The Department of Natural Resources invites residents to get out this December and enjoy Southwest Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas, while helping to protect their habitat. Volunteers are needed for stewardship workdays, which are a great way for area residents and park visitors to GO Get Outdoors, breathe some fresh air, have fun and get a bit of exercise.

Experience is not required, and training and equipment are provided. Workday dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 1: Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 2: Grand Mere State Park (Berrien County), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Muskegon State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Ionia State Recreation Area (Ionia County), 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work (including long pants and sturdy closed-toed shoes) and bring gloves and drinking water. To get information about the activities on each workday, find directions or park information, or to check the Volunteer Steward calendar of events, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and link to the “Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.” Interested volunteers should contact Heidi Frei at 269-685-6851 ext. 147 or freih@michigan.gov for registration or questions about the workdays.

More outdoor fun and exercise is available through the DNR’s Recreation 101 program, which provides expert instruction to budding outdoor enthusiasts by offering free, hands-on training in over 100 different activities. Learn about participating or becoming an instructor, at www.michigan.gov/rec101. The DNR also offers ongoing nature programming; check out the schedule at www.michigan.gov/natureprograms.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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