Wisconsin’s most popular field trip program bigger than ever in 2016

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin will offer 188 amazing adventures to help meet demand

FINAL_cover 2016 Field Trip guidebook

For immediate release
March 17, 2016

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is offering 188 expert-led field trips around the state this year, a 25 percent increase from last year’s season and more than any previous year. The popular program offers unique opportunities for all ages and abilities to explore Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife by foot, bike, boat and even train.  Since 1994, nearly 40,500 individuals have attended Foundation field trips.

“The popularity of our field trip program is a true testament to Wisconsin’s commitment to the state’s precious natural resources,” said Ruth Oppedahl, Foundation executive director. “The field trip program is an opportunity for people to connect directly with wildlife and wild lands, inspiring them to become stewards of our most cherished places. We don’t know of any other state that has a field trip program that is in such high demand.”

Professionals from the Department of Natural Resources and other experts lead the trips, sharing their love and knowledge of Wisconsin’s natural resources. The trips range from banding saw-whet owls to breakfasting with bats; catching mussels to fly fishing; kayaking Horicon Marsh to searching for carnivorous plants. Each trip, which appears in the Foundation’s online field trip guidebook, offers hands-on experiences that are often not available to the general public.

“Our field trips provide a breadth of educational experiences for curious people and families,” said Christine Tanzer, Foundation field trip coordinator. “Be it geology, ecology, wildlife habitat, land management, there is always something fascinating to learn about Wisconsin. That’s why we have to grow this program every year—there is just so much to learn about.”

Some of this year’s highlights include:

  • Trips take place in 46 out of 72 Wisconsin counties.
  • Thirty-five of the trips highlight endangered species.
  • The trips take many forms— hiking, kayaking, canoeing, biking, riding a pontoon, riding a train and even riding a wagon.
  • Thirty-two trips revolve around citizen-based monitoring projects.
  • More than 100 of the trips are on public lands, with 62 at state natural areas.
  • Fifty-six of the trips help raise money for various conservation projects, including the Bird Protection Fund, the Wisconsin Bat Fund, turtle nest site restoration efforts and state natural area management.

Online field trip registration this year opens at noon, Wednesday, March 23. To register for field trips, interested parties must first become a member of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin for $25 and will receive a passcode for registration in their membership confirmation email. The link to registration will be posted on the Foundation’s website (www.WisConservation.org), but will not be live until noon, Wednesday, March 23. Initial registration is limited to four trips and registrants can include up to five other guests. Trip cost varies by excursion.

Note: Some trips fill up very quickly. To optimize the experience, members are encouraged to read through the Foundation’s field trip FAQ.

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The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. This year marks the Foundation’s 30th year of boosting private sector support for Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more at www.wisconservation.org.

Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
608-266-3138 (office)
202-422-4671 (cell)