Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Group of people touring a river © B.Gundrum

Discover and support Wisconsin's natural places.
© B.Gundrum

April 2014

Take it outside

Explore a field trip with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Christine Tanzer and Maria Sadowski

Think you know Wisconsin? The Natural Resources Foundation bets it can show you places and experiences you never knew existed. From our State Parks to our State Natural Areas, to our wetlands, grasslands, forests and streams, Wisconsin is full of natural treasures that make our state a beautifully diverse place to live. And, as the saying goes, you have to know something in order to cherish it — and want to care for it.

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986; it secures private funding for our stateís highest conservation priorities. To date, the Foundation has provided more than $4.6 million for conservation in Wisconsin.

The Foundation also manages the Wisconsin Conservation Endowment, through which individuals and groups can create permanent funding for the places, species or conservation issues of most concern to them. The Wisconsin Conservation Endowment currently comprises 62 funds with a value of $3.6 million.

The Foundationís newest initiative, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, is the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund, where individuals and businesses can give now so that our State Fisheries, State Parks, State Wildlife Areas and State Natural Areas can be cared for, now and forever. Learn more at cherishwisconsin.org .

Offering field trips is central to the Foundationís mission to connect generations to the wonders of Wisconsinís lands, waters and wildlife through conservation, education, engagement and giving. Thanks to expert leaders in a multitude of disciplines, the Foundation has led more than 1,500 field trips for more than 32,000 people. The field trips are often an important opportunity for children and adults to learn to care for and contribute toward conservation efforts in the state. And, of course, the field trips are a whole lot of fun!

Become a member or donate to the Foundation at WisConservation.org or call (866) 264-4096 for more information.

Thatís what the field trips are all about: Getting to know Wisconsin. Appreciating our lands, waters and wildlife. Helping to make sure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy these places, now and forever. The Foundation offers 150 field trips this year — thatís 30 more than last year, with space for an additional 500 participants. The adventures run April through November and offer opportunities to hike, become a citizen scientist, paddle a stream, band a bird or tag a butterfly and discover species from bats to mussels to sturgeons. Visit WisConservation.org for field trip details and bring a friend along as you explore —and better appreciate — the state we call home.

Easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Pick your field trips.

    A complete list of trips is available at WisConservation.org. Only a few trips are highlighted here. Trips are color-coded to provide information about physical demands, from easy to extreme. Each trip has a registration fee listed; some trips are fundraisers to support conservation or have an additional fee for rental equipment. Trips fill up quickly, so check the Foundationís website (WisConservation.org) for current availability.

  2. Become a member of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

    Field trips are only open to members of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and their guests. Your membership fee supports conservation projects across the state. You can become a member at a discounted rate of $15 per family as part of your online field trip registration. Or become a member online anytime at WisConservation.org.

  3. Register for your trips at WisConservation.org starting April 1.

    Click on the ďRegister for Field TripsĒ link. Enter the passcode JoinNRF to receive your discounted membership. You may register for up to four trips and bring up to five guests. The online registration system is quick and secure. After registering, you will receive an email confirming your trip selection. The Foundation does not accept phone or email registrations.

Approximately two weeks before each of your trips, you will receive an email with details and driving directions. Then itís time to get outdoors and get to know Wisconsin. Trips will fill fast, so sign up in April for best availability.

Saw-whet owl © A. Walaszek
See saw-whet owls close up on trip 143.
© A. Walaszek

Registration opens April 1.

Sign up for trips at WisConservation.org

Enter the passcode: JoinNRF. Trips will fill fast, so sign up starting April 1 for best availability.


Visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsinís website at WisConservation.org, call toll-free (866) 264-4096 or email fieldtrips@wisconservation.org.

Christine Tanzer is the field trip coordinator at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Maria Sadowski is the director of communications at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.