Family Nature Clubs

“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.”

Richard LouvLast Child in the Woods: Saving out Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Join the Club

We know finding time to get outside can be tough and that figuring out what to do once outside can be even tougher. That’s why started our first Family Nature Club at Riveredge this past year, and it’s why we’re very excited to announce an expansion of the program with new Family Nature Clubs in Ozaukee, Washington and Sheboygan counties this fall. 

What’s a Family Nature Club?

  • Family Nature Clubs provide scheduled family time during the week, where members can work and play together outside without distractions.
  • Family Nature Club gatherings will take place monthly from September to June, and our club leaders take charge of all the organizing of trips and activities and allow families to focus on bonding, instead of planning.
  • Not only will you connect as a family, but you’ll meet other families with similar values and interests and experience natural areas and activities throughout your community that you can return to again and again!

Ready to join the club? Check out all the meeting dates for each county below and just fill out the one minute Google Form for that club to RSVP! The club is totally free, and you can join at any time- no long term commitment needed!

When we meet

At Riveredge

Main Meeting Location:
(check individual dates for any trips or off-site meetings planned)

Riveredge Nature Center
4458 County Hwy Y, Saukville, WI 53080

Leader
:

Cassie Bauer, Family and Community Programs Manager @ Riveredge Nature Center

Meeting Time:    5:30 – 7:00 PM  (times may vary based on activity and season! Check RSVP)

Meeting Dates:

June, July, & August – monthly kayaking and canoe outings to be hosted in Washington County for families who have participated in at least one Family Nature Club outing during the 2016-17 school year.  Thank you to the Outdoor Foundation’s Paddle Nation grant for funding these extra outing this summer for the club!

August 15th, 2017- 5:30-7:30pm, Mequon Villa Grove Park. Family Paddle event!

September 12th, 2017- 5:30-7:00pm, @ Riveredge Nature Center, Children’s Organic Garden                                             Join us for Year #3 at Riveredge Nature Center as we explore the great outdoors together with family and friends!  Kick off this year with fresh picked produce from the Children’s Organic Garden. Pick, Wash, Cut and Prep veggies and herbs in our New Outdoor Kitchen area. Play group games in the yard and help brainstorm other great natural spaces for our Club to Explore in the area during the fall and winter season. It’s Free and All Families are welcome.

October 10th, 2017- 5:30-7:00pm, @ Roden Barnyard, West Bend WI                                                                                                   * More Details to come!

November 14th, 2017-  5:30-7:00pm @ Donges Bay Gorge

Located along Lake Michigan in the city of Mequon, Donges Bay Gorge Natural Area is 23 acres. This preserve contains steep lake slopes, beach frontage, an undulating upland lake bluff, upland woods and a ravine that extends through the property. Join us for this adventurous hike, we’ll make trail mix before hiking out. Sturdy shoes and hiking sticks are encouraged!

December 12th, 2017- 5:30-7:00pm @ Riveredge Nature Center- Winter Bird I.D & Frigid Season Feast!

Thank you to the Children & Nature Network for sponsoring the Riveredge Family Nature Clubs!

In Ozaukee County in Partnership with Cedarburg School District

Main Meeting Location:
(check individual dates for any trips or off-site meetings planned)

Centennial Park
W68 N851 Evergreen Boulevard, Cedarburg WI
23 acre community park

Leaders:
Kendra Swanson, Cedarburg Scientist in Residence @Riveredge Nature Center

Outing Times:  One Thursday a Month (usually the 2nd Thursday of each month)

Upcoming Meeting Dates & Activities:

Thursday, September 14th; 6:00-7:30pm @ Centennial Park in Cedarburg

Join us at the kick-off outing of the NEW Family Nature Club year at a NEW Location!! Come explore this local park, from the playground to the ponds! Participants will also help leaders look at all the natural areas in Ozaukee County and decide where the fall and winter outings of the club will occur.  Returning and new member families are all welcome!  It’s Free!

Thursday, October 12th; 6:00-7:30pm, location Centennial Park in Cedarburg

Thursday, November 9th; 6:00-7:30pm, location TBD

Thursday, December 14th; time & location TBD

Sheboygan County in Partnership with Bookworm Gardens

Main Meeting Location:
(check individual dates for any trips or off-site meetings planned)

Bookworm Gardens
1415 Campus Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081

Leaders:
Jessica Jens, Executive Director @ Riveredge Nature Center
Cate Bayles, Education Manager @ Bookworm Gardens

Outing Times: One Friday per month; typically 5:30 – 7:00 PM

Upcoming Meeting Dates & Activities:

Paddling Outings: monthly kayaking and canoe outings to be hosted in Ozaukee County for families who have participated in at least one Family Nature Club outing during the 2016-17 school year.  Thank you to the Outdoor Foundation’s Paddle Nation Grant for funding these extra outing this summer for the club!

Tuesday, June 20th; 5:30 – 7:30 PM @ the Waldo Mill Pond

Tuesday, July 18th; 5:30 – 7:30 PM @ Mauthe Lake

Wednesday, August 9th; 5:30 – 7:30 PM @ Sheboygan County Marsh

Friday, September 29th; 5:30 – 7:00 PM @ Bookworm Gardens

Join us at the kick-off outing of the new Family Nature Club year at Bookworm Gardens!  Come and get prepared for your year of family nature outings through lots of activities like crafting hiking sticks, making trail snacks, exploring what it means to “Leave No Trace,” and lots of Bookworm Garden exploring time. We will also look at all the natural areas in Sheboygan County and decide where the fall and winter outings of the club will occur.  Returning and new member families are all welcome!  It’s Free!

Friday, October 13th; 5:30 – 7:00 PM, location TBD

Friday, November 10th; 5:30 – 7:00 PM, location TBD

Friday, December 29th; time & location TBD

Thank you to the Kohler Foundation for sponsoring the Sheboygan County Family Nature Club!

Washington County in Partnership with the West Bend School District

Main Meeting Location:
(check individual dates for any trips or off-site meetings planned)

West Bend School District Outdoor Classroom
Parking at intersection of S River Rd. and Decorah Rd.West Bend, WI 53090

Leader:
Megan Johnson, Scientist in Residence at West Bend School District

Meeting Time:  6:00 – 7:30 PM (times may vary based on activity and season! Check RSVP)

Meeting Dates:

June, July, & August – monthly kayaking and canoe outings to be hosted in Washington County for families who have participated in at least one Family Nature Club outing during the 2016-17 school year.  Thank you to the Outdoor Foundation’s Paddle Nation Grant for funding these extra outing this summer for the club!

September 21st, 2017:  It’s a WHOLE NEW YEAR of Family Nature Club Fun in Washington County! Join us as we kick-off this year at the West Bend School District Outdoor Classroom!  We’ll play games, explore the property, and  look at all the other fun, natural spaces in Washington County and decide where the fall and winter outings of the club will occur.  Returning and new member families are all welcome!  It’s Free!

October 19th, 2017:  6:00 – 7:30 PM Location: TBD

November 16th, 2017: 6:00 – 7:30 PM Location: TBD

December 21st, 2017: 6:00 – 7:30 PM Location: TBD

What’s the big deal?

Between soccer practice, orchestra recitals, homework, jobs, and everything else your family’s schedule has to throw at you, we know that finding time to breathe, let alone spending quality time together as a family, can be extremely difficult. That’s why we’re here to help.

These days, the average family spends just eight hours a week together, while the average child spends less than 30 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play (compare that to six to eight hours a day in front of a screen!). So what’s the big deal? The research is clear: