Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC)

1100 N Main St STE 210, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Visit Website Volunteer Page
Our missionHRWC’s mission is to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities.

Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC)

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Ways to help

Adopt-A-Stormdrain

Adopting a stormdrain is a simple way that you can help keep the Huron River clean and take care of your neighborhood at the same time! It’s simple, and there are no strict timelines so you can volunteer whenever it is convenient for you. When you adopt a stormdrain, you will: label it with a stormdrain marker, alerting others that it sends runoff directly to our local waterways without filtration or treatment, and do your best to clean debris from your drain’s grate on a regular basis, such as leaves and litter.
  • Occasional, Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10), Groups (10+), Corporate Teams, Families
  • Outdoor
  • None, On-site
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends

Chemistry and Flow Monitoring

Enjoy being outdoors while measuring the quality of local rivers and creeks in Livingston, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties! Learn how to collect water samples, measure stream flow, and record water chemistry measurements. No prior experience needed. During each sampling trip, volunteers spend two hours in the field on average.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends

Clerical Gurus

Interested in getting to know the internal working of HRWC? We routinely need help for a few hours a week. Knowledge of Microsoft products and office equipment a plus. Ideal candidates stay with us for one or more months.
  • Occasional, Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Office work, Indoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays

Events and Fairs

We need friendly folks to hang out with in out shady booth at fairs to chat about HRWC with visitors. You can also join a great group of volunteers to help out at our annual fundraiser event.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Event support, Indoor, Outdoor
  • None, On-site
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends

Stonefly Search

These underwater creatures elude most predators by growing during the winter months when most fish are more sluggish. They live only in good quality streams so searching for them tells us about problems in the river and its streams. HRWC does stonefly searches to gauge the health of our streams.When you sign up to volunteer, you will join a small group of other volunteers to search a selected stretch of stream or River for stoneflies. You will be working with experienced researchers in the collection of stoneflies. They will also teach you how we determine the health of the stream or river you are visiting. Children are welcome to join the search as long as each one is attended by an adult. This event takes about 4 hours; approximately half of that is outside.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Families
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends

River Roundup Leaders

Want to take your volunteering with Huron River Watershed Council to the next level? Become a sample collector for our next River Roundup, if you’re already a collector take it to the next level sign up for Leadership Training.Our trained volunteer leaders and collectors are what make our River Roundups great! If you have already experienced a River Roundup, you should consider training to be a team Leader/Collector.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekends

Education Program

Enjoy being outdoors while engaging local students in a series of hands-on stream ecology lessons that teach the importance of water quality and protecting the watershed. Learn how to teach small groups of students how to determine a stream’s health through measuring conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, and stream discharge, erosion and speed. The training will also cover how to collect and identify aquatic benthic macroinvertebrates, explain what the organisms reveal about stream health, and examine how their physical adaptions allow them to live in dynamic water systems. Volunteers are expected to commit to at least 3 education programs in the fall (September/October) or spring (April/May). The programs only take place during school hours and usually last between 3-4 hours depending on class size.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays

Natural Area Field Assessments

Field assessment volunteers will inventory ecologically important natural areas in the watershed. Each assessment takes about 3 – 4 hours, and involves a nature hike (yay!) through a woods or wetland. Volunteer teams conduct rapid ecological assessments of grasslands, forests, wetlands, and aquatic habitats throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Volunteers who sign up for the assessment program will join a team of two or more to do the assessments during the spring and summer. We also ask that natural area field volunteers attend a half-day training session.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekends

River Cleanups

Picking up trash in the river and along the shore helps keep the Huron and its tributaries healthy and safe for people and wildlife. You can do a river cleanup either on the water or from the shore. Head out and spend an afternoon on the river – trash bag in hand!
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10), Groups (10+), Corporate Teams, Families
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • None, On-site
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Insect ID Day

Identifying insects from the water ways can help us figure out what the water quality is within different sections of the Huron River Watershed.Find out what kinds of bugs are in the Huron River. At ID Day we separate bugs into groups that look-alike and then an expert will help you identify them. Once bugs are identified you can record the data and compare the results to last years and others. This identification process takes about two hours. (Each child must be accompanied by an adult.)
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Families
  • Indoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends

River Roundup

Join a small team of your friends, family, and other interesting volunteers. Collect samples of bugs and other creatures that live in our streams. These insects tell us how healthy the river system is, where the healthier areas are, and where we need to focus our restoration efforts. Volunteers meet in Ann Arbor and then trained volunteer leaders take you to two stream sites. At these sites, you help search through stones, leaves, and sediment to find the insects in their homes. Only trained volunteers go in the water. Dress to be in the field for a couple hours. Children are welcome to attend with an adult. You must register early to be assigned to a team.
  • One-time, Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10), Families
  • Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends
How you helpHRWC volunteers are vital to moving our mission forward. As a volunteer, you will work with fun, like-minded locals to help us collect samples and data that we will use to advocate for the health of Huron River Watershed.
About usFounded in 1965, the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is southeast Michigan’s oldest environmental organization dedicated to river protection. HRWC is a nonprofit coalition of residents, businesses, and local governments. HRWC bridges political boundaries by building partnerships between and among communities, community leaders, residents, and commercial enterprises. HRWC monitors the Huron River, its tributaries, lakes, and groundwater, and leads programs on pollution prevention and abatement, wetland and floodplain protection, public education, and natural resource and land-use planning. Even though the HRWC has no enforcement powers, we have accomplished our goals through the use of technical data, factual information, and citizen stewardship to influence decisions made by various local and state agencies.
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