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 in Ozaukee County

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 PM  (times may vary based on activity and season! Check RSVP)

Meeting Dates:

January 17, 2017- Star-gazing, Astronomy Basics, and Constellation Search with a volunteer night sky expert from Northern Cross Astronomy group. Clear nights are usually crisp, cold nights- so bundle up!
February 21, 2017- Time to hit the trail! We’ll be meeting at the Cedarburg Bog off of HWY 33 at 6:00pm. (please note time change!) Washington County’s Family Nature Club will join with ours to mix up a tasty trail snack before hiking to the edge of Watt’s Lake.
March 21, 2017-  Venture with us to visit our good friends at Mequon Nature Preserve! We will meet with Nici- an expert education animal handler and learn all about animals found in various habitats of Wisconsin. Slippery snakes, spotted salamanders, and slow moving turtles are all in store!
April 20th, 2017- Earth Day Clean Up @ Local Washington County Park. We provide the gloves, bags, and snacks during this outing where we give back by picking up… And Exploring a new place!
May 16, 2017-  Family Fishing Night @ Riveredge Nature Center. Starts at 5:30pm–We provide the bait and poles!

June 16, 2017: A family camping night at Riveredge Nature Center for all the area Family Nature Clubs!  Tent camping is optional, for those who wish to stay the night in the Great Outdoors. Your family can also join for the evening activities only and have fun with campfires, hiking, crafts, supper, and more! More information posted this spring.

June, July, & August – 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 Education Fund’s Paddle Nation for funding these extra outing this summer for the club!

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

Sheboygan County

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

Meeting Time: 5 – 6:30 PM (unless otherwise noted below)

Upcoming Meeting Dates & Activities:

June 16, 2017: A family camping night at Riveredge Nature Center for all the area Family Nature Clubs!  Tent camping is optional, for those who wish to stay the night in the Great Outdoors. Your family can also join for the evening activities only and have fun with campfires, hiking, crafts, supper, and more! Check out the RSVP form below for more information.

June, July, & August – monthly kayaking and canoe outings to be hosted in Sheboygan 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 Education Fund’s Paddle Nation for funding these extra outing this summer for the Tuesday, June 20th; 5:30 – 7:30 PM @ the Waldo Mill Pond club!

Paddling Outings:

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

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

Washington County

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

Meeting Dates:

June 16, 2017: A family camping night at Riveredge Nature Center for all the area Family Nature Clubs!  Tent camping is optional, for those who wish to stay the night in the Great Outdoors. Your family can also join for the evening activities only and have fun with campfires, hiking, crafts, supper, and more! More information posted this spring.

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 Education Fund’s Paddle Nation for funding these extra outing this summer for the club!

Ozaukee County

This Club has joined forces with the Family Nature Club based out of Riveredge. Please Join us ALL for our monthly adventures!

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: