Citizen Science

Everyday people and researchers work on scientific studies collaboratively to benefit the preservation of natural habitat and animal species at the 14 Oakland County parks. Participants gather information about birds, water quality, invasive species, butterflies and more. Citizen science allows the public to assist scientists' understanding of the complexities of nature. 

Citizen science and stewardship programs at Oakland County Parks and Recreation have included environmental surveys and counts; park and river stewardship efforts; Stream Leaders and various other educational programs.

Topics, prices and age requirements vary. Call 248-858-0916 for more information and registration.

Interested in completing a research project on Oakland County Parks and Recreation property? Please submit your request here.

Nest Box Monitoring

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Nest Box Monitoring Program uses the efforts of dedicated volunteers to monitor 169 nest boxes at seven parks. In 2019, 45 volunteers dedicated 1,046 hours monitoring boxes at Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Waterford Oaks county parks.

Nest boxes are built to target four native species – Black-Capped Chickadee, Eastern Bluebird, House Wren and the Tree Swallow.

According to studies from Cornell Nest Watch, one in four breeding birds has been lost since 1970.  The North American Bluebird Society was founded to help restore the declining population of Bluebird species.  This decline was largely due to habitat loss of dead and decaying trees that provide cavities for nesting.

Oakland County Parks used data collected by its volunteers and entered it into the Cornell Nest Watch website. Their efforts in 2019 revealed the following activity at its 169 nest boxes at seven parks:

  • 273 Nesting attempts
  • 924 eggs laid in nest boxes
  • 742 young hatched
  • 648 fledglings left nest box

2020 Nest Box Volunteer Training

Sunday, March 1 -- 1 to 3 p.m. at Wint Nature Center

Information about birds, monitoring techniques and volunteer requirements will be presented. Volunteers are asked to check boxes routinely from March – August. Nests are tracked in NestWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Training is free and open to the public.