Get Involved

Make a difference. Volunteer to help your watershed.

Volunteers are essential to protect Michigan’s Upper Grand River. Without people like you, we would not have been able to help improve the quality of our watershed. Throughout the year we offer several opportunities to get involved with your watershed. There are no special requirements needed - we’ll train you on everything you need to know.



This is like a fun science project for adults and a great way to learn more about the ecology of the watershed you live in! Adopt-A-Stream volunteers monitor water quality, describe the habitat in and around the river, and collect macroinvertebrate insects to track the health of the Upper Grand River system.

Read More

Three times a year, teams of Adopt-A-Stream volunteers head out to the river. Some team members wade in the stream to find the nests, while others stay dry on the shore sorting through the material to collect the bugs in jars. Those not as keen on bug collecting gather basic water quality information on temperature, pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen concentrations.

Adopt-A-Stream events take place once on a single Saturday each spring and fall from about 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you are a new volunteer, we’ll provide training. Teams typically visit two sites along the river to make collections. Everyone is invited to sort and identify the bugs collected.

To register or learn more, email us at

Show Less

Winter Stonefly Hunt

The Adopt-A-Stream program, Winter Stonefly Hunt is another event where volunteers get out in nature to collect insects and water samples. In this case we’re only looking for a few species, specially adapted to take advantage of cold water temperatures. Volunteers who want to , will wade in the shallow water, turning over rocks looking for stoneflies. Another team will be on dry land collecting the insects in jars. Like in the spring and fall collections, samples gathered in the winter are used to assess the condition of the Grand River’s watershed.

Read More

The Winter Stonefly Hunt happens once per year in January or February.

To register or learn more, please call the Jackson County Conservation District at 517-395-2088 or email us at

Show Less

Annual River Clean-Ups

Each September, the Grand River Environmental Action Team (GREAT) sponsors a clean-up day to remove trash from the river in and near the City of Jackson. Watch their website for more information regarding the date, time, and meeting location. Dress to be in or near the river. Canoes, tools and lunch are provided.

Jackson County Conservation District’s Invasive Species Program

UGRWA is proud to partner with the Jackson County Conservation District and the Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (JLW CISMA) to prevent, detect, control, and eradicate invasive species. The JLW CISMA provides outreach and education and supports partner efforts to develop early detection, response and eradication. The program is led by Dr. Shikha Singh. She can be reached at or (517)395-2089.

On Your Own

There are many things you can do on your own, as part of your everyday life that will help to improve the quality of our watershed. Here are the top ten things you can do to keep pollution out of storm drains:

  1. Fertilize sparingly, using products low in phosphorous
  2. Rake leaves and put them into a compost pile or lawn bag
  3. Wash your car on the lawn instead of the driveway
  4. Dispose of pet waste
  5. Sweep the driveway and side walk
  6. Maintain your septic system
  7. Clean up oil spills immediately
  8. Store and dispose of household cleaners, chemicals and oil spills properly
  9. Choose less toxic alternatives, like washing your windows with vinegar and water
  10. Practice good car care, performing routine maintenance and fixing leaks promptly