Annual Meeting 2024 Featured Presentation

The Natural Beauty That Surrounds Us: Inspiring Adventure, Gratitude & Wonder

The Natural Beauty That Surrounds Us: Inspiring Adventure, Gratitude & Wonder


Friday, January 19, 2024

After Annual Meeting

Riverside Township Hall







Valerie M. Jisa is a Riverside resident who hails from the great state of Texas. She is an avid nature enthusiast, self-taught birder, and self-taught nature photographer.

Jisa is a top-contributing member of the Riverside Nature Network (RNN) on Facebook where she shares and chronicles her daily nature sightings with the rest of the community. She has led numerous bird walks in town and has become a true documenter of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Please come and enjoy Valerie’s profound love and expanding knowledge of nature through a presentation of her photography at the Olmsted Society’s Annual Public meeting. The results of her daily photographic walks will not disappoint.

Artist’s Statement
“During the gloomier and isolating days of the 2020 Pandemic, with three small children at home, I started to escape to the wooded areas of Riverside to help ease my natural restlessness and calm myself.

My wonder and awareness for Riverside’s wildlife and beauty expanded one day when, during one of my daily adventure walks, I came across a bird I never noticed before. I posted a photo of the bird on RNN and learned I had seen a rare Black-throated Blue Warbler. It was the bird that deepened my new-found love and curiosity for other bird species in town.

That is when I started noticing everything around me. All the animals. All the sounds. All the changing colors in the trees. All the different textures. All the different heights in the trees. All the nests. All the different kinds of nests. All the knob holes in the trees. All the changes in the landscape from one storm or season to the next. All the little clues and evidence left behind from critters of all shapes and sizes. For three years, my daily walks have become a personal ritual and a meditation of sorts.”