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monarch butterfly on purple coneflower

Explore the Outdoors!

January 16, 2020  |  Topics: Events

Text and photos provided by the Natural Resources Foundation

Wisconsin is a truly special place with a unique diversity of habitats and wildlife. The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin encourages people to explore these natural wonders through a robust Field Trip program. Piloted in 1993 with 4 trips, this program has grown to nearly 250 trips each year that span the entire state. From scenic hikes and kayaking trips to educational bird banding and butterfly tagging, we have something for everyone. Grab your hiking boots, bicycles and canoe paddles, and explore Wisconsin!  

canoe on lake in autumn
“Boundary Waters” Canoe Experience in Washburn County. Photo: Melinda Pearce

Fun for All

Ranging from easy hikes to intense excursions, the Natural Resources Foundation offers Field Trips for both adults and children and all physical abilities. Each Field Trip listing is ranked according to Physical Rating and indicates whether it is Family Friendly. Because we believe it is imperative to connect the younger generation to the natural world, more than 70 of our Field Trips are suitable for children. Whether your interest is lichens, amphibians, wild edible plants, old-growth forests or birds, we likely have a Field Trip for you.

boy with net catching butterflies in field of goldenrod
Tagging Monarch Butterflies at Goose Pond Sanctuary.
Photo: Eric Preston

Conservation through Education

The Foundation’s Field Trip program not only encourages people to explore the outdoors, but also highlights the important conservation efforts happening throughout the state. Our leaders are passionate individuals who are experts in their field. More than 300 people from 110 partnering organizations led trips in 2019. Learn about management strategies for one of Wisconsin’s rarest birds or restoration work underway in some of our most imperiled habitats. Become a citizen scientist for the day and learn how to collect data that will be used for important scientific research. With knowledge comes power – it is our hope that our Field Trip participants go on to become stewards and ambassadors for Wisconsin’s lands, wildlife, and waters.

Discover Wisconsin Turtles at Bong Recreation Area.

Join Us

Join the Natural Resources Foundation for a hands-on experience in nature! Individual memberships begin at $25/year. Our Field Trips run from April to November each year. Registration opens in late March, and some trips fill up fast! You must be a member of the Foundation to register for trips. Join today by going to the Natural Resources Foundation website.

Kestrel Banding on the Buena Vista Grasslands. Photo: Judy Puffer
Paddle the Dells. Photo: Patty Henry
Field trip goer holding a woodpecker on a bird banding field trip.
Butterfly tagging field trip.
Paddle the St Croix National Riverway.
Discover Wisconsin Turtles at Bong Recreation Area.
Photo: Eric Preston

All photos provided by the Natural Resources Foundation with credits to photographers as noted. The featured photo of the monarch butterfly is by Joel Trick. The Natural Resources Foundation is a partner organization to “A Wealth of Nature,” whose mission is to promote the enjoyment and preservation of nature in our region.