Nature Journaling

Announcing our summer program: “Nature Journaling with The REACH Museum” Summer 2020 is the perfect time to enjoy nature close to home and recapture your sense of wonder. Our nature journal program can help connect you with the natural world, the community, and citizen science right in your backyard, through your window, or anywhere in the world you happen to be. 

There are many reasons for engaging in the practice of nature journaling: 

  • Develop skills in scientific observation, data collection, writing, drawing, and math. 
  • Practice mindfulness and awareness of natural phenomena. 
  • Learn more about the natural history of your home area. 
  • Engage in a flexible, fun activity either solo or with friends and family. 


Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling with The REACH – What we’re doing each week:

Week 1 – Introduction to Nature Journaling

Inspired by the journals of Lewis & Clark, we begin our practice of nature observation. Get started by thinking about how to organize your journaling supplies and your data on the page. Do you feel like you’re not a good artist or writer? The best way to get over that is to practice. We’ll get you started with some simple ways to dive in and find what you want to study.


Week 2 – Finding Your Place by the River

We all live in a watershed, and the rivers we live by have an impact on us, just as we have an impact on the river. This week we make observations that help us learn about our Columbia River and water quality, including some of the smallest creatures in the aquatic food chain. Learn how close attention to detail helps with nature study.


Week 3 – Where You’re Planted

Plants are surprisingly complex and can be challenging to draw. Some simple techniques can help you record accurately and help make your drawing realistic. The study of plants also opens up the door to noticing many more living things and ecological relationships. We’ll find why native plants are so important to our neighborhood and what we can do to preserve them.


Week 4 – Animal Encounters

Wildlife can be some of the most memorable study subjects in nature journaling. Knowing a bit about habitat can help you find animals to observe. We’ll practice drawing from live subjects and animal parts while learning techniques that scientists use to study wildlife.

Week 5 – Get Grounded

The rocks and landscape around us reveal clues about the past, but it takes a little geology background to learn to interpret it. Journaling helps us notice the features that make our home unique and tell its amazing story. We’ll practice some rock identification and use creative writing to bring the past alive.


Week 6 – Bringing it All Together

The Columbia Basin’s combination of shrub-steppe and river ecosystems make this a great place for biodiversity. We’ll combine several journaling tools to start getting a bigger picture of our landscape through map-making and creative layout.


Week 7 – Citizen Science

Learn how your nature journal observations can be useful to science by participating in a backyard bioblitz, an online inventory of the living things observed over one week in our area.


This program is for youth ages 8 through teens from July 1 through August 14.

    • Cost:  $92 (+tax) for members; $110 (+tax) for non-members
    • Included with the cost: 
      • 7 weeks of instruction, 2 1-hour Zoom classes per week – a total of 14 sessions
      • Complete journal starter kit, which includes binder, pre-printed journal pages/activity sheets, watercolor pencils & brush, magnifier, compass, and your own copy of Northwest Arid Lands: An Introduction to the Columbia Basin Shrub-Steppe by Georganne O’Connor and Karen Wieda (pick up at The REACH)
    • Led by experienced educators from the REACH
    • Weekly sessions include two Zoom classes 
      • Wednesdays at 11:00 for interactive skills practice and instruction 
      • Fridays at 11:00 for sharing your work and discoveries
      • After each learning session, activity sheets will be emailed to each participant for independent journaling throughout the week.
    • Participants gain skills and create a unique journal that they can continue to use for a lifetime of learning!

Supply kits may be picked up at the Reach Museum (1943 Columbia Park Drive in Richland) between June 15th and June 29th, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment.  To schedule, please contact us by: