Since our birth in 2003, The Naturalist School has been devoted to the care of wild creatures and places and of course, that includes people in wild places. We have partnered with agencies, conservation groups, cities, provinces, and counties throughout North America. We believe that creativity and intellect are born of the wildness within each of us, and that the consilience of the humanities and science makes human communities healthier, more intimately connected to nature, and more deeply committed to preserving the rich ecosystems of our planet.
We invite seekers from all walks to walk with us, plant with us, create with us, and to grow in nature with ecologists, artists, philosophers, and poets. We rely on grants and the kindness of our supporters to make our programs possible.
We discover and grow wildness within and all around us throughout the year. In the past few months, The Naturalist School has:
- Conducted learning-based biological surveys of plants, birds, fungi, odonates, and other taxa for conservation easements and nature preserves in eastern Nebraska and Iowa’s Loess Hills.
- Sponsored a series of workshops for poets and artists in wild places.
- Collected locally-wild seed for our native tree-planting projects.
- Established an arboretum in Omaha’s Old Market with the Downtown Improvement District.
- Helped home-owners create backyard habitats for birds and pollinators.
- Taught local ecology and planted trees with elementary school students.
- Created a “shack simple” Sunday residency series for wild writers in winter.
- Initiated a Pawnee oak preservation project on a historic sacred site.
- Presented nature-writing workshops with University of Nebraska at Omaha Master of Fine Arts students.
- Banded owls along the Kickatuus River.
- Welcomed and included artists-in-residence from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in our various activities.
- Invited people from all walks to join us for quiet and contemplative walks (“Saunters”) in the Loess Hills and on the bluffs along the Platte River.
- Partnered with Tallgrass Prairie Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium/University of Wisconsin on workshops for land managers.
- Collaborated with UNMC School of Public Health on safe soils grants and projects.
- Hosted a tree-planting day at North Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery with The Union for Contemporary Arts.
- Presented an ecotherapy workshop for Omaha Friends of Jung.
- Donated and planted wild native trees in local nature preserves.
- Partnered with an Omaha high school to plant bird and pollinator outdoor classroom.
You can become a 2020 supporting member for a tax-deductible contribution of $100. Supporting members receive priority registration and discounted tuition for our workshops, Saunters, and other events. And contributions of any amount are most appreciated! Our friends at the Omaha Community Foundation have made it easy to donate online. Or you can send a check to:
The Naturalist School c/o Golden Hills RC&D, 712 South Hwy 6, Oakland Iowa 51560-0189
And join us in the bush!
— Jack Phillips