Community Projects


Opportunity: Learn at KAWO project sites
Dates/Times: Spring, Summer & Fall
Sessions: 1.5-3 hours

Among the important activities of Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones, planting projects around the community rank very high. Objectives include 1) providing better resources for wildlife in degraded public spaces, 2) helping to improve water quality in some of the city’s wetlands, ponds and streams, and 3) making the beauty of native plants visible in areas frequented by many people.


Dragonfly at Axtell Creek

Axtell Creek (near Crosstown & Howard in Kalamazoo): We’ve enhanced this lovely creek with beautiful wetland plantings along Maple Street School downstream to Paris Cleaners and South Westnedge. These are some of the most successful projects we’ve undertaken. We are now able to collect seeds and seedlings here for other areas. Volunteer: Learn about native wetlands, and how to identify invasives.

People’s Food Co-op: KAWO members helped to plan and install native landscaping to restore a former brownfield site at PFC’s new store at 507 Harrison Street. We also help supervise PFC volunteers maintaining the plot.

Kalamazoo Public Schools Administration Building: Several years ago a prairie planting was established in a 300o-square-foot circular area in front of the building. Unfortunately, it was not maintained and has been invaded by  non-natives. We estimate that original plantings still occupy about one half to two thirds of the site, leaving us with about 1,000 square feet to restore. Volunteer: Learn about native plants and invasives.

Others: We’ve been collaborating with other organizations and with some local businesses, schools (El Sol, Montessori School) and churches. We believe strongly that a major way we can impact this community is through plantings in places that show off the beauty of native plants and inform the public of their importance.

Thanks to our volunteers: doing vital work on community projects and plant exchanges, which spread the word about native plants and make our work and our mission visible in the community.

Please consider volunteering at as many sites as you can. Don’t stop there: Help recruit friends, neighbors, and other members. Make these true community projects. We should warn you:  Although we work pretty hard, we have fun and we learn, and it can be habit-forming.

For more information or to be notified by email of upcoming sessions, click to email Paul Olexia.