Lead a Field Trip!
Deadline for 2024 Field Trip proposals is Nov 10, 2023.
Questions or more info, email us at: FieldTrips@WisConservation.org
Be a Field Trip leader!
Do you have passion for Wisconsin’s natural world and want to share it with engaged people in a profound and meaningful way? We’d love you to consider leading a Field Trip!
Since 1994, the Natural Resources Foundation has offered a vibrant statewide Field Trip Program engaging over 5,000 adults and youth annually in learning about various aspects of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife. Leading a field trip for the NRF is a great way to share your passion and knowledge of Wisconsin’s incredible places and creatures with others.
We are open to most all Field Trip ideas, so feel free to be creative! Trips can be geared toward adults only or families with children. From simple hikes to biking trips, paddling adventures or wildlife research, we are open to a whole breadth of possibilities.
Get ideas and inspiration by looking through our 2023 Field Trip Guidebook!
Program Summary and Leader Expectations
Trips occur from May to October, are generally 2 or more hours in length, and can be varied in the experiences they offer to participants. If you are doing something special to protect or conserve an animal or ecosystem, we would love if you would share your passion! From simple hikes to biking trips, to canoeing and kayaking, or even to wildlife research, we are open to a whole breadth of possibilities.
In general, our participants are adults ages 45-70; respectful, interested, outdoorsy and educated folks. We are very open to offering trips designed for kids (accompanied by a responsible adult) and families– please indicate this on the online form. We appreciate if group sizes accomodate 20+ people, though will accept smaller size limits as space and activity dictates.
Please know that the NRF charges participants a $18 per person ($8 for kids) registration fee to attend any trip, this pays for the overhead of running the program. Any fees that you ask for will be paid by participants above and beyond this amount. Also, anyone who registers must be, or become, a NRF member to join us on our field trips.
Partners who hold an endowment fund with NRF may add on trip fees that benefit their fund. The amount will be determined with help from NRF’s Field Trip Director and be in line with the trip experience.
Partnering nonprofits who do not hold an endowment with NRF may add a modest ($5-10/person) trip fee to benefit their organization.
If canoe/kayak rentals are needed for your trip, you as the leader are responsible for coordinating these rentals. The NRF will collect the money from participants during registration to cover the costs of these rentals (see the question on the form), and then the NRF will pay any invoices that you incur (just make sure the invoices are sent to us).
OUR TRIPS RUN RAIN OR SHINE. However, there may be situations where leaders need to delay, end a trip early, or cancel the day of the trip due to severe weather. We do not recommend canceling prior to the day of the trip as weather forecasts frequently change.
Alert Property Owners/Managers of your Field Trip
These organizations’ property managers appreciate knowing when a Field Trip is occurring on their sites (note links go to websites with pertinent contact info): The Prairie Enthusiasts, The Nature Conservancy, State Natural Areas property managers, WI State Parks managers. Also, participants will pay the State Park entrance fees themselves as they enter the park.
Timing of the Program
- Fill out the online survey with your Field Trip details, and someone from the NRF will email you to review the details and fill in any holes.
- The trips will be written up and be put into a booklet that is sent out to NRF members in February. Some trips may also be included in the April edition of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
- Registration for trips starts around April 1st. Most trips fill up in the first few weeks of registration. Yes, even for those trips that happen in the fall!
- The NRF will send out an email to participants of your trip with the details and directions of your trip about 2 weeks prior to your trip date.
- A few days before the trip the NRF will send you a roster that participants will need to sign for their liability waiver. Please return the signed roster to NRF after your trip is complete so we have a record of who attended.
In gratitude for your leading a trip, we send you a snazzy t-shirt with a fresh design each year. We request that you wear the shirt when you are leading your field trip.
Questions Asked about your Trip
2. *Title of field trip
3. *Date of trip, start and end times
4. *Max number of participants you would like on the trip (We appreciate accommodating groups of 20+ unless space/activity dictates a smaller group)
5. *Paragraph describing the field trip
6. *Rate how physically strenuous the trip is on a scale of 1-5.
7. Estimate the total length of walking/hiking or paddling on your trip
8. If the trip is strenuous, what should be called to the attention for participants.
9. Paddle trips: is this a loop or one-way with shuttle? Is there a portage?
10. Brief comments on the on the trail conditions such as steepness, trail width, and surface.
11. Could your trip accommodate people using standard wheelchairs or walkers?
12. Would your site be a good fit for all-terrain outdoor wheelchair users to attend?
13. *Costs (if any) you may need to cover for the field trip
14. Is your trip “family” friendly and designed specifically for participants 10 and under?
15. *Nearest town to meeting place
16. *County trip takes place in
17. Trip meeting address
18. Specific meeting location at the site and driving directions (optional)
19. Cell phone you can be reached the day of the trip
20. Web-link to a google map of the meeting location (if you have or can make one)
21. *What should participants bring/wear on the trip
22. *Are there bathroom facilities on the trip
23. Any additional websites that may be useful to participant
Field Trip Program Director
Christine has been at the helm of NRF's Field Trip program since 1997. She has coordinated over 3,000 trips, helping tens of thousands of people explore Wisconsin's most special places.