Join the Wayfarers!

We are the young adults of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Join us as we paddle, hike, bike, learn about, and explore our state’s amazing natural wonders.

Wayfarers connects young adults to outdoorsy, educational, and adventurous outings in Wisconsin, with the goal of fostering the next generation of conservation stewards. The group also provides a peer network to connect with others who care about Wisconsin’s outdoors through happy hours and socials, and to give back to Wisconsin through volunteering and philanthropy.

Our outings and events are led by some of the most knowledgeable scientists, ecologists, and naturalists in Wisconsin who generously share their favorite places and knowledge of Wisconsin’s outdoors. Wayfarers events are geared towards 20- and 30-somethings, but everyone is welcome!

Become a member

You must be a member of NRF to attend Wayfarers events. We consider a gift of any amount as a membership, so you can donate as much as you are able. Become a member today!

Sign up for Wayfarers updates

Stay in the loop about upcoming events, happy hours, volunteer workdays, and more!

Join us on a Field Trip

Enjoy our Wayfarers events? Check out our Field Trips program to keep exploring Wisconsin!

2024 Wayfarers Events

Event graphic with image of two people kayaking on the water at sundown with lanterns in their boats

Full Moon Glow Float

Paddle Lake Mendota under the full moon!

Join the Wayfarers in collaboration with Outdoor UW for a unique paddling experience. Explore Lake Mendota on a full moon evening in July using single and tandem kayaks. Outdoor UW paddling guides will lead us over to Picnic Point to enjoy the evening with new and old friends alike.

When: Sunday, July 21st 7-9:30pm

Where: Meet at the Outdoor UW Office at Memorial Union (Madison) to paddle out to Picnic Point and back together.

Cost: $30, kayaks (single or tandem) provided by Outdoor UW

RSVP: Register here. RSVPs are due by July 14th.

Event graphic with image of landscape and a rainbow

Overnight Camping Trip

This event has passed

Explore the Driftless outdoors under the stars with other young conservationists!

Activities will include:

  • Expert-led workshops in fly-fishing, birdwatching, and more
  • Lawn games, like ultimate frisbee and badminton
  • Hikes and talks around the campfire

No camping gear? No problem! We have some extra equipment and can also connect you with local rentals – reach out to us to discuss the best option for you. It’s the perfect group camping weekend for both people new to camping and seasoned pros.

When: Saturday, June 29th 12 pm to Sunday, June 30th 11 am

Where: West Fork Sports Club, Viroqua

Cost: $15 covers campsite reservation, snacks, grilling equipment, and firewood

RSVP: Register here. Limited to 20 spots and RSVPs are due by June 23rd.

People looking through binoculars while sitting on rocks

Millennial Falcons Birdathon Outing

This event has passed

Go birding for a cause with the Wayfarers Great Wisconsin Birdathon Millennial Falcons team! 🦅

When: Saturday, May 18th, 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (join for any or all of it!)

Where: Dane County, WI

Cost: NRF pay-what-you-can membership donation

The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is back and our Wayfarers team, the Millennial Falcons, is returning for its eighth year! Join us on Saturday, May 18th for a fun-filled day of birding for a good cause! Our goal is to find some of our favorite birds, get outside to some amazing Dane County birding areas, and raise $1,234 to protect the birds of the galaxy!

Where are we heading? Here’s a rough plan of our day – meet up with us for any or all of it!

5:30 am -7 am: Early birds at Picnic Point (Lakeshore Nature Preserve)
7:30 am – 9 am: UW Arboretum
9:30 am – 11 am: Nine Springs
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Picnic Lunch (bring your own) at Jenni and Kyle Preserve
1 pm – 3 pm: Pheasant Branch Conservancy
3:30 pm – 4 pm: Vienna Pothole Wildlife Area/ County V Ponds
4:30 pm: End the day at Lone Girl Brewing in Waunakee

RSVP: RSVP on Sign Up Genius by May 14th if you’d like to bird with us, explore some beautiful Wisco destinations, and enjoy bird fun with friends! Join for as much as you like—the morning, the afternoon, or the whole day’s events. No birding experience needed! We’ll have some extra binoculars to share. Carpooling options will be coordinated for those interested. More specific details will be sent closer to the outing.

Donate: Support the Millennial Falcons Birdathon Team – our goal is to raise $1,234 to protect the birds of the galaxy! Donations of any amount are appreciated, and support the highest priority conservation needs for Wisconsin’s birds!

People walking along a road holding bins of trash with text over the image that reads Wayfarers Earth Day Volunteer Clean Up with Sustain Dane & Ian's Pizza at Garver Feed Mill on Saturday April 13th from 9:30 to 11:30am wisconservation.org/wayfarers

Earth Day Volunteer Clean Up

This event has passed

Wayfarers, let’s meet up at Sustain Dane‘s annual Earth Month clean up event! Sustain Dane will provide gloves, trash bags, and hand sanitizer. Ian’s is generously offering a free pizza slice and Delta Beer Lab will provide free pint cards for your hard work!

When: Saturday, April 13th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Garver Feed Mill in Madison (3241 Garver Green)

Cost: NRF pay-what-you-can membership donation

RSVP: on Eventbrite

Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

Conservation Policy Happy Hour

This event has passed

Learn more about current Wisconsin conservation policies and what you can do to help from Meleesa Johnson, executive director of Wisconsin’s Green Fire, over a drink!

When: Wednesday, April 3rd 6 to 7 p.m.

Where: The Sugar Maple, Milwaukee (441 E Lincoln Ave)

Cost: NRF pay-what-you-can membership donation

RSVP: on Eventbrite

Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

Winter Nature Bingo

This event has passed

We challenge you to defrost and stay active this winter by playing bingo with us! Anyone who completes a bingo before March 1st will have a chance to win one of the following prizes:

How to enter more chances to win:

Once you complete a bingo, please fill out the Google Form linked below so you can be entered to win a prize!

 

people cross country skiing with event information overlaying the image in white text

Winter Wonders: Tree ID & Ski/Skate

This event has passed

Join us for an afternoon of identifying winter trees, weather-dependent skiing and ice skating, and warming up with drinks at Vintage Brewing!

    When: Saturday, February 17th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    Where: Elver Park (meet in parking lot) and Vintage Brewing Co. (674 S Whitney Way), Madison

    Cost: Optional cross country ski and ice skates rental plus NRF pay-what-you-can membership donation

    RSVP: RSVP by emailing Wayfarers coordinator Soumi at Soumi.Gaddameedi@wisconservation.org. Please include if you’re interested in carpooling and any accessibility needs.

    P.S. You’ll be able to cross off some of the activities on your Wayfarers Winter Nature Bingo cards at this event!

    Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

    Nature Board Game Night

    This event has passed

    When: Tuesday, January 16th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Where: Roll Play at Garver Feed Mill

    Cost: You must be a member of NRF to attend Wayfarers events. We consider a gift of any amount as a membership, so you can donate as much as you are able. Become a member today!

    Join us for an evening of nature-themed board games! Compete with other Wayfarers to visit the most national parks, attract diverse birds to your wildlife reserve, and more! Delicious Asian street food including bibimbap and boba tea from Roll Play and beer from Ian’s Pizza are available for purchase.

    RSVP: No RSVP required.

    2023 Wayfarers Events

    Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

    Winter Greenery Workshop

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, December 16th, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Where: Zillmer Ski Shelter, W833 County Rd SS, Campbellsport in Kettle Moraine State Forest

    Cost: $10 (plus a Wisconsin State Park vehicle admission sticker)

    Looking to get into the winter spirit? Always wanted to make your own wreath, but not quite sure where to start? Join your fellow Wayfarers in crafting a festive winter wreath! Meet us at the Kettle Moraine State Forest Winter Greenery Workshop, where DNR staff will teach us how to make wreaths out of natural materials.

    RSVP: Registration is required by December 7th. Please call the Ice Age Visitor Center at 920-533-8322 pr email Wayfarers coordinator Soumi at soumi.gaddameedi@wisconservation.org.

    Photo by Lindsay Renick Mayer

    Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

    Wayfarers x Ice Age Trail Alliance Mammoth Hike Challenge

    Ice Age Trail Hike & Brewery

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, October 21st, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    Where: Ice Age Trail Montrose Segment. Trailhead location: Frenchtown — Piller Road Parking Lot.

    Cost: Free

    Join NRF Wayfarers as we tackle the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Mammoth Hike Challenge through our October hike series! Learn more about the challenge and register yourself at iceagetrail.org/mammoth-hike-challenge.

    Meet up with fellow outdoor and conservation enthusiasts for an exciting (and kid-friendly) hike followed by a visit to a local brewery! We will explore the Ice Age Trail Montrose segment for an hour and head to Hop Garden Brewery Tap Room in Pauli after.

    RSVP: RSVPs are appreciated, so we can plan accordingly. Register on Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming!

    Photo by Philip V via Flickr

    Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

    Wayfarers x Ice Age Trail Alliance Mammoth Hike Challenge

    Ice Age Trail Hike & Lunch

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, October 14th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Where: Ice Age Trail Table Bluff Segment. Trailhead location: 8837 Scheele Road.

    Cost: Free

    Join NRF Wayfarers as we tackle the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Mammoth Hike Challenge through our October hike series! Learn more about the challenge and register yourself at iceagetrail.org/mammoth-hike-challenge.

    Hike 4.5 miles on the Ice Age Trail Table Bluff segment with NRF Wayfarers! We will head over to Reyes Tacos in Cross Plains for lunch after the hike.

    RSVP: RSVPs are appreciated, so we can plan accordingly. Register on Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming!

    Photo by Dane County Land & Water Resources Dept

    Graphic displaying event title day and time - same as text on page

    Public Lands Volunteer Workday

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, September 23rd, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Where: Sugar River Wetlands parking lot on Valley Road. Note that Valley Road is currently closed due to a bridge out, but you can still make it to the parking lot from the east on Highway 69. Meeting location pin: https://goo.gl/maps/SLe7A9eVEotkb5VEA

    Cost: Free

    Celebrate Public Lands Day with a work party at Sugar River Wetlands! You’ll help collect seeds that will be used to restore habitat for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. You’ll also meet fellow outdoor and conservation enthusiasts, learn plant identification skills, and hear from an expert from the Wisconsin DNR about ecological restoration.

    RSVP: RSVPs are appreciated, so we can ensure we have enough supplies for everyone. Email Wayfarers coordinator Soumi at soumi.gaddameedi@wisconservation.org to let us know you’re coming!

    Photo by Joshua Mayer

    Madison Nerd Nite: Wayfarers Takeover!

    This event has passed

    When: Wednesday, August 9th, 8 to 10 p.m.

    Where: High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI

    You knew that Wayfarers was full of nature lovers, but did you know that it’s also full of nerds? Conservation nerds, that is. If you’ve never been to Nerd Nite, it’s a monthly-ish informal gathering with entertaining and enlightening presentations. Whether you yourself identify as a nerd or non-nerd, join us to learn about three nerd-tastic conservation topics, have a drink (or two), and meet your fellow Wayfarers.

    Photo by Matt Botsford via Unsplash

    International Crane Foundation + Driftless Glen Distillery

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, July 22nd, 2 – 6 p.m.

    Where: International Crane Foundation + Driftless Glen Distillery in Baraboo, WI

    Cost: $10

    Did you know there are 15 different crane species that live on our planet?! Join fellow Wayfarers to learn more about cranes at the International Crane Foundation, which works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. The tour will end around 4 p.m., and we’ll then head to nearby Driftless Glen Distillery to grab a drink or snack while getting to know each other.

    RSVP: Registration is limited to 20 people – please purchase your tickets here by July 19th!

    Photo by Operation Migration

    Millennial Falcons Great Wisconsin Birdathon Outing

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, May 6th, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. (join for any or all of it!)

    Where: Sauk County, WI

    Cost: Free!

    The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is back and our Wayfarers team, the Millennial Falcons, is returning for its seventh year! The birds of Wisconsin need us, and protect them, we must. Join us on Saturday, May 6th for a fun-filled day of birding for a good cause! Our goal is to find some of our favorite birds, get outside at some beautiful Wisconsin destinations, and raise $1,234 to protect the birds of the galaxy! 💫

    Where are we heading? Here’s a rough plan of our day – meet up with us for any or all of it!

    • 6-9 a.m. Early birds at Baxter’s Hollow State Natural Area
    • 9-11 a.m.: Birding at Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area
    • 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: BYO picnic lunch + birding at Devil’s Lake State Park
    • 2-3 p.m.: Birding from the patio of Tumbled Rock Brewery & Kitchen, over some post-Birdathon beers (or bevy of choice)

    RSVP: RSVP to Cait Williamson by May 3rd if you’d like to bird with us, explore some beautiful Wisco destinations, and enjoy bird fun with friends! Join for as much as you like—the morning, the afternoon, or the whole day’s events. No birding experience needed! We’ll have some extra binoculars to share. Carpooling options will be coordinated for those interested.

    Donate: Support the Millennial Falcons Birdathon Team – our goal is to raise $1,234 to protect the birds of the galaxy! Donations of any amount are appreciated, and support the highest priority conservation needs for Wisconsin’s birds!

    Photo by Caitlyn Schuchhardt

    Flappy Hour (Virtual)

    This event has passed

    When: Wednesday, April 26th, 4-5 p.m.

    Where: Zoom

    Grab a flappy hour bevy of your choice and join in for birding tips and tricks, such as the best birdwatching apps, Wisconsin bird ID, favorite birding hotspots, and more! We’ll kick off with a brief intro to birding and Wisconsin birds, followed by some bird nerd trivia and a chance for you to ask any burning birding questions. You’ll be set to go for the Wayfarers Millennial Falcons Birdathon (and beyond!). Plus participants will have a chance to win some fun bird-y prizes!

    Cost: Free!

    RSVP: Register here.

    Photo by DeBoer Fund

    February 2023 Wayfarers game night at Roll Play

    Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup!

    This event has passed

    When: Saturday, April 22nd, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Where: Havenwoods State Forest, 6141 N. Hopkins St. Milwaukee, WI. Look for Soumi, Cait, and the Wayfarers Committee in our NRF t-shirts!

    Help us celebrate Earth Day by giving back at this volunteer event to care for Havenwoods State Forest! Milwaukee Riverkeeper will provide bags, gloves, supplies and free t-shirts, and YOU provide the hands and energy to pick up trash – grab a garbage bag, and let’s clean up! Option to join us afterwards for the free Rock the Green Earth Day celebration at the Harley-Davidson Museum!

    Cost: Free!

    RSVP: Pre-registration is required. Limited spots are available – sign up today!

    Photo by Caitlin Williamson

     

    February 2023 Wayfarers game night at Roll Play

    Wayfarers Game Night

    This event has passed

    Join us on Wednesday, February 8th from 6-9 p.m. for an evening of nature-themed board games at Roll Play at Garver Feed Mill! Compete with other Wayfarers to visit the most national parks, attract diverse birds to your wildlife reserve, build 3D biomes, grow your dream arboretum, and much more! All participants will be entered to win some great outdoor adventure prizes. If you come hungry, Roll Play has delicious Asian street food including bibimbap and boba tea available for purchase. You can also purchase beer at Ian’s Pizza (in the same building) and bring it in. RSVP not required – we hope to see you there!

    Photo by Caitlin Williamson

     2022 Wayfarers Events

    Yellowstone Lake State Park - Savanna

    Seed Collecting at Yellowstone State Park

    This event has passed

    Join us on October 29th, 2022 for a fall work party at one of the Foundation’s priority conservation sites: Yellowstone Lake State Park! You’ll help collect seeds that will be used to restore habitat for pollinators, grassland birds, and other wildlife. Additionally, you’ll meet fellow outdoor and conservation enthusiasts, learn plant identification skills, and hear from an expert from the Wisconsin DNR about ecological restoration and pollinator conservation. Experience the calming zen and rejuvenation that comes with seed collecting!

    Photo by Joshua Mayer

     

    Saunter on the Mountain

    This event has passed

    Join Wayfarers member and DNR Conservation Biologist, Justin Nooker, and High School Ecology Teacher, Dan Winkler, as we explore Trempealeau Mountain on Saturday, May 21 from 10am to 3pm.

    Trempealeau Mountain is a unique and sacred State Natural Area. This field trip will explore many plants, birds, and natural communities, as well as the geology and history of the Mountain. After our saunter we will have the opportunity to enjoy a local winery: Elmaro Vineyard!

    Millennial Falcons Birdathon

    This event has passed

    The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is back and our Wayfarers team, the Millennial Falcons, is returning for our sixth year! Join us as we go birding for a cause. The birds of Wisconsin need us, and protect them, we must.

    On Saturday, May 7th the Millennial Falcons will be using the Force to identify birds while moving at a pace that is very far from light-speed (i.e. casual). Our goal is to find some of our favorite birds, get outside at some fun Wisconsin destinations, and raise $1,234 to protect the birds of the galaxy. 💫

    Where are we heading? Here’s a rough plan of our day (times may flex a little):

    • 9am-11am: Birding at Spring Green Preserve (“Wisconsin’s Desert” aka “Tatooine”)
    • 11-12:30pm: Picnic Lunch + birding at Tower Hill State Park 
    • 1pm-2pm: Birding at Ferry Bluff SNA 
    • 2-3pm: Birding from the patio of Vintage Brewing in Sauk City, over some post-Birdathon beers (or beverage of choice)

    Sign up if you’d like to bird with us and enjoy a historic day of scope-saber duels, blue-wing blasters, red-tailed aerial displays of Jedi heroics. You’re welcome to join for all or just a portion of the day’s events.

    Want to support our team with a donation? Visit our fundraising page here.

     2021 Wayfarers Events

    Seed Collecting at Rocky Run Oak Savanna

    This event has passed

    Join Wayfarers for a fall work party at Rocky Run Oak Savanna SNA, a priority state natural area that the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin supports. We’ll be collecting seeds that will be used to restore an oak barren, a globally imperiled ecosystem, which will provide habitat for rare animals that are present at this unique SNA.

    You’ll learn plant ID skills, hear from an expert from the WI DNR about the restoration work being done at Rocky Run, meet fellow conservation enthusiasts, and experience the calming rejuvenation that comes with seed collecting. 🍂

    Take a break from the world and spend some time with seeds. You won’t regret it.

    Play #WayfarersBINGO!

    This challenge has passed congrats to our winners and thanks to everyone who played!

    Add a little challenge to your summer fun by playing BINGO with us! Anyone who completes a BINGO before September 1 will have a chance to win one of three prizes.

    What are we giving away? 

    • a Deuter-brand summit pack (a small, lightweight backpack)
    • a $25 gift card to Fontana Sports
    • a Kirtland’s warbler coffee mug and a bag of locally roasted coffee from Drift Coffee in Mt. Horeb
    We encourage everyone to share photos of their BINGO adventures on our Wisconsin Wayfarers Facebook group, or tag us @wisconservation on Instagram. If you complete a BINGO, please fill out the Google Form linked below so you can be entered to win one of the three prizes! You can enter more than one BINGO to increase your chances of winning, so go fill up that card!
    Wayfarers Glow Float flyer

    Glow Float 4.0

    This event has passed

    Join us for our popular Glow Float! A Wayfarers classic, this event went on hiatus last year but it’s now returning for it’s fourth iteration on Saturday, August 21st from 6-9:30pm.

    Enjoy a 6-mile roundtrip paddle from Memorial Union to Lakeshore Nature Preserve’s Picnic Point and back again. Boat rental is included in your $20 fee (as is some “glow!”). We’ll stop at Picnic Point for a special talk on the history and significance of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve as we watch the sun go down. On the way back to Memorial Union, we’ll light up lanterns, adorn some glow, and paddle leisurely back to the docks as Terrace onlookers delight in the floating glow of our flotilla!
     

    Registration is required. This event is capped at 15 attendees, not counting trip leaders from our partners at Outdoor UW and Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Register by August 18th at 11:59pm. 

    Learn to Spin Fish for Trout

    This event has passed

    We’ve got a great follow-up to our online trout presentation—and it involves getting your hands on a rod and reel! This is a great opportunity to give trout fishing a try before you invest in the gear.  

    We’ll be joined by Marty Moses of Pheasants Forever, John Motoviloff of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Zach Olufs of Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited.

    They’re all expert fishermen and ready to help us “test the waters” of trout fishing. We’ll learn how to spin fish (one style of trout fishing), but they’re ready to answer questions about fly fishing too. Additionally, you’ll also learn how to clean and prepare your freshly caught fish. 

    All the fishing gear you need will be provided. You show up and catch some fish! 🐟🐟🐟

    Introduction to Trout Fishing

    This event has passed

    Have you been curious about trout fishing, but unsure where to start? Join us for an online presentation by Curt Riedl, avid trout fisherman and board member of both Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited and West Forks Sports Club (a fishing and camping destination you should know about!)

    Curt is going to share information about Wisconsin’s amazing trout streams, trout species in WI and where to find them, the different types of trout fishing, equipment you need to get started, and a whole host of resources to make your fishing adventures a breeze.

    Come with your questions! Even if you’re not into fishing, this is a great chance to learn about Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited‘s impressive stream restoration work—which benefits far more than just fish! 

    Flappy Hour: Falcon Edition!

    This event has passed

    Do you have spring migration fever yet? Or maybe you’re bird-curious and wondering what all the fuss is about? Get your bird fix with some falcon knowledge at our May Flappy Hour!

    We’ll learn all about Wisconsin’s falcons, share tips and resources for beginning birders, and play a round of bird-themed trivia—with prizes, of course! You’ll also learn more about how you can join the Millennial Falcons, our Wayfarers team for the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.  

    If you’re looking to meet more bird nerds and win some birdy swag, this event is for you. Bring a beverage for a night of bird talk and falcon-themed fun! 

    Wingspan Online Game Night

    This event has passed

    Join your fellow Wayfarers for a virtual game night! We’ll be playing the online version of Wingspan, the 2018 award winning board game, where we play as bird enthusiasts seeking to discover and attract the best birds to our network of wildlife preserves.

    All attendees will have a chance to win a physical copy of the Wingspan board game. Prizes for game winners abound, too—we’ve got Kirtland’s warbler coffee mugs and Bird Collective patches and stickers to give away!

    This is the perfect opportunity to meet more nature-loving board game enthusiasts. Even if you haven’t played Wingspan before, we’ll have experienced players ready to help you learn as you go.  

    In addition to our scheduled trips, we host happy hours and pop-up adventures. Sign up for our email list using the form below, and join our Facebook group to stay informed of the latest events.

    Stay In the Loop

    Sign Up for Wayfarers Updates

    Join other 20- and 30-somethings across Wisconsin for updates on Wayfarers events, trips, and more.

    Soumika Gaddameedi

    Soumika Gaddameedi

    Event & Donor Relations Coordinator

    (608) 409-3144
    Soumi.Gaddameedi@WisConservation.org

    Soumika Gaddameedi (she/her) coordinates the Great Wisconsin Birdathon and other special events to engage and inspire a statewide conservation community.

    Banner photo by Lindsey Taylor.