Different Ways to Get Involved With the Leelanau Conservancy
It’s Earth Day, the perfect time to think about doing your part to help the environment.
One way is to volunteer with the Leelanau Conservancy. The environmental group has several ways you can help out.
One is the wildflower rescue.
They save springtime wildflowers from construction in wooded areas.
Rescuers go in before construction starts, dig the flowers out, pot them and sell them at the wildflower rescue sale on Memorial Day weekend.
“a lot of those flowers take many, many years to regenerate, like trillium for example. Some of the trilliums can very young or very old, but some of the tubers kind of the bulb if you will, of the trillium can be 30 or 40 years old. So those are really healthy plants and they just take a long time to propagate naturally” says Lindy Kellogg, event and volunteer manager for the Conservancy.
The money from the wildflower sale goes to help the stewardship program.
If you’d like to become a steward, you’re assigned a hiking trail or system of trails.
You’re responsible for going out and monitoring your trail 6 to 12 times a year, but on your schedule.
“They are kind of the eyes and ears on the trail for us, so often times if there is a wind storm they will go and check things out. Make sure there are no down limbs, look for hazards along the trail like branches that might snag people or roots along the trail. Anywhere there might be a washout, the trail itself needs to be filled back or rerouted even” says Kellogg.
Some trail stewards just hike and report back to the conservancy. Others help pick up downed limbs and even remove large trees.
Another volunteer program is the Palmer Woods mountain bike crew.
They meet every Tuesday evening at Palmer Woods Forest Reserve.
“We have to constantly maintain those trails for safety, removing debris, removing piled-up sand that might happen after a rain storm. Also taking down trees. Sometimes the features kind of degrade over time and overuse of all the bikes going over so we rebuild them up” says Kellogg.
You don’t need to be bike to be part of the Palmer Woods mountain bike crew. They appreciate any helping hands.
You can visit the Conservancy’s website to volunteer or donate.