Young Naturalist Club


The Wake Audubon Young Naturalist Club is a program geared for 12 to 18-year-olds who have a strong interest in the natural sciences and want to explore the outdoors. Each month we go on at least one nature excursion or do an environmental service project. An excursion may be a half-day local wildlife hike, a full-day trek to the mountains, or overnight trip to the coast.

Turtles and Trash Service Project along the Eno River
Birding by Canoe at Umstead State Park
Dip Netting for Waterbugs at Sunset at Singletary Lake
Purple Martin Roost Boat Cruise
Planting a Native Wildflower Garden at Walnut Creek Wetlands Center
Trail Building Service Project at Grandfather Mountain
Trail Building Service Project at Grandfather Mountain
Searching for Freshwater Mussels at Lake Waccamaw
Mist Netting Songbirds at Prairie Ridge
Hawk Migration Watch on Pilot Mountain
Oyster Reef Restoration at Jones Island
Salt Marsh Restoration Service Project
Kayaking the Sound at Hammocks Beach State Park

How do I join?

Ashley Martin
Wake Audubon Society
PO Box 12452
Raleigh, NC 27605

  • Join the Young Naturalist Club email list to hear about upcoming excursions. Contact Ashley Martin or John Gerwin.
  • Contact the trip leader to sign up for an excursion. Join as many as your schedule allows.
  • You do not need to be a Wake Audubon member to participate, although it is certainly a great way to meet other families with youth who share a strong interest in nature.

 More details

  • Parents/guardians of youth are always welcome, but not required to join excursions.
  • Youth should be at least 12-years-old to go on an excursion without a parent/guardian. Younger youth may join trips many trips if a parent/guardian is present.
  • Excursions are listed through the Wake Audubon Calendar of Events or through a monthly email. Contact Ashley Martin to be added to the Wake Audubon Young Naturalist email list.
  • Trip leaders are trained professionals and volunteers. Many trip leaders are biologists or educators with organizations like the Museum of Natural Sciences, State Parks and the Public Schools. At least two adults attend each trip.
  • Meeting locations vary depending the excursion, but they are typically in Raleigh (e.g. the Museum of Natural Sciences, Umstead State Park, Prairie Ridge Ecostation). Travel to other sites may be in personal vehicles of volunteers or a state vehicle through a partnership with the Museum of a Natural Sciences or State Parks. For parents who offer to help drive, Wake Audubon reimburse fuel costs.
  • Most excursions are absolutely free thanks to generous support from Wake Audubon. For some excursions, there may be a small registration fee to help cover food and entrance fees. For these trips, full financial assistance is available for families in need.

Meet the Young Naturalists Leaders/Trip Coordinators

Ashley Martin

Ashley works for Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space as a Park Technician of Programs at Crowder County Park and Historic Yates Mill County Park. Although a Virginia native and Virginia Tech alumna (go Hokies!), she has lived in North Carolina for over 9 years now and considers Raleigh her chosen home. She enjoys hiking with her dog, birding, and expanding her native plant gardens. She is thrilled to be active with the Young Naturalist Club.


John Gerwin

John Gerwin

John Gerwin

John serves as Research Scientist and Curator of Birds at theNCMuseum of Nat






The Young Naturalist Club sponsored in Memory of Jack and Mary McCall. Wake Audubon thanks the Jack and Mary McCall Foundation for its generous support.