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Help protect dunes and restore native prairie at state parks

Warren Dunes State Park in Berrien County is looking for volunteers to help protect the park’s open dune system and the rare threatened Pitcher’s thistle by removing spotted knapweed, an invasive plant that will crowd out native flora if left unchecked. We’re making great progress on Pitcher’s thistle protection thanks to DNR volunteer stewards!

Volunteer stewardship workdays are scheduled for:

Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers will focus on pulling plants from the critical area near the thistle plants. Long sleeves are recommended, as some may be sensitive to this plant.

We will meet at the picnic area (interpretive shelter) south of the campground (GPS coordinates: 41.907001, -86.591755).

On National Public Lands Day, volunteers are invited to join in the effort to help restore native prairie during a stewardship workday at Fort Custer Recreation Area in Kalamazoo County Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers will help collect native wildflower and grass seeds that will be replanted throughout the park as part of ongoing restoration efforts. This is a great activity for the family to enjoy the outdoors. No experience is necessary, and instruction on plant identification will be provided.

Meet at the Whitford Lake parking area (GPS coordinates: 42.311306, -85.360528), and we’ll take a short walk to our plant propagation area. Please dress to be in an open prairie area, and be sure to bring along some water.

State park stewardship volunteers are asked to register either by using the volunteer registration form or by emailing freih@michigan.gov.