We invite you to Discover with Nature
Your support has made it possible for The Nature Conservancy to protect millions of acres; restore streams, rivers, wetlands and forests; and find innovative and practical solutions that safeguard the future. We want to share these landscapes, and we invite you to discover your own connection to these special places.
2024 Travel Destinations
Gulf Coast: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
April 19, 2024 - April 25, 2024
During this journey, explore the innovative critical habitat-saving projects that TNC’s Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana chapters have been undertaking and what the future holds for the natural character of this region.
Little St. Simons Island
June 9, 2024 - June 14, 2024
Explore untouched coastline and spot diverse birds as you learn how TNC is working with Little St. Simons Island to ensure the beaches, forests and salt marshes continue to flourish as an important part of the South Atlantic coastal region.
Flint Hills: Kansas and Oklahoma
June 10, 2024 - June 15, 2024
Uncover the beauty and significance of the Flint Hills. Wander nature trails, identify diverse plant species and look for young bison calves as your learn how TNC is actively experimenting to safeguard and rejuvenate the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
September 29, 2024 - October 3, 2024
From a cutting-edge fish nursery on the Colorado River to the climate advances being made at the Canyonlands Research Center, you’ll see how ingenuity and collaboration are delivering hope for vulnerable communities and ecosystems in San Juan County.
TNC Travel Values
Traveling with TNC means showing respect for each other and respect for the world around us and acting with integrity. Learn more about our traveler expectations.
Travel with renowned TNC experts and local partners for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience.
Our Code of Conduct
The Nature Conservancy’s Code of Conduct, our guide to ensuring that we treat each other with respect, fairness and integrity beyond reproach. We expect our travel partners to adhere to these standards as they lead trips, and we hope that you will embrace this with us.
Sustainable Travel Tips developed in partnership with the
Minnesota Chapter’s Global Advisory Council.
The Minnesota Chapter trustees, like many of The Nature Conservancy’s advocates, are travel enthusiasts and passionate environmentalists. As they explore the globe, they find inspiration in the beautiful geographies we protect, in the innovation we bring to solving real problems in the field and in the indigenous communities with which we partner to ensure the lasting impact of critical conservation strategies.
Let’s travel together in a way that is healthy for people and nature!
- How do you lower your footprint and raise your positive impact, how do you make your trip a tool for good?
- Buy carbon offsets, which is the best individual option for reducing your carbon footprint.
- Research properties that have sustainable approaches to the following: design, infrastructure, waste, energy, water, supply chain.
- Seek out alternative travel with organizations like The Nature Conservancy that consider these guidelines when planning trips around the globe.
There are many great resources on how to limit your impact when your travel but here are a few of our favorites!
About what you bring:
- Research what you will need before you go, being well informed often reduces impacts.
- Pack sustainably to leave no trace: reusable water bottle, reusable bags, washable silverware.
About how you get around:
- Use public transportation when possible.
- Rent a hybrid or electric car and offset emissions through a rental company.
About what you use:
- Conserve throughout your trip with this motto: recycle, re-use, reduce, respect.
About what you do:
- Get involved in a green project during your stay (beach clean-up, scientific monitoring).
- Support local businesses: Eat local foods and buy souvenirs from local shops.
- Search for in-county guide services that specialize in eco-travel.
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.
- For travel taking place in 2024, TNC will no longer require vaccinations or confirm vaccination status for guests, staff or hosts. We do strongly encourage all parties to continue to be fully vaccinated and boosted per CDC guidance.
- Participants will not be required to wear face masks while in vehicles or indoors. Masks will be available for use at your discretion. This is subject to change prior to or during the trip based on updated CDC and local or state requirements.
- To comply with CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 contact tracing and notification protocols, we strongly encourage all participants to notify staff if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 within the five-day period before your trip begins or after you return home.
- Guests will be required to comply with all rules and regulations adopted by local authorities to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which may include providing proof of vaccination and wearing face coverings.
Trip cancellations, due to COVID-19 or for other reasons, will be subject to the terms and conditions agreed upon with the operator during registration. Please ensure you have carefully read and marked the cancellation dates and penalties for your trip. TNC recommends that travelers purchase trip insurance and suggest you talk with the travel operator about insurance options upon registration.
Cancellations terms are as follows:
(Gulf Coast, Flint HIlls and Moab)
- A trip deposit is due upon registration. The deposit is fully refundable within 7 days of payment when booked 7+ before full payment is due. After this time, the deposit is non-refundable.
- Full trip payment is due 150 days prior to trip departure. Cancellation 136-150 days prior to trip departure: Full trip payment is 50% refundable. Cancellation 0-135 days prior to trip departure: Full trip payment is non-refundable.
Little St. Simons Island:
- A deposit of 50% of the full trip cost is due upon registration. Full trip payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellation 90+ days prior to trip departure: Full deposit is refundable, less a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellation 0-89 days prior to trip departure: Full deposit is non-refundable.
Note: TNC will work with travelers in the unlikely event that a trip is cancelled to receive as much of a refund as possible within the terms of our operators.
It’s the last month of the year and we’re entering that season of gratitude and reflection. I can’t write my end-of-year list without spending some time thinking about everything that travel has done for me this year. While I took a few trips that were vacations, I definitely have to include some work-related travel, notably my latest excursion.
While I was in the south to attend the Tennessee Discover with Nature trip in October and early November, I was able to build in a visit to see my parents. They’re on the opposite corner of the country from me, so it was important to spend time with them while proximity allowed. As a special bonus, I also had dinner with my cousin whom I rarely get to see anymore now that our grandparents have passed. Having lived in Tennessee for many years, he was excited to hear my stories from the trip and understood my awe at being in the Great Smoky Mountains for the first time. He appreciated learning about the various ecosystems at the different elevations of the mountains, as well as all of the firefly facts that I learned from TNC Trustee and firefly expert, Lynn Faust.
The part of the journey that was the most meaningful for me was our visit to the Doe Mountain Recreation Area, one of the largest remaining privately owned blocks of forest in the Southern Blue Ridge region of Tennessee. I hadn’t quite known what to expect before the trip and wasn’t sure how I felt about off-road vehicles, which are popular at this recreational destination. Off-roading felt like something out of my comfort zone at first, but I enjoyed every minute of it. The biggest takeaway for me was learning the story of why TNC was involved with the Recreation Area in the first place. Isn’t it weird that we’re involved with a place where people bring 4-wheelers to drive around? It felt almost the opposite of how our project sites are supposed to feel, or so I thought. But when TNC was asked to get involved with buying and protecting this land, everyone stepped back and thought about the community surrounding the land. If TNC purchased it and turned it into a preserve with no public access, it would not benefit the folks who live there. And this is Appalachia. If you’ve read the latest Barbara Kingsolver, Demon Copperhead, then you know.
So, TNC decided their purpose for being involved with the land needed to be one that benefited the community. They formed the Recreation Area to bring tourism into the community to stimulate the economy. The Recreation Area would bring families in and create the need for campgrounds. And those families would then go out for dinners and stops at the ice cream shop. Providing for people is a huge part of our 2030 goals. I’ve read this, and I’ve heard other stories about the impact of our work, but this was the first time I visited a project that directly affects the lives of the surrounding community. It was profoundly moving, evoking thoughts about how it could have easily been my grandparents at the base of the mountain.
We also visited a cranberry bog, a creek that is being restored for the protection of tens and twenties of species of fish within and, of course, Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Earlier this year on other Discover with Nature trips, groups visited Mexico, Belize, Oregon and Michigan and heard stories from our staff and partners who are working to project the biodiversity and the human populations in the areas where they work, too.
I’m looking forward to the coming year when there will be similar stories to share. I’m especially keen to learn about the continuity of restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast in April. Besides enjoying amazing seafood, I want to learn about the challenges that fishermen and women, as well as everyone who makes their living from the sea, are facing along the coast. I aim to delve into how TNC and our partners are adapting to changes, mitigating problems and utilizing restorative aquaculture practices. If you’re curious about these things, too, please come join me on this journey along the Gulf Coast!
As we plan our travels for the coming year, let’s endeavor to connect with family and friends along the way. As I’ve found, you won’t regret it.
- Christine Kessler, Donor Engagement Strategist