenue carpool lot at 8:30 a.m. From the Kalamazoo area, travel north on US-131. Take Exit 44 (West D Avenue) and turn left (west). The carpool lot is on the left, just beyond the overpass. 
To meet at the preserve: From US-131, take Exit 59 (Shelbyville). Turn left (west), go over overpass, then almost immediately right (north) onto 12th St. Go about 1.8 miles and turn left (west) onto 128th Ave. Drive about 3 miles, then turn right (north) onto 18th St. When you see three blue silos on the left at 2950 18th St, look for the preserve sign on the right. Drive through the hayfield to the edge of the woods.