Center News, Education

Nature Clubs Provide a Community for Sharing Interests

If you enjoy learning about nature and connecting with other nature enthusiasts, you might be interested in attending one or more of Schlitz Audubon’s Nature Clubs for adults. Our Nature Clubs intend to provide meaningful experiences and foster a sense of community at the Center. They include Bird Club, Photo Club, Book Club, and Art Club, which are all free to attend and welcoming to all skill levels. You don’t need to be an expert, you just need an interest in exploring nature with other like-minded people.

Bird Club

Established in 2003, Bird Club is the Center’s longest-running club. Dan Panetti, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited of Mequon, has played a vital role in both establishing Bird Club and continuing to co-host its meetings. It generally meets once a month, except in December when we take a break for the holidays. The club provides opportunities for participants to gather together, learn, hike, and discuss birds. Birders of all levels, including new ones, are welcome to join. People can view and hear birds on our trails, attend presentations, and engage within a welcoming community. This environment offers a chance for new birders to learn from more experienced birders and even build friendships. Many of the more practiced birders enjoy sharing their knowledge and discover that they still find new things to learn too. This month, our Bird Club will meet jointly with Photo Club via Zoom on November 11.

Photo Club

Center Naturalist and Children’s Events Coordinator, Cassie Rincon, created Photo Club in 2016 because she enjoys taking photos of nature and knows some of the best spots to take pictures at the Center. She also wanted to learn a little more about cameras and create a community where people could meet to share ideas and resources. Photo Club gathers to hike every other month, with a break over winter. Attendees are excited to join these hikes whether they are using a smartphone, point and shoot camera, or more advanced cameras and lenses. When you attend Photo Club, you have the option of contributing to our photo-sharing website. If you’re interested in birds or photography, explore Bird Club & Photo Club on November 11.

Book Club

The first Nature Book Club meeting was scheduled as a kick-off for the new Book Club in April 2020. When the pandemic hit, we had to make some last-minute changes, as we could no longer meet in person. So, the Book Club went virtual! You can join us for a discussion of books related to nature, conservation, and the environment on the Schlitz Audubon Nature Book Club Facebook Group. We select a new book to read together each season. The first two selections were The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. If you missed these conversations, you can still go back to read the discussion questions and post your comments when you join the Facebook group! Our selection for Fall is Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald. Join Nature Book Club by November 18, when our first question will be posted.

Art Club

The Center’s newest club, Art Club, held its first meeting in September 2020. Art Club will plan to meet every other month and cover topics such as observational drawing, nature journaling, and field sketching. When the weather allows, we will explore the trails to look for inspiration. Even when we meet indoors, there is a lot to discover to further our nature drawing skills. Art Club is a welcoming group for all skill levels, from beginners to professional artists, as we all have things that we can learn or teach! Join Art Club for our meeting on November 22.

As with all of our programs at the Center, our Nature Clubs for adults offer an inviting and safe place to enjoy nature and build community connections. In-person programs are limited to small group sizes and practice physical distancing and mask-wearing. There are also some virtual options so that you can participate from the comfort of your own home. Join us for upcoming opportunities!