Nature is for Everyone

 


Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. They help people take better care of themselves, their communities, and their planet! Outdoor Afro is a national non-profit organization with leadership networks around the country. With nearly 80 leaders in 30 states from around the country, they connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences, who are changing the face of conservation.

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Latino Outdoors

Latino Outdoors is a unique Latino-led organization. They are working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education. As part of this work, they are focused on expanding and amplifying the Latino experience in the outdoors; providing greater opportunities for leadership, mentorship, professional opportunities and serving as a platform for sharing cultural connections and narratives that are often overlooked by the traditional outdoor movement. It is a space for the community to be present, share their voices, and showcase how conservation roots have been ingrained in Latino cultura for generations.

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Outdoor Asian

This organization is creating a community of Asian & Pacific Islanders in the outdoors. Outdoor Asian leads local community groups in the West Coast, and shares resources and inspiration on their website and social media.

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Queer Nature 

The Queer Nature program envisions and implements ecological awareness and place-based skills as vital and often overlooked parts of healing and wholing of populations who have been marginalized and even represented as ‘unnatural.’ Their curriculums go beyond recreation in nature to deep and creative engagement with the natural world to build inter-species alliances and an enduring sense of belonging. Learn More

 

Pride Outside

Pride Outside strives to create LGBTQIA+ outdoor community and promotes relevant, inclusive opportunities outdoors. Check out their page Learn More


All Abilities

Accessible Trails in Winnebago County – Click here for paved recreation paths and accessible parks. 

TrailLink – This free resource requires users to have an account, but it has detailed descriptions of trails, what material(s) they are made of, and if they are wheelchair accessible. Learn More

Therapeutic Recreation- Rockford Park District is committed to providing community based recreation to promote the development, maintenance, and expression of a meaningful leisure lifestyle to people with disabilities. Therapeutic recreation programs promote and/or provide access, inclusion, specialty recreation, leisure education, and skill development. Learn More

Accessible Outdoors – This organization strives to provide access to information, gear reviews, and services available to those with disabilities to enjoy outdoor activities. Click here for details. Learn More

Birdability – Birdability is an organization that focuses on making birding more accessible to disabled individuals or individuals with health concerns. They also have a very detailed interactive map that goes into detail on the accessibility of different birding sites around the country.


 

Technology

 


Community Science Apps + Websites

Be A Local Community Scientist – Community Scientists are volunteering at forest preserves throughout Winnebago County to monitor specific plant and animal species and environmental conditions.   Learn More

eBird – eBird is an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance.  Learn More

iNaturalist – iNaturalist is a citizen science project and online social network of naturalists, volunteers, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications.   Learn More

Nature’s Notebook – Nature’s Notebook is a project run by the USA National Phenology Network (NPN) in cooperation with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is available via mobile app or website. Your participation in Nature’s Notebook contributes to a greater understanding of how plant and animal behavior varies with climactic events. Learn More

BirdNET – BirdNET uses machine learning to detect and classify avian sounds. It was designed to assist researchers and community scientists, but it’s an incredible tool for hearing-impaired birders, too. Learn More

EDDMaps –  EDDMapS allows you to take a picture of a suspected invasive species and record it so that local scientists, researchers, farmers, municipalities and environmentalists can use your data to monitor, track and remove invasives, and protect the species that belong in the ecosystem. Learn More

BeeSpotter – BeeSpotter is a partnership between citizen-scientists and the professional science community designed to educate the public about pollinators by engaging them in a data collection effort of importance to the nation. Learn More


Nature Identification Technology

Seek by iNaturalist – iNaturalist is a citizen science project and online social network of naturalists, volunteers, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. Their Seek app also identifies the species that you photograph. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications.   Learn More

BirdNET – BirdNET uses machine learning to detect and classify avian sounds. It was designed to assist researchers and community scientists, but it’s an incredible tool for hearing-impaired birders, too. Learn More

Merlin Bird ID App – This free bird identification app is one of the most popular apps amongst birders old and new. It added sound identification as an option in mid-2021, where it previously only offered identification by colors, size, and behavior. Learn More

iTrack Wildlife – Animal Tracking App – This app was created by the State Mammologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife and allows you to take a picture of an animal track and identify it! Learn More

What Tree is That? – This online resource, created by the Arbor Day Foundation, walks you through the process of identifying any tree you might come across. Learn More


 

Responsible Recreation

 


Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace provides research, education and initiatives so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy our world responsibly. The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors.

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Be prepared for your outdoor adventure

Check out our tips for getting ready to safely enjoy the great outdoors!

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Kids, Community, and Beyond

 


Children & Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership.

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National Geographic Resources

No matter where you live, gather friends and family and enjoy some time outdoors! Begin an outdoor project, like planting a garden, that will keep you in touch with nature for seasons to come.

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Let’s Go. Get Outside

Let’s G.O.!  is a youth-inspired, youth led Children & Nature initiative to rally people of all ages to get outside and spend time in nature. We’re encouraging inter-generational groups to get outside, be active, have fun and connect with nature. Families, teachers, students, mentors, grandparents and grand friends – especially children and youth – are invited and urged to participate.

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100 Things To Do Outside Before You Grow Up!

Ready to get outside and have some fun? Don’t know where to start? We’ve made a fun list of things you really, absolutely must do before you grow up.

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