AmeriCorps NCCC joined forces with WMU's Natural Areas Program during the summer of 2011 in order to assist with ecological restoration projects. Much of their time was spent at Asylum Lake Preserve pulling garlic mustard and dame's rocket, repairing eroded trails, removing invasives from the rain garden, and learning about research being conducted at the preserve.
Every year, WMU's Natural Areas Program hosts a "Big Pull" in which hundreds of volunteers come together to remove the invasive species garlic mustard.
No Child Left Inside is a new program administered by the Kalamazoo Nature Center which incorporates hands on learning through outdoor education. Local elementary schools take field trips to area nature preserves to learn about water ecology, birds, invasive species and more. The WMU Natural Areas Program has hosted these educational events at both Asylum Lake and Kleinstuck since the program was started. Students learn teamwork skills and self reflection through nature. They also have the opportunity to build relationships with kids from other schools. The program encourages kids to be curious about nature and hopes to inspire environmental stewardship at a young age.