Van Buren Conservation District

Citizen Scientist Programs

Report Invasive Species

Report Invasive Species you detect across the State on the Michigan Invasive Species Inventory Network (MISIN) –  HERE!  The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) is a regional effort to develop and provide an early detection and rapid response (EDRR) resource for invasive species. The goal of this regional resource is to assist both experts and citizen scientists in the detection and identification of invasive species in support of the successful management of invasive species.

Collect macroinvertebrates

Collect macroinvertebrates (or insects) in local rivers, creeks and streams with teams during the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program – HERE!  Long term monitoring of parameters provides data needed to recognize the status and trends of a stream’s water quality and habitat quality. Monitoring the benthic macroinvertebrate (insect) population of a stream is a quick and easy process, that volunteers can do with only a small amount of training. The data will not necessarily identify specific water quality problems; but it can identify if a problem exists, much like the proverbial canary in a coal mine.

Report Amphibians & Reptiles

Report Amphibians & Reptiles that you spot on Michigan Herp Atlas – HERE!  The purpose of the Michigan Herp Atlas Project is to collect observation data about Michigan’s native amphibians and reptiles (collectively known as herpetofauna or “herps”) so we can document their distribution and changes in their populations statewide. To date, there has not been a statewide survey or complete history of Michigan’s herp populations. The Michigan Herp Atlas provides a statewide, publicly accessible, editable database for the state of Michigan.

Monitor Your Inland Lake

Monitor your inland lake by joining the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP) – HERE!  The CLMP has been an important component of Michigan’s inland lakes monitoring program of over 40 years, which makes it the second oldest volunteer monitoring program for lakes in the country.  The primary purpose of this cooperative program is to help citizen volunteers monitor indicators of water quality in their lake and document changes in lake quality overtime.

Score the Shore is a part of the CLMP

Assess your lakes shoreline – HERE!  Healthy shorelines are an important and valuable component of the lake ecosystem. The shoreline area is a transition zone between water and land, and is a very diverse environment that provides habitat for a great variety of fish, plants, birds, and other animals. A healthy shoreline area is also essential for maintaining water quality, slowing runoff, and limiting erosion. MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program has introduced a new monitoring program that enables volunteers to assess the quality of their lake’s shoreline habitat.

Backyard Bark Beetle Project

Join the Project and send in your beetles – HERE!  What is in your backyard? Help collect beetles in your own yard to better understand the forest pests in our area.  Using a 2-liter pop bottle and some hand-sanitizer, you can collect the beetles in your trees, and professionals will identify them, map them online and send you the results.

Eyes on the Forest: Sentinel Trees in Your Back Yard!

Sign up HERE!  Invasive species, such as Asian Longhorned Beetle and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, can threaten the health of our forests and of our landscape trees. By choosing one tree in your yard, park, or forest to keep an eye on, you can help understand what problems may be effecting our forest resources!