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STEWARDSHIP 

Stewardship Work Days. Our work days are on the second Saturday from March through November. Our workdays are from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm EST and are open to the public. Help us with a multitude of preserve work including  invasive species removal, trail maintenance, planting native species, installing trail signage, and much more. Enjoy a Saturday getting to know people who care about conservation work all while learning and helping take care of COL preserves. Information about each Stewardship Workday is found on our events page.

Preserve Steward. If a monthly Workday is not enough for you, consider becoming a Preserve Steward! Each preserve has a Steward that helps monitor the property, gives input on management plans, and tracks progress toward goals. On-the-ground work involves visiting the park regularly, removing invasive plants, monitoring wildlife, and assisting at Stewardship Workdays. 

Group Work Days. We would love to host your group for a volunteer Stewardship Day! We welcome scout troops, business employees, students, and other large groups to schedule a day to help out on our preserves. 

Please contact the COL Stewardship Coordinator, Dan Engel an dengel@chikamingopenlands.org for more information.

EDUCATION

Mighty Acorns. The Mighty Acorns is an environmental education program that connects students to multiple, meaningful and sustained interactions with their local ecosystems. This unique program is designed for 3rd-5th grade students and has a designed in-classroom curriculum along with an outdoor field study trip to a COL preserve during the fall, winter, and spring. COL is excited to partner with New Buffalo, Three Oaks and Bridgman Elementary schools to bring the students out to our preserves. As a Mighty Acorns volunteer you will help assist on field study trips and help support the next generation of conservation-minded people.

Hike/Program Leader. Share your passion! Throughout the year COL hosts a variety of guided hikes, workshops, and events with a focus on land and water conservation. Contact the COL office if you are interested in being a hike or program leader on a topic you are passionate about and would love to share your expertise knowledge with the local community.

Please contact the Education and Outreach Coordinator, Casey Struecker, at cstruecker@chikamingopenlands.org to find out training for the Mighty Acorns program or if you are interested in being a program leader. 

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Butterfly Monitoring. Become a butterfly monitoring volunteer! Help assess the population status of our state's butterfly species, evaluate the quality of Michigan ecosystems, and engage in significant community science research! More information and training dates about butterfly monitoring can be found here.

iNaturalist and eBird apps. We invite you to use iNaturalist and eBird, identification apps that allow you to learn and help . The apps do not require any plant or bird identification knowledge and both work with any smart phone. You can quickly upload photos from the field and receive identification help and comments from other nature enthusiasts. In addition to helping you improve your identification skills you can allow us to see all of the common, rare, or exciting species that have been recorded at a given property. This allows us to track all species and understand where our efforts need the most attention. Download and start using these important citizen science apps today!

OFFICE HELP

Sometimes we need extra hands in the office. This can include office maintenance, stuffing envelopes, mailing newsletters, event and program preparation and more. 

Contact cstruecker@chikamingopenlands.org for more information.