Volunteers Seed Collecting at the Wet PrairieOakland Township Parks and Recreation


Deer Exclosures

Natural Areas Blog  NEW!

Prairie Remnant Restoration

Prescribed Ecological Burns

Oakland Township Parks Natural Areas Stewardship - Join us!
RSVP for all activities to bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org or 248-651-7810, ext 401.
For workdays, remember to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes suitable for uneven terrain. We provide tools, light snacks, water, and training. All minors must have a waiver signed by a guardian, and minors under 14 must be accompanied by a guardian. Contact us: Email or phone Natural Areas Stewardship Manager Doctor Ben at bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org or 248-651-7810 ext 401. Check our blog, oaklandnaturalareas.com, for updated information on these events.

Protecting Michigan's Rare Amphibians and Reptiles - including the Massasauga Rattlesnake!
Thursday, January 19, 6:30pm, FREE
Paint Creek Cider Mill
Michigan is home to over 60 species of reptiles and amphibians (called "herpetofauna"). More than half are designated as "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). In 2016 the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake was elevated to Federally Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This designation has significant impacts on the conservation and management of these snakes in Michigan. This presentation will focus on rare amphibians and reptiles in Michigan, with emphasis on the Massasauga Rattlesnake, and discuss the basic natural history, threats, and conservation needs for these species.

Flora and Natural Communities of Southeast Michigan
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm
Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road
$40 per student; Maximum 15 students
This class will meet monthly to learn about the plants of southeast Michigan, focusing on local examples in Oakland Township. We will learn about the basics of plant anatomy and morphology, winter woody plant identification, identifying common plant families, and natural communities of Michigan. All are welcome, no plant experience necessary. Includes field trips to locations within a five minute drive. Course continues through the summer! (Topics tentative)
February 9: Ecological Surveys of Southern Michigan: The importance of Public Land
February 23: Controlled Fire: Why and How Do We Use Prescribed Burns?
March 23: Winter Woody Plant ID and Family Overview
April 27: Spring Wildflowers
May 25: Early Summer Blooms
June 22: Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

Watch the Woodcock Dance 
and Earth Day Observation
Friday, April 21, 7:30pm, FREE
Cranberry Lake Park

Weekly Bird Walks

Join us every Wednesday at 8:30am from January to March and at 8am in April and May for our weekly bird walks.  We want to document the bird species using natural areas in our parks so that we can work to improve their habitat.  Some extra binoculars are available if you contact us in advance. FREE
1st Weds of month-Bear Creek Nature Park
2nd Weds of month-Cranberry Lake Park
3rd Weds of month-Charles Ilsley Park
4th Weds of month-Draper Twin Lake Park
5th Weds of November- Lost Lake Nature Park

Volunteer Fire Crew Training
Saturday, February 25, 9am - 2:30pm
Paint Creek Cider Mill

Volunteer Workdays

Please come out and join us for one of these free events! Contact us in advance if possible so that we can bring enough tools and supplies. Updated information on these events can be found on our blog at oaklandnaturalareas.com.
We will work to remove invasive shrubs, pull garlic mustard, and spread seed in our natural areas. Expect work to be physically demanding. All workdays are 9am to 12noon and will be cancelled if the weather is bad. Please come out and join us for these free events! FREE
Garlic Mustard Pulls
Bear Creek Nature Park, 740 West Snell Road

Tuesdays, May 2 and 9
Blue Heron Environmental Area, 3320 N Rochester Road
Tuesdays, May 16 and 23

Garden Volunteers Needed!
Oakland Township Parks and Recreation is looking for a few passionate gardeners to help maintain our native plant demonstration beds during the growing season. Tasks include general garden maintenance such as weeding, deadheading, and spreading mulch. Ability to identify native plants is a plus but not required. To learn more please contact Ben VanderWeide at bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org  or 248.651.7810. Hours worked can be used toward the Conservation Stewards volunteer hour requirement or worked into an educational component for the Master Gardener hour requirement.