top of page
12. It Isn’t Easy Being (Ever) Green_K. Mackowski.jpg

Special Events

In addition to field trips, the Festival of Nature hosts a variety of social, immersive experiences. Keep scrolling to learn more about this years events. 

Festival Keynote Dinner

Friday, May 24th, 4:30PM

Location: About Thyme Farm, 8425 County F, Baileys Harbor

Fee: $40 per person


Reception & Beverage Service: 4:30pm

Dinner: 5:00pm

enjoy a delectable family style dinner prepared by Thyme Catering, with dessert by Fika Bakery & Coffeehouse

Welcome and General Announcements: 6:15pm

Keynote Presentation: 6:30pm

Limit: 185

Reserve your spot by May 10th, 2024

Keynote Presentation

The Power of Storytelling: Creating Community and Deepening Our Connection with the Natural World

Each creature and every place on this planet has a story. Each of those stories has history, many layers of meaning, and a relationship with other living things, ecosystems, and landscapes. Stories capture our attention, stir our

emotions, and spark our imaginations. When we connect to a story, we also connect with one another and the world around us—and we are more open to understanding, transformation, and possibility.


Deneen Wiske, Executive Director of Auricle Productions, will explore how storytelling creates community and deepens our relationships with the natural world. Sharing experiences from the award-winning podcast, Threshold, Deneen will impart how stories help listeners make sense of the world, especially in this time of extraordinary planetary change. She’ll also examine how stories have shaped Door County, creating a powerful sense of place and a legacy of stewardship.

Speaker Bio_Deneen Wiske.jpg
12. It Isn’t Easy Being (Ever) Green_K. Mackowski.jpg

Art Exhibit and
Artist Reception

opening Thursday, may 23rd
Artist reception, 4:00-6:00pm


A deep dive into the world of scientific illustration and the important role it plays in science. This exhibition features the works of three talented artists, Daniel Meinhardt, Jackie Rath, and Maggie Warren.

Seeing Nature:
Why We Still Illustrate
HR Deer Skull Letter.jpg

Deer Skull Letter, Daniel Meinhardt

Works by Daniel Meinhardt

I am a biologist by training and enjoy using photography and illustration to integrate science with social and environmental issues it can help to illuminate. While growing up in St. Louis I spent a lot of time at the city’s zoo and art museum, both of which offer free admission and are across the street from each other. I grew up thinking that creating art required an almost magical, inborn talent, but when I had to learn scientific illustration in graduate school, I learned that such skills could be developed. I also realized that doing science and making art have much in common. Besides doing illustrations for my biological work, I have made collaborative pieces with UW-Green Bay Art  

Professor Alison Gates and co-curated two art shows at the university’s Lawton Gallery. While making images, I explore themes such as human diversity, the environment, and biodiversity it supports, and sense of place. I am particularly interested in highlighting social and environmental problems in hopes of inspiring action. All my early illustrations were in ink and/or graphite on mylar, but most of the works shown here were done digitally in Photoshop. 

Birds and branches of the boreal forest
Works by Jackie Rath
5_WinterWren copy.jpeg

Jackie Rath (she/they) moved to Door County in Spring of 2021 from Portland, Oregon. Their childhood was spent outdoors, exploring coastal estuary habitats and hiking jagged forested landscapes in the Columbia River Gorge. Captivated by these varying ecosystems and their organisms, yet also wanting to interpret them, Rath found comfort early on in storytelling through written and visual mediums.


In 2020, Rath graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, with a concentration in science communication. One of their essential goals going into the work that they currently do now as Program Coordinator at The Ridges Sanctuary is to make the complex communication of science more approachable and fun.

The smallest wren, Jackie Rath

One avenue they enjoy that offers lifelong learning in the field and helps them learn more about Door County’s diverse ecosystem is scientific illustration. Their style explores black and white sketches, both digital and with pen. Scientific illustration helps Rath to see the marvel of the small things. They are looking forward to experimenting with color and various mediums as they find new fascinations in the natural world.

Connection & Community: Celebrating Boreal Forest Ecology
Works by maggie warren

I am a scientific illustrator and printmaker from Chicago, whose work celebrates flora and fauna. My passion for the natural world has led me to pursue a career and creative endeavors in environmental science. I earned a MA in Conservation Biology from Miami Ohio focusing on science communication. I currently serve as the Beach Water Quality Project Manager for the Chicago Park District and design signage for the Park District’s natural areas. Using my artistic abilities and academic expertise, my aim is to inspire hope and conservation action in others.

As a curious naturalist, I hope to continue to learn about the natural world and share my discoveries through art. My creative practice highlights delightful details with intricate illustrations. My work primarily uses micron pen, watercolor, and carved linoleum. Since 2018, I have showcased my art at Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods in Illinois during its nature-inspired winter and spring art markets. My work makes the invisible visible by exploring ecologic themes of habitat, interdependent relationships, migration, and native wildlife. I hope to foster empathy for the living things in our backyards and beyond. Through my artwork, I want to spread awareness about the ecosystem humans are a part of and advocate for all wildlife that shares our home. After all, in the words of Baba Dioum, “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”

Screen Shot 2024-02-21 at 3.30.03 PM.png

Great Blue Heron, Maggie Warren

bottom of page