Friday, March 15, 2013

Explore Wisconsin’s hidden secrets on a Natural Resources Foundation field trip

People who want to learn more about or just explore a wide variety of Wisconsin natural resources can begin signing up March 20 for any of the more than 120 field trips being offered this summer and fall by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources and other environmental educators.

These are among some of the more popular types of field trips offered. The field trips are guided by experts, including many DNR staff, who help people discover some of the best-kept secrets of state parks, state natural areas and other locations.“Any family is really missing out if their summer plans don’t include helping band fawns or elk, birding by canoe on the Wisconsin River, or hanging out with biologists as they electroshock streams, search for mussels, or monitor bats,” said Ruth Oppedahl, Natural Resources Foundation executive director.

Oppedahl said some of the more popular field trips fill up quickly, “so the sooner you sign up the better your chances for getting into the field trips you are most interested in, but there are lots of trips offered, so if you don’t get into your first choice, there are many other opportunities.”

The field trips take place in just about every corner of the state. Field trips include:
  • Mississippi River Eagle Nest and Warblers Boat Cruise, Crawford County, May 11
  • Fawn Search & Collaring, Outagamie County, May 25 or 26
  • Stream Ecology at Black Earth Creek, Dane County, June 1
  • Bog Vs. Swamp in Florence County, June 14
  • Treasures in the Stream: Native Mussels, Waukesha County on July 20, or Meridian County on July 27
  • Wetlands of Northwest Wisconsin, Burnett County, Aug. 24
  • Bat Swarm at Neda Mine, Dodge County, Aug. 23 or Sept. 20
  • Tiffany Bottoms Antique Train Ride Plus Birds & Bluff Prairie Hike, Pepin County, Sept. 8
complete list of field trips can be downloaded from Natural Resources Foundation (links exit DNR).
All field trip participants must be a member of the Natural Resources Foundation to register, and can sign up four guests for up to five field trips. Current members receive exclusive early-bird registration, which opens at noon on Wed., March 20. People can become a foundation member online for $25 per person or $40 per family before March 20 and take advantage of the early-bird registration.
After April 1, registration opens to the general public, who can register with a discounted $15 foundation membership.
Most trips have a $12 per person ($6 per child) fee; some trips have additional fees to support conservation or equipment rental. Many trips are great for kids, while others are best for adults; trips are marked to indicate their physical demand level, ranging from easy to extreme.
This is the twentieth year the foundation has offered field trips, and more than 30,000 people have participated over the years.
“The field trips are perfect for the avid outdoors type looking for something new or a family just beginning to try outside adventures,” Oppedahl said. “There is simply no better, nor more first-hand, way to explore Wisconsin.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Maria Sadowski, NRF director of communications, 608-261-4392 or Paul Holtan, DNR office of communications, 608-267-7517