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State Natural Areas Volunteer Program

Due to COVID-19 the following safety protocols are in place for the SNA Volunteer Steward Program:
  • Workdays are limited to the number of participants that can be socially distanced (e.g., space to be 6 ft apart) on a site or property.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask if unable to social distance from others at the site.
  • Please clean and disinfect tools and equipment when sharing.

 

If you have any questions, please call DNR Volunteer Coordinator Jared Urban at 608-228-4349.

 

Volunteers at work

 

Help us care for some of our state's most pristine public lands, State Natural Areas (SNA). Encourage native plants and animals to thrive by cutting brush, controlling invasive species, collecting seeds, monitoring rare species and preparing fire breaks. Show up for a day or become a steward responsible for all volunteer activities at a SNA. Any level of participation is encouraged and no experience is necessary to start volunteering.

Learn more

Wild Common Milkweed Harvesting September 10 - 30, 2021

Volunteers in Wood, Portage, Adams, Juneau, Waushara and Marquette counties are encouraged to harvest wild common milkweed seedpods from their property or neighbors’ fallow fields (with the property owner’s permission) from Sept. 10 through Sept. 30. Collected seeds will be used as part of a monarch habitat restoration project across several State Natural Areas in the Central Sands region.  

Milkweed Harvest Poster - How to harvest Milkweed
Learn how to properly harvest milkweed seedpods. [PDF]

 

 

Join us at a workday

Workdays are one of the main ways volunteers accomplish tasks. They occur throughout the year at different SNAs. They are a great way to get some exercise, have fun, learn something new and see if you’ve got what it takes to enjoy restoration. Come join us for a workday to see for yourself. You can also learn about individual volunteer opportunities.

I work in an industrial setting that does not inspire and reward me in the way these volunteer opportunities do. I get to learn things that I can apply to my own land. I've enjoyed meeting people who share my enthusiasm for restoration of our land. I've also been shown some prairie remnants in our SNAs that I never would have realized were still in existence. It's like finding treasure for me.

—Zach, SNA volunteer

Date Site Time County Activity Meeting location RSVP required? Contact Additional info
9/17 Cherokee Marsh 9 a.m. -noon Dane Phragmites Google map Yes Jan Axelson
608-215-0426 
Note this is not public access. We will cancel if raining or threat of thunderstorms. 
9/18 Chiwaukee Prairie 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Kenosha Weeds See webpage No See webpage Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month. 
9/18 Genesee Oak Opening 9 a.m. -noon Waukesha Seeds Google map Yes Walter Mirk Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month at different sites nearby.
9/18 York Prairie 9 a.m. -noon Green Brush, seed Google map No Shannon Roznoski
608-334-6920
If it’s steady/heavy rain we’ll cancel. If light or scattered rain we’ll still be there and you can decide if you’d like to be outside. Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month. 
 
9/23 Hogback Prairie 9 a.m. -noon Crawford Seeds Google map No Justin Nooker
920-360-1463
Please note there is no cell reception at the site. 
9/25 Sugar River Wetlands 9 a.m. -noon Dane Seeds Google map Yes Wade Moder
608-437-7707
Occur on the 4th Saturdays of the month.  
9/29 Empire Prairie- Westport Drumlin 1-4 p.m. Dane Seeds Google map No Jared Urban
608-228-4349
  
9/30 Berg Prairie 9 a.m. -noon LaCrosse Seeds Google map No Justin Nooker
920-360-1463
RSVP recommended in case of cancellation/rain.
10/1 Waubesa Wetlands 1-4:30 p.m. Dane Seeds, brush Google map Preferred Alex Wenthe
608-282-5403
Occur on the 1st Friday of the month.
10/8 Ridgeway Pine Relict 9 a.m. -noon Iowa Seeds Google map Yes Mary Kay Baum
608-935-5834
Occur on the 2nd Friday of the month.
10/9 Scuppernong Prairie 9 a.m. -noon Waukesha Seeds Google map Preferred Ginny Coburn
262-441-0393
Occur on the 2nd Saturday of the month at different sites nearby.
10/14 Maiden Rock Bluff 9 a.m. -noon Pepin Seeds Google map Yes Dean Edlin
608-792-3054
Occur on the 2nd Thursday of the month.
10/16 Chiwaukee Prairie 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Kenosha Weeds, brush See webpage No See webpage Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
10/16 Lulu Lake 9 a.m. -noon Waukesha Seeds Google map Yes Walter Mirk Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month at different sites nearby.
10/16 York Prairie 9 a.m. -noon Green Seeds, brush Google map No Shannon Roznoski  (608) 334-6920 Occur on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
10/20 Empire Prairie- Ashton Unit 1-4 p.m. Dane Seeds Google map Preferred Jared Urban
608-228-4349
 
10/21 Rocky Run Oak Savanna 9 a.m. -noon Columbia Seeds, brush Google map Yes Jared Urban
608-228-4349
Occur on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
10/21 Rocky Run Oak Savanna 9 a.m. -noon Columbia Seeds, brush Google map Yes Jared Urban
608-228-4349
Occur on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
10/23 Sugar River Wetlands 9 a.m. -noon Dane Seeds, brush Google map Yes Wade Moder
608-437-7707
Occur on the 4th Saturday of the month.
Expect to do some walking off trail, do some physical activity, and wear clothes that can be beat up. Good items to bring are drinking water, gloves, safety glasses, sunscreen, and bug spray in summer/fall. We’ll typically have enough tools for you to use. Although different sites have different approaches to cancellation a decision is made by at least two hours before the day. You can RSVP to get updates or ask the contact person about the status 2 hours before in these instances: moderate to heavy rain, snow/ice storms, extreme cold or extreme heat. 

Receive email updates on upcoming workdays

We have divided the state into volunteer regions. Receive email updates on upcoming volunteer workdays in the region. Sign up for as many regions as you'd like.

Volunteer regions

 

Upper Lake Michigan map legend

Upper Lake Michigan | Email sign-up

Southeast map legend

Southeast | Email sign-up

Southwest map legend

Southwest | Email sign-up

West Central map legend

West Central | Email sign-up

Northwest region map legend

Northwest | Email sign-up

Driftless region map legend

Driftless | Email sign-up

Central sands region legend

Central Sands | Email sign-up

North central region map legend

North Central | Email sign-up