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Nearest Nature

Mapping with Nature Journalers

The Nature Journal community is filled with inspiring and inventive people…folks learning from nature through sketching, questioning and documenting the natural world.

In March, two members of the community, Akshay and Gargi, started an ad-hoc learning program, inviting members of the facebook group to host online workshops on any topic they choose. Since I’m fascinated with maps, I volunteered to host a mapping workshop.

Over two Zoom sessions, 12 of us learned from examples created by members of the community and then got hands-on and made some maps!

Here’s the materials and the work that was created.

Presentation deck

Mapping FTW! [Nature Journal Club Online Sketch Party April 11, 2020] from Kate Rutter

Nearest Nature map, version 1

Nearest Nature map, v2

View the work from the participants


I learned that there are unlimited ways to make maps, and that visual expression is varied and unique, even when a bunch of people do the same activity with the same prompt. The work was so interesting and beautiful!

I was surprised by how even a simple prompt can bring back a flood of memories, information and details. Mapping from memory feels like walking through my brain and stopping to smell the roses.

Next time I’d like to do a different direction and complete a map of Nearest Nature looking South.