Long-term stewardship is a necessary, ever-expanding, and ongoing part of caring for every parcel of land that the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy protects. Across a five-county region, GTRLC owns and maintains dozens of nature preserves encompassing over 10,000 acres of protected land – and that number keeps growing! To effectively manage this expansive collection of protected land, we need your help clearing trails, maintaining signage, monitoring plants and wildlife, and being our eyes and ears on the ground.

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Responsibilities/Duties

Each nature preserve requires different tasks, but in general, Preserve Stewards will

  • Visit their chosen nature preserve regularly (every ~2 weeks)
  • Submit monitoring report forms to document the condition of the preserve
  • Clear the trail corridor with saws and pruners (optional)
  • Notify staff of any disturbances that require further attention

Location

GTRLC needs volunteer Preserve Stewards across our five-county service area on all of our nature preserves. Many volunteers choose to return to the same property, while others prefer to roam our service area and visit multiple preserves.

Qualifications

Each nature preserve requires different tasks, but in general, the ideal Preserve Steward is

  • Available to regularly visit our nature preserves
  • Physically capable of hiking the trail systems and pruning vegetation

Time Commitment

Your time spent improving the health and condition of our preserves is invaluable, and you may volunteer as often as their schedule allows. While Preserve Stewards have the flexibility of volunteering whenever it works for their schedule, we ask that volunteers visit their preserve once every ~2 weeks to trim vegetation on the trail and submit a preserve condition report.

Training

We will host several training opportunities where volunteers can learn how to monitor and care for our nature preserves. Please reach Jon Throop at jthroop@gtrlc.org for training dates or to be paired with a staff member/volunteer for a 1 – 1 training.

Training Video:

Volunteer Preserve Stewardship

If you’re excited to get involved and help us maintain our nature preserves, sign up today to volunteer!