Save the Date: Birds, Bugs, & Blooms Bash, June 5-7

Mark your calendars for the first annual “Birds, Bugs, & Blooms Bash” a three-day nature festival in the Chippewa Valley (sponsored by the Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society). The event will feature more than 30 field trips and presentations by experts, citizens, and enthusiasts. Two keynote presentations on Friday and Saturday nights will be held at UW-Stout’s Memorial Student Center.

For more details visit the website.

Friday Keynote Speaker: Thomas Schultz ­ “The Art of Field Guide Illustration”

Almost everyone who is interested in nature purchases field guides to help them identify what they are seeing. But how many of us think about the work that happens “behind the scenes” to create these books? Thomas Schultz has illustrated a number of bird field guides – including the Peterson Series “Warblers” and the National Geographic’s “Field Guide to the Birds of North America” – and his presentation will shed some light on the creative process.

Saturday Keynote Speaker: Ben Thwaits ­ “Nature as a Therapeutic Place for Healing”

Ben Thwaits works at Northwest Passage which is dedicated to restoring hope through innovative mental health services for children and families. Ben developed a program called “In a New Light” which is a therapeutic nature photography program. In his presentation, Ben will share moving stories and photographs from his students’ inspiring personal journeys and reflect on nature’s capacity to empower, reveal, and heal the human spirit. He’ll consider the fundamental underpinnings of nature’s restorative power, as well as specific techniques for unlocking that power for ourselves and others. This talk will challenge our very definition of nature and its role in our lives, and provide a sharp call to action for translating our understanding of nature’s impact on the human spirit into innovate strategies for a new era of conservation.

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