2019 Go Outside Fund recepient Fontana Elementary, Photo credit: Kristin Rabe
This fall, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded a total of $5,645 to 15 schools and organizations through the Go Outside Fund (GO Fund). The GO Fund provides funding for field supplies, substitute teachers, transportation, and/or assistance from resource professionals and educators—helping schools and teachers statewide bring environmental education to students outside of the classroom.

GO Fund Recipients 2019

8th Grade Science Explore Class, Adams-Friendship High School

  • This eighth-grade science class will get a great new set of classroom binoculars to use as they learn all about birds (and the lifelong hobby of birding!)

Wildlife Sanctuary Field Trip, Algoma Elementary School

  • Second graders will get to take a field trip to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary where they will explore different habitats and see native animals and invasive plant species they are learning about in class up-close.

Aquatic Pond Net Purchase, Brown County Parks Department

  • To aid with aquatic organism sampling done by local students, scouts, and the public as part of the Pond Study Program, the Brown County Parks Department will be buying new aquatic invertebrate sampling nets.

Conservation in the Northwoods, Eagle River Elementary

  • Fourth graders will take three different field trips to explore the local environment, investigate properties of water, assess the health of a local stream, identify native plant species, plant trees at the school forest, and participate in the historical past-time of maple tapping.

Interpretive Trail of Trees at EAGLE School of Madison, Eagle School of Madison

  • Fifth grade students will write text and create drawings that will be used in new interpretive signage in the EAGLE schoolyard. The signage will educate students and visitors about the ecological role of trees present as well as help trail visitors identify native trees and understand the region’s history as an oak savanna.

Our Forest is Our Future! Luck Public Schools

  • Students will learn about forests and the environment through visits to the Luck School Forest.

Bjornson Environmental Site Field DayMenomonie High School

  • High schoolers will spend a field day at the Menomonie High School Bjornson Environmental Site in order to prepare them for related classroom learning.

Let’s Go Snowshoeing! St. Croix River Association

  • Double the number of K-12 youth in nearby counties will be able to visit through the purchase of 15 more sets of snowshoes.

Central Wisconsin Environmental Station Field Trip, St. Paul Lutheran School

  • Fifth graders will attend a field trip at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station to help them learn more about the relationship between plants, animals, and humans.

Adventure Club, Sun Prairie Community Schools

  • Fifth graders will travel to the Patrick Marsh Conservancy for various outdoor activities: kayaking, construction of bat houses, skiing and snowshoeing, and nature hikes.

Astronomy Experience: Look to the Sky, Tomorrow River Community Charter School

  • Sixth and seventh graders will visit the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station on an overnight trip to learn about astronomy and the night sky.

Pre-Kindergarten Natural Play Opportunities at Kickapoo Valley ReserveViroqua Area Montessori School

  • Pre-kindergarteners will visit the Kickapoo Valley Reserve to learn about habitats and spend time outdoors.

Outdoor Adventure ClubWausau West High School

  • Members of the Outdoor Adventure Club will take three field trips to different locations—Treehaven, Manitowish Waters, and Mead Wildlife—to get outside and learn new outdoor skills and activities.

Wisconsin Prairie GardenWequiock Children’s Center for Environmental Science

  • Third grade students will create a habitat that will support and attract migrating wildlife year-round in their new Wisconsin Prairie Garden.

Hands-on Education with Orienteering, Wisconsin Heights School District

  • The purchase of GPS units and other geocaching materials (batteries, logbooks, pencils, etc) will allow students to learn how to geocache – an outdoor game where “hidden treasure” is found through the use of a GPS unit.
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin would like to congratulate this round of GO Fund recipients and wish them well on their outdoor adventures.

Project Highlights

2018 Go Outside Fund recipient River Bluff Middle School, Photo credit: Trees for Tomorrow

Wisconsin Prairie Garden

The third-grade class at Wequiock will use the Engineer Design Process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Experiment, Improve) to create a Wisconsin Prairie Garden that supports wildlife year round.  The students will research migrating animals, types of habitats they require, and plan and plant the prairie to support this wildlife.  They will study the animals observed and improve the prairie yearly to continue to support the wildlife.

Student will be able to extend their learning beyond the walls of the classroom by working outside to observe firsthand how plants and animals are interdependent and how certain areas support animal migration.  They will learn that they, as humans, have an impact and can affect the sustainability of Wisconsin wildlife. Students will also be able to extend their learning to their homes and neighborhood community by creating habitat restorations or conserving a habitat that supports animal migration.

2018 Go Outside Fund Grant recipient McDill Elementary, Photo credit: Paul Skawinski

Let’s Go Snowshoeing!

The St. Croix Rivers Association will purchase additional youth snowshoes to double the number of K-12 youth reached in Burnett and Polk Counties on winter ecology snowshoe hikes. As a result of these snowshoe hikes, students will recognize that rivers and forests of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway are alive, even in the winter, and there are endless discoveries to be made.

The St. Croix River Association (SCRA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect, restore, and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed. They have a long-term commitment to protecting the vibrant ecological, cultural, and recreational value of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.

About the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin was created in 1986 and connects generations to the wonders of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife through conservation, education, engagement, and giving. With the support of over 5,000 members and donors, the Foundation has contributed over $7 million to public and private conservation efforts to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of Wisconsin. The Foundation also coordinates hundreds of Field Trips annually that are open to the public to explore significant sites and get behind-the-scenes tours of some of our state’s most important conservation projects, and has supported more than 500 grassroots conservation projects in every Wisconsin county through its grant programs.

Learn more at www.WisConservation.org.

An Invitation to Wonder: Waubesa Wetlands

An Invitation to Wonder: Waubesa Wetlands is a new film in production that tells the story of a hidden wetland left undeveloped by humans, a scientist dedicated to preserving it, and his grandson: a 20-year-old documentary filmmaker.

Is Spread Eagle Barrens…barren? Not at all.

Since 2007, NRF has funded restoration work on 8,000 acres of globally rare pine barrens at Spread Eagle Barrens State Natural Area.

2023 Birdathon Report

The 2023 Great Wisconsin Birdathon Report is here! More teams, more birds, and more funds raised for bird conservation. 72 teams raised over $122,000 during our 11th season of birding for a cause.

Protecting the Third Coast

NRF and the WDNR are teaming up to protect water quality and wildlife habitat at seven priority sites along the coast of Lake Michigan.

What’s the deal with alvars?

Exploring the Unique Landscape of Red Banks Alvar: A Conversation with Julie Hawkins-Tyriver about the best alvar in Wisconsin.

5 Steps to Planting a Pollinator Garden in Wisconsin

In honor of #PollinatorWeek, we’re sharing five simple steps to create your own pollinator garden here in Wisconsin.

Birding in the Northwoods

Hear from two of our Great Wisconsin Birdathon teams in northern Wisconsin to get a feel for birding in the Northwoods!

A Conversation with Damian Vraniak

Damian Vraniak shares how 40 years of restoration on his family’s land has allowed humans, wildlife, and land to sustain each other.

Welcoming the 2023 Diversity in Conservation Internship Cohort

We are thrilled to announce our 2023 Cohort of the Diversity in Conservation Internship Program. This year, we are welcoming ten new interns!

How do birds respond to land restoration?

A collaborative research effort is answering an important question: how are Wisconsin’s birds using restored grasslands?