Join the Wayfarers!

We are the young professionals 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 professionals to opportunities to Wisconsin’s outdoors, with the goal of fostering the next generation of conservation stewards, while building affinity with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Our trips 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!

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Stay in the loop! Sign up for the Wayfarers email list to get updates on upcoming trips, happy hours, volunteer workdays, and other WisConservation news.

 2023 Wayfarers Events

Wausau Wayfarers Hiking Meetup

When: Saturday, June 17th, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Rib Mountain State Park + Bull Falls Brewery, Wausau, WI

Cost: Free! (note that a Wisconsin State Park sticker is required for vehicle admission)

Join fellow Wayfarers to explore Wausau’s Rib Mountain – this billion year old hill is one of the oldest geological formations on earth! Enjoy a hike to take in the park’s spectacular views and explore its talus slopes and rare plants, while learning more about the park and its natural history. Get to know fellow Wayfarers during a BYO picnic lunch afterward, and then we’ll head to nearby Bull Falls Brewery to enjoy a locally-brewed craft beer to end the day!

RSVP: Registration is limited to 20 people – RSVP to Soumi Gaddameedi by June 14th to let us know if you’re able to join!

Photo by Dave Forsythe

Millennial Falcons Great Wisconsin Birdathon Outing

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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)

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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

Soumika Gaddameedi

Soumika Gaddameedi

Event & Donor Relations Coordinator