2021 Events

30 Days. 10 Sites. 1 Mission.

Join us September 9 – October 11 at one of ten tourism destinations throughout Michigan as we work to restore and repair.

This rustic overnight, two-workday experience preserves a unique story of maritime history that spans 6,000 years.

Volunteers will help preserve the recreational amenities of this picturesque destination by clearing brush from trails and camping platforms to improve river viewing, updating the boardwalk and protecting lime kiln structures through brush removal, while also supporting stewardship efforts on the island by installing boot brush stations and removing invasive species. This will be a challenging experience both in work to be done and the close-to-nature rustic accommodations (bring a tent to pitch in the field overlooking the river) – but the views are worth it! To access this destination, it does require a two-mile boat trip across the St. Mary’s River. There will be small boats to ferry volunteers over, but if you have your own boat, docking can be provided.

With a stunning backdrop of falling waters – a U.P. hallmark – volunteers will improve accessibility for all visitors by replacing decking on two large pedestrian bridges, replacing top rails on the board walk handrails, painting/staining infrastructures such as ticket booths and restroom facilities. If time and staff coordination permits, brushing viewing platforms may take place. Hand and possibly power tool skills needed.

Bond Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and has been featured in tourism campaigns, including Pure Michigan.  This 50’ high and 100’ wide waterfall is beautiful all four seasons: with roaring spring runoff, lush greenery in the summer, a colorful display in the autumn and sparkling ice formations in the winter.  

Popular with photographers, families, and for offering an accessible parking area, pathway and boardwalk, this majestic waterfall boasts awards for Best Waterfall from media outlets such as US Today and Lake Superior Magazine.  ORV riders can also enjoy Bond Falls and have access to the parking area via local trails.

This project is part of the reimagining of two rustic bunkhouses. Volunteers will enhance the visitor experience through the installation of garden beds and native plantings that will be interpreted through on-site signage and make a stay more pleasant. Volunteers will also help  improve accessibility for visitors by helping with elements of the boardwalk installation. 

Located adjacent to Kensington Metro Park, Island Lake hosts many activities and events, while also offering a shooting range, popular beaches, several lakes and streams, world-class mountain biking, and a multitude of paddle sports. Island Lake has a rich history including Spanish American War Encampments, The Dodge Brothers, and New York Yankee Slugger Babe Ruth.

Get wild in Battle Creek with a unique volunteer experience that will transport you a world away while giving to Michigan. This non-profit zoo is home to a diverse array of exotic and native animal species. The natural and spacious habitat design that blends animal habitats into the surrounding landscape is a 44-year hallmark of the zoo that respects animals and delights guests. The zoo is home to more than 40 Species Survival Plan animals – a demonstration of the zoo’s ongoing commitment to conservation and conservation education. 

Volunteers will be divided into three groups of 25 to refresh pavilions with paint and other repairs, enhance gardens at the entrance and throughout the zoo, and paint food/beverage facilities inside the zoo.

Volunteers may also elect to enjoy a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the BPZ from 4-6 pm on Monday, September 27.

Traverse City Botanic GardenStep back in time and enjoy the simpler life as you plant bulbs and winterize these historic gardens and learn how trees can be a tourism draw for your community.

Located in the heart of Traverse City on the beautiful grounds of Historic Barns Park, the Botanic Garden is a year-round sanctuary of environmental preservation, recreation and education. Its 25 acres nurtures the soul, enlivens our history and promotes Michigan’s natural beauty. With an emphasis on plant species native to northwest Michigan, it creates and enhances habitats for various forms of wildlife.

This event offers training on how to turn trees and native species into a tourism asset for your community. Learn FireWise gardening, learn how to assess hazardous trees, and get involved in the Champion Tree project. Training will end with a reception and tour of the garden grounds with the Executive Director.

Muskegon State Park and Luge CenterWatch you go, as volunteers enjoy high-speed action and enjoyable outdoor projects to get your hands dirty and your heart racing!

For over thirty years, the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park has promoted family health and wellness in the winter, but now have a bigger impact than just winter sports. Year-round they introduce local families and travelers from across the Midwest, students from inner-city areas, and people with disabilities to outdoor recreation in Muskegon State Park.

Thunder Bay Marine SanctuaryDive into this unique hidden gem! Spend a day volunteering while learning about underwater archaeology in Michigan’s only National Marine Sanctuary. Volunteers will engage in trail maintenance at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail, which trail spans over 100 miles of sanctuary shoreline and offers interpretation about visiting one of the best-preserved and historically-significant collections of shipwrecks in the world.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects a nationally significant collection of nearly 100 historic shipwrecks in Lake Huron off the Michigan coast. Through research, education, and community involvement, the sanctuary works to ensure future generations can enjoy these underwater treasures.

Come a day early (Oct. 10) to enjoy an interactive tour of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center! Talk with maritime archaeologists and learn about their work to document historic shipwrecks. Get hands-on experience with the tools used to explore Lake Huron beneath the waves and even build your own underwater robot!

Why Volunteer?

Being A Tourist

The FAM Tours! We provide volunteers a number of activities to participate in the day before our project work begins. Our volunteers have the opportunity to experience the local arts, culture, outdoor adventures, culinary options and enjoy sightseeing the local area.

Being A Tourism Influencer

Based on the work required at the project site and the preferences of the volunteers during registration, we break into groups and work hard for 6-8 hours. Work could include painting, landscaping, brush clearing, trail maintenance, building bird feeders or benches or constructing fences or signage posts.