Riveredge Re-Member December Promotion!

Get outdoors and explore during this winter and beyond with a membership to Riveredge Nature Center! Enjoy 10 miles of trails on 379 acres of gorgeous wild habitat to explore any day you wish all year round. Additionally, Riveredge members receive discounts on programs, early registration for Summer Camp, access to member-only events, and more.

Become a Riveredge Nature Center member (or renew your current membership) by the end of the year and * BONUS * keep warm while exploring all winter long with your choice of a FREE Riveredge stocking cap or neck gaiter! Additionally, anyone who purchases an All Access Riveredge membership will receive a $10 coupon toward purchases of $25 or more in the Riveredge Nature Store! Happy Holidays indeed!

If you’d like to ensure that you receive your Riveredge swag by Christmas, please join by December 15th to allow time for processing and shipping.

Giving Tuesday Update: THANK YOU Riveredge Community!

Dear Riveredge Community,

 

Wow. I have to tell you, this morning I feel a combination of gratitude and astonishment that is hard to put into words.

For Giving Tuesday, we created an initial goal of fundraising $5,000. Then based on your commitment, your leadership, we felt emboldened to double that goal to $10,000. Well…you completely surpassed that benchmark, and you’ve successfully tripled the Riveredge Giving Tuesday fundraising goal and reached a grand total of MORE THAN $15,000! 

This year has been a challenge for Riveredge, just as it has been for everyone. I can’t tell you how much this means to the Riveredge staff to have you in our corner. We’re so excited to begin maximizing these funds to improve our programs and experiences for students and families, and to increase our efforts to restore the land.

Just as we’ve welcomed families to learn and explore across these trails, invited school field trip groups and homeschoolers to embrace this outdoor learning laboratory, and empowered local educators through our Scientist in Residence program – you’ve responded with that same commitment to community.

THANK YOU for being a part of Riveredge, and for supporting the growth that radiates from this vital 379-acre community asset. When it matters most, you’ve come together and offered more support than we even imagined.

From all of us at Riveredge, a heartfelt THANK YOU!

Keep Smiling and Get Outside!

 

Jessica Jens
Riveredge Executive Director

Bug o’the Week – Morning Glory Prominent Moth

Howdy, BugFans,

As she cruises through her moth books trying to identify what she’s photographed, the BugLady sees pictures of AMAZING caterpillars – not drab brown or grass-green caterpillars, but caterpillars that eschew camouflage in favor of some pretty gaudy togs (she has a Caterpillar Wish List that may require a Caterpillar Road Trip).  For example:

The Imperial moth https://bugguide.net/node/view/7718;

The venomous Crown Slug https://bugguide.net/node/view/1434824/bgimage;

The astounding Hickory horned Devil https://bugguide.net/node/view/1550971/bgimage and https://bugguide.net/node/view/1757001/bgimage and https://bugguide.net/node/view/1757013/bgimage and https://bugguide.net/node/view/1757026/bgimage and https://bugguide.net/node/view/992138/bgimage;

The Faithful Beauty https://bugguide.net/node/view/6266;

The Curve-lined Owlet https://bugguide.net/node/view/862030/bgimage;

The Fawn Sphinx https://bugguide.net/node/view/1785681/bgimage;

The Paddle Dagger https://bugguide.net/node/view/1825/bgimage; and

The Bravo https://bugguide.net/node/view/1895198/bgimage.

Some brightly-patterned caterpillars advertise their toxicity, but others blend in because their color patches break up the outline of their body.

She thought she had checked off one of the caterpillars on her list this summer.  It was head-high and moving smartly up a tree trunk at the Bog when she saw it, and her preliminary (and secondary) ID was a Unicorn moth caterpillar.  Then she checked other genus members and changed her mind (and is hoping that she dodged a “publish in haste; repent at leisure” moment).  It’s (probably) the closely-related Morning-glory Prominent (Schizura ipomoeae) (Ipomoea is the genus of morning-glory).  Unicorn caterpillars lack the striped head and that extra hump on mid-abdomen that the Morning-glory Prominent has, and the hairs on their abdomen are shorter.  Here’s a better shot of the Morning-glory https://bugguide.net/node/view/1292330/bgimage, and here’s the Unicorn https://bugguide.net/node/view/1446998.

No road trip is needed for the Morning Glory Prominent – it lives in deciduous woodlands across the US and southern Canada.  One reference called it “common,” and it well may be, but both caterpillar and adult are awesomely camouflaged.

There are eight species in the genus Schizura in North America north of the Rio Grande.  They’re in the family Notodontidae (the Prominent moths), a family that, according to Wagner in Caterpillars of Eastern North America “includes many of the most handsome and behaviorally interesting caterpillars in the temperate zone.”

Notodontid/Prominent caterpillars are pretty cool.  They’re big, with large heads, and some sport a variety of lumps and spines and decorations on their sometimes-whimsically-shaped bodies.  You can find them perched on leaves in the daytime.  Maybe.  A “work-around” practiced by some Notodontid caterpillars involves girdling a tree stem and spreading liquid on the cuts; substances in the liquid depress a plant’s usual chemical defenses to grazing.

Caterpillars in the genus Schizura have a gland that produces a mixture of formic and acetic acids along with “lipophilic” (fat-loving) compounds.  This concoction is delivered as a spray that the caterpillar can direct with accuracy up to six inches away.  The gland is located right behind the head, and the spray comes through a slit in the “neck” (though some sources said it was in one of the humps).  In his write-up about the Unicorn caterpillar in Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods, Sogaard says that these glands may be so large that they “can occupy a tenth of the caterpillar’s volume,” and the BugLady assumes the Morning-glory Prominent is similar.  The lipophilic compounds help the liquid to spread on and penetrate the victim’s exoskeleton/skin (it can raise a painful blister on humans).

Adult Morning-glory Prominents have wingspans of 1 ¾” and they’re somewhat variable in color http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8005.  A rolled-up posture https://bugguide.net/node/view/404222/bgimage makes them look like broken twigs.

According to bugguide.net, caterpillars of the Morning-glory Prominent “feed on the leaves of beech, birch, elm, maple, oak, rose [including apple trees], and other woody plants; probably not on morning-glory.”  Which is probably why it has alternative names like False Unicorn Caterpillar and Checkered-fringe Prominent.  They are gregarious as young caterpillars and loners later – the young caterpillars feed on the leaf’s under-surface, skeletonizing it; and the older stages eat inward from the leaf edge, carving a half-circle out of the edge and curling into it, looking like a damaged leaf https://bugguide.net/node/view/1615595/bgimage.  They overwinter in suspended animation as pre-pupae, ready to pupate in spring.

Kate Redmond, The BugLady

Bug of the Week archives:
http://uwm.edu/field-station/category/bug-of-the-week/

The Uncommon Beauty of the Oak Opening

I must admit, when I first encountered an Oak Opening, I had a hard time initially wrapping my brain around what was unique about the habitat. I looked up and could recognize that it contained oak trees, standing high in their far-reaching, craggy-branched splendor. “Ok, they’re oak trees,” I shrugged. Then one day it dawned on me: an Oak Opening possesses a vast amount of open space compared with what I understood a forest to look like.

A great distance of space can exist between trees, sometimes 100-feet from one another. This is why these habitats are also known as “Oak Openings,” and is the name for this one-acre area at Riveredge Nature Center overlooking the Milwaukee River. This portion of the property also boasts uniquely untilled original soil and a rarely seen guild of native plants. But what else is unique about Oak Openings?

The Oak Opening, as the name suggests, is a surprisingly open forest.

Oak Openings have become incredibly rare

The numbers of Oak Savanna (a somewhat similar habitat with less tree density than an oak opening) previously standing and currently in existence are staggering. Of the 5.5 million acres that once existed, according to the Natural Heritage Inventory, less than 500 acres exist that had plant assemblage similar to the original Oak Savannas. Similar to savannas, Oak Openings are one of the rarest and most threatened habitats in the world. Summarily, many of the plant and animal species that flourished in these systems have perished, or their populations have taken hits as they struggled to find other, less suitable habitats.

Autumn Oak leaves in the sun at Riveredge

Pre-settlement, wildfires and fires set by Native Americans took place across the US throughout the year, burning off smaller trees and invigorating understory plant seeds to sprout. Oaks have thick bark and a deep taproot, which equips them uniquely to tolerate fires more than other woody species. After a fire the only plants that stood throughout the charred landscape were oak trees, such as Bur Oak.

What happened to Oak Openings?

Prior to settlement, about half of Wisconsin was covered in Oak ecosystems (such as oak woodland, oak savanna, oak opening). When settlers moved west into this territory, these oak ecosystems appeared, and proved to be ideal areas for farmland and more readily cleared than a dense forest. Many of the soils were rich in nutrients after centuries of plants and animals had built up the soil. The removal of indigenous peoples, their customs, and traditional ecological knowledge, as well as the removal of fire fuel continuity by turning over original ground with the plow, worked to suppress fires that had been previously afforded greater affect on the landscape.

The Riveredge Maple Sugarbush, across Highway Y from the Oak Opening.

Oak trees provided ideal building material for houses and barns, and if any was left over it became firewood. Millions of linear board feet would be shipped to become furniture, tool handles, and flooring throughout cities such as Milwaukee. While the wood lasted, logging was a bustling business in Wisconsin.

In areas of Oak Savannas that still stood, without fire management or grazing by wild or domesticated animals, smaller trees would begin to grow up between oaks, competing for sunlight and rain. Invasive species such as Buckthorn would begin to fill in areas that were previously the domain of native plants that grow more slowly. When we picture a forest, this, comparably more cluttered, landscape is likely what we imagine.

Today, an oak opening gives the same reprieve from a forest’s overstory as it always has; however, it now represents some of the best of what many areas have lost. For ecologists, oak openings and other similar rare habitats now act as living libraries of species and their interconnected assemblages, to reconstruct in our restoration efforts.

This summer, experience Wisconsin’s natural heritage by visiting the Oak Opening at Riveredge Nature Center, and continue visiting throughout the seasons. This location is also one of our most picturesque locations from which to view the Milwaukee River. In this now uncommon location, you can experience the tranquility that can only be found within trees that live for hundreds of years.

Overlooking the Milwaukee River from the Oak Opening at Riveredge Nature Center.

What’s Blooming at Riveredge? An Updated Phenology Report

One of the fantastic Riveredge volunteers, who has been exploring Riveredge trails for years to both take photographs and record observations, is letting us know what she sees blooming at Riveredge. In scientific terms, this is called “Phenology.” What is phenology? It’s very similar to another word, phenomenon. Phenology means what happens, and when, in nature. Some of the most common examples are: when flowers are blooming, when buds are present, when specific migratory bird species return, when birds are nesting.

Chances are, you already notice phenology you just might not call it that. If you notice when your garden is blooming, when the trees are budding, or when butterflies return to the skies – you’re observing phenology! Read below to learn what you can find along the trails when you visit Riveredge Nature Center right now.

Wild Bergamot at Riveredge Nature Center

In Bloom

Bullhead Lily
Fragrant White Water Lily
Yarrow
Heal All
Pretty Bedstraw
Bergamot
Cowbane
Marsh Hedge Nettle
Hoary Vervain
Blue Giant Hyssop
Culver’s Root
Grey Headed Coneflower
Purple Prairie Clover
Prairie Dock
Canada Tick Trefoil
Flowering Spurge
Compass Plant
Orange Jewelweed
Wood Nettle
White Prairie Clover
Purple Coneflower
Agrimony
Dotted Mint
Rosinweed
Mad Dog Skullcap
Virginia Mountain Mint
Evening Primrose
Cup Plant
Whorled Milkweed
Gayfeather
Nodding Wild Onion
Spotted Joe Pye Weed
Rattlesnake Master
Carpenter’s Square Figwort
Canada Goldenrod
Small Purple Fringed Orchid
Clustered Poppy Mallow
Sawtooth Sunflower
Purple Joe Pye Weed
Wild Cucumber
Large leaved Aster
Stinging Nettle
White Snakeroot
Hog Peanut
Great Blue Lobelia
Ironweed
Common Boneset
White Wood Aster
Showy Blazing Star
Rough Blazing Star
Guara
Wild Senna
Round Headed Bush Clover
Canada Milk Vetch
Virgin’s Bower
Indian Pipe
Swamp Lousewort
Swamp Thistle
Green Headed Coneflower
Branched Coneflower
Obedience

Flowers In Bud

Grass of Parnassus
False Boneset

Diversity Outdoors, Part 2

July 23, 2020

Dear Riveredge Family,

 

We promised to keep you updated on our work in decreasing systemic barriers for communities of color when accessing the outdoors. 

Since sharing our last reflections with you, we’ve had friends of Riveredge ask us to communicate the work we are already, and have been, engaged in to ensure access to Riveredge for communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Others have asked us to clarify our position. We have appreciated hearing all of these comments. Our intent is always to be transparent, honest, and work to build bridges, through nature, within our communities. 

Riveredge supports our local communities and values our strong partnerships with a wide variety of organizations, municipalities, institutions, and community members. We are grateful for the dedicated work of our local police and county sheriff departments, and thankful for all they do to serve not only Riveredge but all of our neighbors and communities.  

Our mission-based work on better serving diverse audiences is centered around equitable access to the natural world. Access which currently has many barriers for communities of color.  We are working to identify and address these barriers at Riveredge. 

For more than 20 years, Riveredge has been involved in transformative partnerships to provide access to many urban Milwaukee schools for learning, engagement, and exploration. Through several different partnerships, over 1,500 students in 65+ different classes come to Riveredge each year. As with other school partnerships, students engage in inquiry and science-based learning explorations in the prairies, forests, and rivers. 

One of the many goals of these partnerships is to help people develop a broader sense of community and sense of place through immersive experiences in the fully restored natural world at Riveredge. Exploring the Milwaukee River and natural world in a non-urban setting and comparing these observations to those in an urban setting leads to further learning in multiple subject areas. In fact, one of our goals at Riveredge is to also develop partnerships with rural and suburban schools to support the same, yet reverse, experience for their students. The beauty of the Milwaukee River as it runs through an urban environment can be just as inspirational for students who have only been exposed to nature in less populated areas. Additionally, what is discovered downstream toward Lake Michigan is an accumulation of everything that makes its way into a river upstream.  The parallels between learning about nature in both urban and rural environments can help us all draw better understandings about commonalities in our urban and rural communities. 

Partnerships have been fundamental at Riveredge to better serve populations who have barriers to accessing nature. Our partnership with the Ozaukee County Aging & Disability Resource Center has resulted in a nature-based “Memory Cafe” for individuals with memory challenges and their caregivers. This program  has introduced time in nature as a healing tool for this community. Similarly, we were elated when Access Ability Wisconsin reached out to us to place an all-terrain wheelchair at Riveredge so that all people, regardless of physical ability, could access the beauty and adventure of the 10-miles of trails at Riveredge. Both of these partnerships have provided more equitable access to nature for many people at Riveredge.

Our pledge to do better in providing equitable access to Riveredge for communities of color is a further step along this path of our diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Specifically, we are currently….

  • Making plans for an organization-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion audit to help us better understand the current environment at Riveredge and our strengths and opportunities for improvement in this area. We are hoping to continue our work with Cream City Conservation on this effort and are currently seeking funding to support the implementation of this audit.
  • Pursuing regional discussions about how the Milwaukee River can be used as a conduit to address the urban – rural divide in southeastern Wisconsin. As an organization which strives to connect our communities to the Milwaukee River Watershed, we believe the work to use this natural resource as a figurative and literal connection between communities can be enhanced and further developed.
  • Seeking meaningful partnerships with other organizations to better serve communities of color both at Riveredge and through programming efforts within the communities of southeastern Wisconsin. Just as with all of Riveredge’s significant efforts, true partnerships create greater impact. We do not pretend to be experts in this area, yet we look forward to discovering ways that the beauty, inspiration, and education at Riveredge can be better shared within our communities. 
  • Identifying ways to further our education about diversity, equity and inclusion topics for our staff and Board of Directors team. Education is an ongoing process, and we pledge to continue this journey in the months and years to come.

We can not do this work alone, and we can not do it effectively without working with others. We look forward to the months and years to come with optimism, opportunity, and hope, and inevitably some of this process will be a struggle. We strive to continue the work of better serving our community through the act of listening, dialog, and relationship building. 

Thank you for being part of this Riveredge Family. Thank you for believing in the importance of the natural world and in the critical work to ensure it is accessible for everyone.

 

With Great Gratitude,

 

 

 

Jessica Jens, Executive Director

  

What’s Blooming at Riveredge? An Updated Phenology Report

One of the fantastic Riveredge volunteers, who has been exploring Riveredge trails for years to both take photographs and record observations, is letting us know what she sees blooming at Riveredge. In scientific terms, this is called “Phenology.” What is phenology? It’s very similar to another word, phenomenon. Phenology means what happens, and when, in nature. Some of the most common examples are: when flowers are blooming, when buds are present, when specific migratory bird species return, when birds are nesting.

Chances are, you already notice phenology you just might not call it that. If you notice when your garden is blooming, when the trees are budding, or when butterflies return to the skies – you’re observing phenology! Read below to learn what you can find along the trails when you visit Riveredge Nature Center right now.

Heal All

In Bloom

Bullhead Lily
Bladderwort
Prairie Phlox
Canada Anemone
Fragrant White Water Lily
Spiderwort
Lance Leaved Coreopsis
White Wild Indigo
Hoary Alyssum
Prairie Golden Aster
Yarrow
Wild Garlic
Spreading Dogbane
Pale Purple Coneflower
Tall Beardtongue
White Avens
Poke Milkweed
Harebell
Heal All
Pale Spike Lobelia
Black Eyed Susan
Wild Quinine
False Sunflower
Enchanter’s Nightshade
Wild Leek
Fringed Loosestrife
Marsh Phlox
Butterfly Weed
Pretty Bedstraw
Indian Hemp
Common Milkweed
Downy Wood Mint

Yarrow

Flowers in Bud

Grey Headed Coneflower
Rosinweed
Spotted Joe Pye Weed
Stinging Nettle
Common Boneset
Purple Prairie Clover
Compass Plant
Gayfeather

Hidden Summer Gems to Explore at Riveredge

With 379 acres and 10 miles of trails, Riveredge Nature Center has so many ever-changing beautiful places to see and experience throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorite summer places to explore.

Prehistoric Fern Fantasy Land

Step back into the time of the dinosaurs and experience the ferns lining the trail near the Milwaukee River. They grow so dense in early summer that it can play tricks on the eyes; so plentiful that the tessellated greenscape can appear surreal. Rather than flowers and seeds, ferns reproduce by sending out spores. Early in the season they unfurl fronds in a shape known as “fiddleheads.” Later in the season, ferns dry and senesce to look like brown fossils standing out of the earth, testaments to both an earlier time and an earlier season.

Flowers and Insects in the Summertime Prairie

Summer is that time when the prairie really sings, both figuratively and literally. A menagerie of insects and birds flit, buzz, and hover from bloom to branch. From the yellow explosion of Coreopsis, to the wispy scarlet of Prairie Smoke, and the feathery pinks of Queen of the Prairie, a stunning cascade blooms throughout the warm months.

  Larsen Climbing Rocks

What could be more natural to a Riveredge Kid than climbing? The Larsen Climbing Rocks are the perfect place for kids of every age to explore, practice gross motor skills and balance, Conveniently located just past the Yurts, a good rock crawl is the perfect start to any trail jaunt.

The Calm of Riveredge Creek

Many people might not know, but portions of Riveredge Nature Center are a designated State Natural Area, which denotes a high quality habitat. Riveredge Creek winds through this section. Intersections where the trail crosses Riveredge Creek are perfect locations to feel the cool shade beneath cedars and immerse in the tranquil sounds of a burbling creek while listening to the calls and wing flaps of nearby birds.

Visit Riveredge today to discover your favorite spots!

What’s Blooming at Riveredge? An Updated Phenology Report

One of the fantastic Riveredge volunteers, who has been exploring Riveredge trails for years to both take photographs and record observations, is letting us know what she sees blooming at Riveredge. In scientific terms, this is called “Phenology.” What is phenology? It’s very similar to another word, phenomenon. Phenology means what happens, and when, in nature. Some of the most common examples are: when flowers are blooming, when buds are present, when specific migratory bird species return, when birds are nesting.

Chances are, you already notice phenology you just might not call it that. If you notice when your garden is blooming, when the trees are budding, or when butterflies return to the skies – you’re observing phenology! Read below to learn what you can find along the trails when you visit Riveredge Nature Center right now.

Spiderwort can be seen throughout Riveredge prairies.

In Bloom

Stoneseed
Bullhead Lily
Blue Flag Iris
Bladderwort
Canada Anemone
Angelica
Tall Meadow Rue
Fragrant White Water Lily
Spiderwort
Lance Leaved Coreopsis
Hairy Beardtongue
Blue Wild Indigo
White Wild Indigo
Hoary Alyssum
Yarrow
Prairie Golden Aster
Bluets
Alumroot
Common Cinquefoil
Cow Parsnip
Large Flowered Beardtongue
Wild Garlic
Spreading Dogbane
Northern Bedstraw
Pale Purple Coneflower
Tall Beardtongue
White Avens
Poke Milkweed
Harebell
Heal All
Pale Spike Lobelia
Black Eyed Susan
Wild Quinine
Wild Four O’Clock

Pale Purple Coneflower

Flower in Bud

Wild Leek

Diversity Outdoors

 

Dear Riveredge Family,

On June 5, we shared our reflections and solidarity on the movement to end systemic racism in our society  on our social media channels and website

“As a historically and predominantly white-led environmental organization, we realize there is much ground to cover in diversifying the outdoors, and many reasons why Black Americans and People of Color haven’t always felt welcome in wilderness spaces. We support the Black Lives Matter movement and the need for systemic change in our society. Riveredge Nature Center is a sanctuary where each person can embrace, celebrate, and revel in experiencing the wonders nature has to offer. We pledge to continue to improve the way we make these opportunities available to better serve our communities.

Black Lives Matter. Black Birders Matter. Black Experiences Matter.

Education is an ongoing process, and in-step with the Riveredge inquiry-based philosophy, we’re always trying to improve our understanding of our place in the world and how we can better serve the outdoor adventure community.”

Since that time, we have all continued to reflect on our beliefs, personal biases, privileges, and the realities of experiences that are unfamiliar to us. To be part of a community of change, we must first change ourselves. 

The environmental and outdoor fields have struggled, and continue to struggle, to engage and serve Black people and People of Color. The way our society arrived at the outdoors and nature being inherently NOT a privilege for all extends back to the very moment these remarkable tracks of wilderness and wild spaces were created as such, and for whom they were intended to serve at that time. We encourage you to visit Diversify Outdoors to hear for yourself stories from those who have been distanced and separated from the natural world. 

James Edward Mills, climber, journalist, author, and Madison, Wisconsin resident briefly outlines some of the reasons behind this legacy in his book The Adventure Gap:

“Historical reasons may also account for why some African-Americans don’t take pleasure in outdoor experiences. After four hundred years of slavery and forced outdoor labor, African-Americans migrated en masse to major US cities after the Civil War and the end of slavery. Even more left the rural communities of the South during the Great Depression. Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination restricted movement and segregated minorities to urban enclaves until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. White supremacist groups typically perpetrated their acts of violence against minorities in wooded areas beyond city limits. Given this legacy, it’s no wonder that African-Americans have often preferred to remain close to home.” 

Mills elaborates on how these factors influence current day demographics: 

“A 2010 Outdoor Recreation Participation survey conducted by the Outdoor Foundation reported that of 137.8 million US citizens engaged in outdoor activities, 80 percent were Caucasiona, a trend that is also reflected in the demographics of those who chose wilderness protection as a career. The National Park Service reported in 2010 that white men occupied 51 percent of positions at that agency and white women, 29 percent. These numbers are similar to those of other land and resource management agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service. 

These statistics become significant when compared against the demographic profile of the nation as a whole. According to Dr. Nina Roberts, an assistant professor and social scientist from San Francisco State University, though African-Americans represent 12.6 percent of the US population, they typically make up a lower proportion of national park visitors (around 5-6 percent, depending on the region). Even with a sharp increase since 2006, “minorities still remain well below the number of visits of their white counterparts in proportion to their population across the United States,” says Roberts.”

At Riveredge, we work every day to connect our communities with the outdoor world, and we know that we must do our part to help bridge this gap. 

We do not yet have a complete list of specific action steps that we will take to correct our own struggles in serving communities of color. But we do want you: our neighbors, members, and friends, to know that we have begun this work. Over the past year, the Riveredge staff team has engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training with the intent to create lasting organizational change in the coming months and years. Within our staff and Board, we are working on plans to further accelerate and prioritize this overdue work. Our goal is to create change within our organization and contribute to change within the culture of outdoor access and environmental education  in the coming year and years to come. 

We know we can do better. We will do better. It will take all of us. And the time is now. 

We will continue to keep you apprised of our progress, invitations for involvement, and action to further our growth as an organization and continue our work to serve our communities more effectively each and every day. 

 

With Great Gratitude,

Jessica Jens, Executive Director

Elizabeth Larsen,  President, Board of Directors