Ecosystem Preserve / Volunteer

Volunteers are an integral part of the beauty, preservation, education and great programs happening at the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens.

Our volunteers will find a welcoming, supportive, and appreciative environment here.

There are many ways you can be a part of the exciting things happening at the Preserve:

  • Maintain/create trails
  • Plant native species around the Preserve
  • Collect seeds for propagation in our greenhouses
  • Assist with invasive species control

Specific volunteer needs and opportunities are listed below.

Build your team with us!

Community and corporate groups are welcome to coordinate a private workday with us during the week or weekend. Volunteer activities may include seed collection, invasive species removal, transplanting native plants, trail work, native garden maintenance, and other special projects. We prefer a minimum of at least 8 volunteers to schedule a private workday. Preferred times are 9 am to noon and/ or 1 to 4 pm. Contact Jamie Skillen for more information and to arrange a workday.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Below are some specific volunteer opportunities at the Preserve. Read about each opportunity and then click the appropriate signup button to let us know you'll be participating.

Summer 2024 Stewardship Workdays—

  • Summer stewardship volunteer schedule coming soon!

We are looking for volunteers to help us care for Calvin's Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens by controlling invasive plants, weeding gardens, maintaining hiking trails, etc. Meet us at the Gardener's Cottage on Venema Plaza (across from the Bunker Interpretive Center). A staff member will greet you, get you checked-in and will provide you with all necessary tools. Please come dressed for the weather and wear comfortable, closed toe shoes that can get dirty. We hope you can join us!

Questions? Contact Jamie Skillen

Summer 2024 Greenhouse Workdays—

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 1:15 - 4:15 PM

We are excited to work with you to grow our native plants for our plant sale! Join us at the greenhouse at 3770 Lake Dr Grand Rapids MI 49546. It looks like a residential home, but the driveway leads to our greenhouse in the back. Feel free to park in the house parking lot, edge of the front lawn, or along the driveway. There is some parking toward the greenhouse.

Hand sanitizer, bathrooms, and sinks will be available on-site. Bring a water bottle. We will be working in the greenhouses, which are partially heated, so dress for potential cold/warmth.

Sign Up for Greenhouse Workdays

Questions? Contact Benji Steenwyk 


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