Did you know your Metroparks offer opportunities to volunteer throughout the year? Volunteers support the parks on a wide variety of initiatives from event support and trail maintenance to invasive species removal and seed collection.
In 2019, nearly 5,000 volunteers donated over 27,000 of hours of time and talent. Because of dedicated and generous individuals, families, and companies, several large projects were completed. A few project highlights include:
- 930 volunteers working at six Metroparks for Earth Day Clean-ups.
- Partnering with the Huron River Watershed Council for Canoe Clean-ups with upwards of 40 volunteers.
- Creating a new, accessible, outdoor Amphitheater with a bonfire pit thanks to grant funding and volunteer employees from Ford.
- 793 volunteers worked with the Natural Resources crews to remove invasive species and collect native seeds throughout the Metroparks, covering a total of 190 acres of land.
In 2020, our goal is to expand the volunteer programs to include new opportunities, partnerships and ideas. A new Trail Ambassador program will roll out, a partnership with the city of Detroit Parks & Recreation will begin, and we’ll continue to expanded community relationships and grant opportunities. The 2019 Annual Volunteer Report is now available for review and provides details on the successes of 2019, and a vision for 2020.
As we look toward spring and summer, we need you! If you’ve considered volunteering, but didn’t know where to start, now is a great time to get involved. Our greatest need for volunteers in the coming months are:
- Kensington Metropark Farm Center – Work with the Farm Center staff to care for animals, enhance and maintain animal enclosures, and general farm support. If you love animals or if you have always wanted to try your hand at farm life, this is the volunteer experience for you.
- Gardening – Develop and maintain various gardens throughout your Metroparks. From landscape gardens to butterfly gardens help create beautiful spaces within the parks. No green thumb is necessary, just a love to dig in and help something grow.
- Invasive Species – Remove invasive species throughout your Metroparks. Support native plant populations as you work alongside Natural Resources staff to remove phragmites, garlic mustard, autumn olive or other invasive plants.
- Special Events – Support our new and reoccurring special events in the parks with set-up, tear-down, activity stations, crafts and more. There is a wide array of special events throughout the year to participate in as a volunteer.
Bailey, a two-time Volunteer of the Year award recipient for Wolcott Mill Metropark said, “My favorite thing about volunteering for the Metroparks, Wolcott Mill Farm Center specifically, is getting the opportunity to connect with and for animals. I volunteer at the Metroparks to learn about nature and stay connected with the community of people around me.”
Be like Bailey and join our volunteer community, we would love to have you! Sign up to learn more at https://www.metroparks.com/get-involved/volunteering/ or contact Katie Kowlaski, Volunteer Services Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (810) 494-6020.