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May 1, 2007

Contacts: Laurel Malvitz 248-359-9057 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Volunteers Invited to Plant Native Seedlings

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to help plant native prairie seedlings from mid-May through mid-June. These plants will help restore tallgrass prairie, lakeplain prairie and oak savanna ecosystems throughout southeastern Michigan. Dates, times and locations are as follows:

* Sunday, May 20 Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw Co.), 1 to 4 p.m.
* Saturday, May 26 Sterling State Park (Monroe Co.), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Saturday, June 2 Sterling State Park (Monroe Co.), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Saturday, June 2 Highland Recreation Area (Oakland Co.), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Sunday, June 3 Algonac State Park (St. Clair Co.), 1 to 4 p.m.
* Saturday, June 9 Highland Recreation Area (Oakland Co.), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Sunday, June 10 Algonac State Park (St. Clair Co.), 1 to 4 p.m.
* Sunday, June 10 Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw Co.), 1 to 4 p.m.

The prairie and oak savanna ecosystems, nearly eliminated during European settlement, exist today in small remnants, many in Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas.

“This is an important opportunity to restore and expand these natural ecosystems and preserve them for future generations,” said Ray Fahlsing, DNR stewardship unit manager.

The first step in restoring these lost landscapes took place last fall when volunteers collected seed. The next step involves planting the seedlings grown from that seed this spring, but that requires many hands. Volunteers are asked to bring a shovel or hand trowel, wear sturdy hiking shoes, and bring drinking water and sunscreen. Children under 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and click on the “Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays” link. For more information or to plan a special workday for groups of 15 or more individuals, please contact Laurel Malvitz at (248) 359-9057 or e-mail [email protected].

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations.
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