Bruce Cawkins (he/him) volunteered to place two trail cameras in our woodland as part of the Master Naturalist program. Bruce achieved the naturalist certification in June through the University of Wisconsin-Extension, in partnership with Welty Environmental Center. The Master Naturalist program is rigorous, requiring ongoing volunteering, 40 hours of training and a service project. Installing and monitoring cameras at Nature At The Confluence is Bruce’s project.

A Beloit resident and manager of Harris Ace Hardware on Elmwood Avenue, Bruce is a longtime volunteer nature guide and program leader, including for the maple syrup tapping program at Welty. One of his greatest passions is teaching young people about nature. “We don’t have a lot of ecological training for our kids,” said Bruce. “I would love to see the day a kid says, “I know that flower!’” Below is a selection of furry friends that Bruce’s motion-activated cameras have captured over the past few months. 


Wildlife that crossed the cameras include deer, fox, coyote, skunk, raccoon, beaver, opossum, and squirrel. Bruce says it takes at least a year to make meaningful observations from the cameras– something he knows from volunteering to monitor trail cameras for Snapshot Wisconsin. The state cameras help with game management as well as spring “green up” and color die-down; the latter help create Wisconsin’s fall color maps. We are grateful to Bruce for choosing us for his volunteer project, and we look forward to sharing more wildlife photos with you in the coming months!

Published December 2023