There’s no place like Leelanau. Find your Leelanau adventure at one of our 28 natural areas and preserves. A great way to learn more about the history and ecology of these hidden gems is to attend a guided hike, paddle or ski led by our experienced docents and staff. Click on an event below to learn more and sign up. Check back often; events are generally added a month in advance.
Are you interested in holding an event at one of our properties? You may need permission. Please click here for more information.
Docent Hikes by Request
Docent-led hikes have always been a great way to gain a deeper knowledge about Leelanau and the amazing nature around us, and this season we are offering small group Docent hikes by request.
If your group is 8 or less people, of 1-2 households and you’re interested, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Lindy Kellogg [email protected] for arrangements. Please submit requests a minimum of 7 days’ notice.
All attendees are requested to practicing proper social distancing, keeping a 6 foot distance from those not in your party, wear a mask, and do not attend if you have been exposed to a Covid positive person within 14 days of scheduled hike. If local or state Covid risk is at an elevated level, the event may be reduced in size of attendees, canceled or postponed.
Volunteer Kick-off Events
April 15–Wildflower Rescue Annual Kick-off Meeting via Zoom
Join our Wildflower Rescue Committee and members for an informational planning session on rescuing wildflowers from construction and excavation sites in Leelanau, digging and repotting for the annual Wildflower Rescue Sale scheduled for May 28 & 29 at the Leland Village Green. Brian Zimmerman of Four Seasons Nursery will also present on the benefits of planting native plant species in your garden.
April 20–Palmer Woods Mountain Bike Trail Crew Kick-off
Join our Trail Crew Volunteers and Stewardship team for a hands-on learning experience of the components of keeping the mountain bike trails open and safe. Trail Crew meets weekly, Tuesday evenings during the season.
Trail Scouts – Scouts are riders of the trail with an eye for detail. We need you to search out the areas on the trail that need attention and report back for our crew to make repairs. Required Skills: Regular trail riders who are comfortable riding both loops at Palmer Woods, able to recognize hazards, pinpoint and report back to our stewardship team. Scouts ride at their leisure.
Lopping & Brushing Crew – This part of our team will meet with the trail crew weekly on Tuesday evenings. Their focus will be on keeping vegetation cut back away from the trail for clear sight lines, and ample trail clearance. Required Skills: various tools used, such as shrub loppers, weed whippers, and brush blades. Ability to hike 1-3 miles preferred.
Tread & Shaping Crew – These folks will meet weekly on Tuesdays and learn the skills to safely reshape the dynamic features of the flow track style trail at Palmer Woods with our Trail Specialist Chad Jordan. Required Skills: multiple hand tools used, and ability to movie a lot of dirt and clay back into place throughout the trail system.
2021 Stewardship Projects & Workbees
Garlic Mustard–May and early June is garlic mustard removal season at our natural areas. This year our partners at the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network will once again sponsor a dumpster at Clay Cliffs Natural Area to offer proper disposal of garlic mustard. Stay tuned to our website for scheduled workbees.
Stites Natural Area Trail Construction will happen in 2021 and we may need help from volunteers breaking trail.
Earth Week Clean-Ups–Join in on the Earth Week celebration by helping to tidy up some of our most visited natural areas. After the snowmelt in spring, we can easily see the debris and trash that needs to be cleaned up. Clay Cliffs, the shoreline at Lighthouse West, and DeYoung Natural Areas most need your help. This volunteering is independent and can be done at your leisure.
Sign Painting–After a few seasons, many of our weathered wayfinding signs are in need of a paint job. We’ll be looking for detail-oriented people that can assist in repainting signs in our workshop.
Palmer Woods Fern Gardens–this year trail construction, building boardwalk sections and rock walls in the Fern Garden, and planting ferns at Palmer Woods are all on tap.
Any in person volunteering or attending event kick-offs are required to RSVP, Sign a Volunteer Waiver of Liability and are subject to practicing proper social distancing. Attendees are requested to wear a mask, provide their own safety equipment (gloves, eyewear) and water. If local or state Covid risk is at an elevated level, the event may be reduced in size of attendees, canceled or postponed.
Please report any independent volunteering time to our Volunteer Manager, Lindy at [email protected]