The New Year is bright with opportunities for being outdoors with nature organizations. Enjoy being in the natural world with others of common interests.
There are organizations that address activity interests most important to you. Each takes a different approach and all offer enjoyable opportunities. Support some or all the organizations listed that serve your interests. It is not a complete list but hopefully adds new opportunities for you. Spend time enjoying the outdoors with groups to create connections with nature that will hopefully lead to its protection.
Select local conservation organizations that work to support fun outside in healthy and nature niche ecosystems. Some organizations providing outdoor enjoyment are:
Michigan Botanical Club White Pine Chapter (wild flower field trips and programs), Grand Rapids Audubon (birding field trips), a variety of hunting clubs with most being affiliated with National Wildlife Federation and Michigan United Conservation Clubs, River City Wild Ones (native plant group), Izaak Walton League (fishing and conservation), West Michigan Butterfly Association, Kent, Ottawa and other County Parks, township, city and village parks (Ada, Hudsonville, Grand Rapids, Wyoming and others), Sierra Club (outdoor adventure and conservation), local nature centers (Howard Christensen, Blandford, Calvin College’s Bunker Interpretive Center), Nature Preserves (Land Conservancy of West Michigan, Michigan Nature Association, Grand Rapids Audubon Maher Sanctuary, Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary), county Conservation Districts, MSU Extension agencies and the Stewardship Network.
Be thankful for efforts of The Stewardship Network that helps support multiple organizations by:
- Empowering people to care for land and water by providing field based opportunities using best scientific based practices
- Protecting biodiversity through activities, education and land management
- Working to control invasive species that degrade ecosystem functions, our economy, health, and nature niches
- Safeguarding water to keep nutrients on the land and out of creeks, rivers, lakes and groundwater
- Caring for habitats that support threatened and endangered species
- Defending local communities by promoting local ecosystem solutions to prevent flooding
- Working to prevent human enhanced climate change
- Supporting organizations with missions to protect land and water ecosystems to sustain our economy, social community structure, and environment.
Do an internet search or better yet attend any or all of the organizations listed to learn more about them. Most state and national conservation organizations are not listed. This article focuses on local organizations where you can personally get together with others in the outdoors or attend entertaining educational programs.
Spend time outdoors with at least one of the listed organizations to enjoy local natural wonders. Learn from others how the natural world serves your physical and mental wellbeing.
Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at firstname.lastname@example.org – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.