MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the recent release of the 2022 State Natural Area Volunteer Annual Report showcasing the hundreds of volunteers who contributed to the care of Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas (SNA).

Last year, volunteers spent more than 9,589 hours maintaining and improving State Natural Areas through a variety of projects across 54 sites. Volunteers worked individually as well as at organized volunteer events around Wisconsin. More information about the accomplishments can be found in the full report.

“Our volunteers continue to gain valuable experience taking care of State Natural Areas. As they learn by doing, they are skillfully removing invasives, helping with prescribed burns, and collecting seeds,” said Jared Urban, DNR State Natural Area Volunteer Program Coordinator.

State natural areas are designated to conserve the best of Wisconsin prairies, forests, wetlands and other habitats. These special places provide support for 90% of rare plant species and 75% of rare wildlife species.

Nearly all properties are open to the public to enjoy while bird watching, hiking, hunting and fishing. Visitors should note that State Natural Areas are largely undeveloped and do not have restrooms, trails and other facilities like state parks do.

Although the DNR holds more than half of these sites in trust for Wisconsinites, the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and more than 50 other partners own and manage sites under a system established in 1951 and spurred by Aldo Leopold and other Wisconsin conservation giants.

Join Us For A Workday

Workdays are one of the main ways volunteers help the DNR care for State Natural Areas. Workdays take place at different state properties across the state and throughout the year. They are a great way to get some exercise, have fun and make a positive impact on our pristine public lands.

The public is encouraged to sign up to receive email updates on upcoming volunteer workdays in their area or areas of interest on the DNR’s State Natural Area Volunteer webpage.

No experience is necessary, and training and equipment are provided on-site.

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