Ecological Restoration & Stewardship

How we care for land ripples across the water, impacting people, the environment and the economy. Our volunteers, partners, staff, donors and community are united by our love of nature and willingness to learn and share, to restore and care for plant and wildlife habitats, and to protect water quality. Imagine watching a forested ecosystem recover after invasive species are removed. Picture yourself finding indicators of a thriving aquatic ecosystem in an urban wetlands. Enjoy a child's smile as you show them how to tag a butterfly or collect native plant seeds.

Where do we work?

We offer programs and restore land and water all around the St. Clair River watershed. From monitoring woodlots of western St. Clair County, to restoring plant and wildlife habitats in the rolling and rugged Belle River valley, to planting trees along city shorelines, we are out there, everywhere in the watershed. Dive in to a few of our projects and programs.

Become a Steward, with a capital "S"

We are proud to call our volunteers Stewards with a capital "S." It is a title they've earned by generously sharing their time, talents, treasure and passion. We provide training for every role at each event, and some volunteers come to us with impressive knowledge and experience already. Our Stewards represent many disciplines, experiences, ages, abilities and skills. These include conservation professionals, health care workers, accountants, scientists, attorneys, engineers, artists, homemakers, and educators. We value all skills and ideas and we have countless ways for you to share them and to learn new things. Join us and become a Steward yourself! Sign up at kirsten@scriver.org.

What do Stewards do?

Our motto is Learn-Share-Do-Repeat! As an innovative, volunteer-driven organization with a mission to inspire citizen action, we know it's vital to welcome a variety of experiences and to include a diversity of perspectives and influences into our work. Commitment levels are up to you and range from dropping in at a single event to leading with us as a board member.

How volunteer Stewards engage and empower our community to care for the environment:

  • Assess, protect, and restore urban and wild ecosystems and green infrastructure
  • Document, collect, and propagate native plants
  • Monitor butterflies, soils, trees, phenology, mussels, macroinvertebrates, microplastics and more as citizen scientists
  • Advocate for healthy watersheds and clean water
  • Photograph nature and natural phenomena
  • Track and evaluate stormwater impacts
  • Identify, map and manage invasive species
  • Interpret nature and educate our community on the environment and conservation
  • Collect, enter and manage data and information
  • Develop, model and share exemplary restoration and land care practices
  • Create, edit, and share outreach materials
  • Promote responsible outdoor recreation that protects our water, land and air
  • Inspire, empower and guide the next generation of Stewards

Seasons of Restoration & Stewardship

One question we are often asked is, "Do you do restoration and stewardship in the winter?" The answer is a resounding "Yes!" Our citizen science, restoration and stewardship activities take place over the entire calendar, yet there are a few seasonal patterns. We work for the watershed year round!

Winter

Nature hikes, woody invasive species control, best practices research, professional development.

Spring

Spring wildflower tours, tree canopy and nest box monitoring, Garlic Mustard management.

Summer

Peak citizen science, events & tours, knapweed management, surveys & monitoring.

Fall

Native seed collecting, invasive species surveys, leaf peeping, Phragmites & knotweed management.