Izaak Walton League of America

Family Adventures in Nature (FAN) Club

The Izaak Walton League invites you to join us each month to explore natural areas throughout Montgomery County. These family-focused adventures will include hands-on education,  conservation activities – and fun! Best of all, our FAN Club events are FREE.  

The FAN Club will meet once a month, and families are welcome to join us for each outing or whenever their schedules allow. 


Date/TimeLocation Description 
October 19, 2014
2:00-4:00 pm

Muddy Branch Trail

Did you know the Muddy Branch Trail runs for 9 miles from Route 28 down to the C&O canal and can be accessed from many neighborhoods along the way? Join your neighbors to explore the trail and discuss how families can add nature to your outdoor play time. We will meet at the playground area at Teaneck Terrace off DuFief Mill Rd in Gaithersburg and hike for one mile on the trail where we will have many opportunities to see Muddy Branch creek up close. Register here.

November 2, 2014
IWLA Rockville Chapter (Germantown, MD)Fall color hike and marshmallow roast: Join us for a hike around the Rockville Chapter's property to see the beautiful fall colors of the changing leaves. We will have a bonfire and roast marshmallows and share songs and stories before we hike out.  Register here.

November 16, 2014
2:00-4:00 p.m.
Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Brookville, MD)The author of "Best Hikes for Kids: Washington D.C." will lead you on one of her featured hikes in the park, which is densely populated by wildlife and features spectacular rock outcroppings and views of the Hawlings River. Copies of the new book will be available for the author's signature. In conjunction with the Columbia Families in Nature group. Register here.

December 7, 2014
1:00-4:00 p.m.
IWLA Conservation Center (Gaithersburg, MD)Join us for this very unique hands-on experience. We will learn about geology in a fun, safe, interactive way. Every child will get their own geode to take home! Suitable for kids of all ages. A small donation will be requested on site to help offset the cost of the program materials. Register early as space is limited.

To find out about future events, please check back often or contact Rebecca Wadler at rwadler@iwla.org or (301) 548-0150 x 243. 


Clothing and Shoes: Everyone should be dressed for the weather in clothes and shoes that are comfortable enough to move in and are fine to get dirty. The weather can change quickly, so wear or pack layers, and bring rain gear if it looks like it may be needed. It's a good idea to have a spare set of clothes and shoes in the car, also.

Water and Food: Each family member needs to have their own full water bottle.  Snacks will be helpful for keeping energy up and little bellies happy during outings. Trail mix, dried fruit, energy bars, cheese slices, crackers, and sliced veggies all make good snack options. 
Backpack: In addition to water and snacks, fill a backpack or fanny pack with: sunscreen, insect repellent, hats and sunglasses, tissues, a small garbage bag, and any medication your family may need (such as an inhaler and small first aid kit). Other items you may want to bring include: binoculars, a magnifying glass, a field guide, a camera, a small container for each child to use to collect nature "treasures" (when permitted), and a towel or small blanket. Older kids may want to wear their own packs too!  If you have little ones that may tire quickly, a baby carrier will work better than a stroller unless it is able to go "off-road."

Be ready to have fun, get dirty, and enjoy nature and each other!


Children today spend almost eight hours per day with electronic gadgets and only a tiny fraction of time outside in free play. Yet frequent, unstructured childhood play in nature helps children develop a connection to nature. Studies show that nature play can also be an antidote to many of today's childhood epidemics, from obesity to attention deficit disorder. Sharing these experiences with the adults in their lives gives children a sense of well-being and the confidence to connect with the world around them. 
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Izaak Walton League of America
707 Conservation Lane   ·  Gaithersburg, MD  20878
(301) 548-0150 (main)   ·  info@iwla.org
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