Tons of nature enthusiasts have found belonging and community on Discord through their shared passions for wildlife, plants, and the great outdoors. From cultivating houseplants and critters to connecting ecologists and zoologists around the world, we’re excited to see so many nature-based servers thriving and celebrating our Earth this month.
For this special edition of the Community Spotlight, we reached out to a handful of outdoor-loving servers to ask about the unique communities that they’ve built, and how they’re celebrating Earth Day. Read on below to see what they’re all about, and maybe you’ll be inspired to help your local environment in your own way!
Alex, also known as “Bug Brood” or simply “Brood” runs Critter Corner, a server dedicated to all things crawly, from arachnids to beetles, crustaceans, and “herps” (that’s the fancy word for reptiles or amphibians). Members can expect to find topics about raising their critters, breeding, ecology, and of course photography of any and all invertebrates.
Established out of a desire for a well-managed, lighthearted community centered around respect, positivity and education, Alex is proud that his hobby evolved into a place for all enthusiasts to stay in touch (especially thanks to a welcome committee) and establish long-term friendships and reputations in their areas of interest.
“There’s nothing better than growing a small sized group of people into a large one and seeing everyone interact and be happy with each other! Not to mention it’s about one of my favorite subjects!”
The server has members worldwide and wants no one to feel left out by allowing members to self-assign roles for their country, animal interests, and pronouns.
For Earth Day this year, Critter Corner is hosting a photography contest and offering special roles for those cleaning up litter in their local area.
Canadian Outdoors & Prepping
If there is anything that Canada has a lot of, it’s nature. In fact, Canada contains 9% of the entire world’s forests.
Nick, the owner of Canadian Outdoors & Prepping, originally started the server as a disaster preparation community after noticing a lack of Canadian-specific ones. Since there’s a lot of overlap between disaster preparation and the outdoors, the server shifted its focus to cover topics like backpacking, hiking, canoeing, medical, communication, and gear reviews.
Members across both Canada and the globe now ask questions, share answers, and post plenty of photos from their outdoor adventures. With such a diverse background of outdoor adventurers, Nick and the other members ensure that new members feel welcomed and able to ask questions about nearly any topic, from hiking to forestry and more.
“One of my favorite moments is seeing members helping each other out with issues and concerns without hesitation. If someone new comes along with wanting to get into hunting, all they’d have to do is ask in the #hunting discussion channel and our members would be glad to offer tips and information on how to get started.”
In celebration of Earth Day, Canadian Outdoors & Prepping is hosting a cleanup contest to encourage folks to pick up trash and consider the impact of litter in their communities.
Marcel is one of the fantastic folks behind the Houseplants! server, which is all about — well, plants for your house! The server is full of tips, advice, and hype for “every new leaf”. Membership grew (pun intended) this past year with lots of folks looking to make their homes more lively.
The team puts a huge focus on fostering positive interaction and does not tolerate any kind of elitism. To the Houseplants community, it doesn’t matter if you just moved into your first apartment and bought your first succulent or if you’ve been collecting plants for many years.
“One of my personal favorite (reoccurring) moments is when community members decide to do an impromptu stream of their plant care routine in our voice channels. Quarantine has been hard for many of us, and being able to return to normalcy by just hanging out and getting a glimpse into other people’s daily lives has made many of my days a lot better!”
The entire moderation team prioritizes actively participating in all channels along with members as part of the community, getting to know members like friends. If you’re a new member and decide to say hi, you can be sure one of the community members is going to welcome you and ask you a bit about your current or future plant journey.
For Earth Day today, the Houseplants community has three days packed with events, giveaways, and educational talks from soil scientists, conservationists, and a wide variety of other horticultural experts. Give ’em a search in Server Discovery if you’re looking for a place to root yourself in.
Intellectual Minds of Ecology and Zoology
Serving as a semi-casual hub for professionals and enthusiasts of ecology, the aptly-named “Intellectual Minds of Ecology and Zoology” is a home for everyone interested in those two fields of study, regardless of their experience or skill level.
Kam, the server owner of the Intellectual Minds of Ecology and Zoology server, says they originally didn’t have any friends or family that worked or studied in the two wildlife sciences.
“I wished I had a way to talk to professionals regarding their careers and aspirations. I realized that Discord could provide an amazing platform to build this type of community that so many people, like me, could benefit from.”
Now, Kam runs a community of fellow enthusiasts that just recently celebrated reaching the 1000 member milestone. Members new and old are encouraged to assign themselves roles that showcase their favorite ecological interests, personal pronouns, geographic region, and more.
Today, the community is planning to make a “nature collage,” where members can pitch in with nature-themed photos or artwork they’re most proud of, and the mod team uses the submissions to form a collage. The community also plans on having one of their members, who is a Conservation Officer, present their career work and discuss how it ties into the meaning of Earth Day.
Even after over a year of running the community, Kam says they’re still surprised by the sheer number of new members who have joined the server in such a short time.
“[Earth Day] is very important to us as a server and we hope the community enjoys these events and appreciates the significance of the day.”
Mavrik Joos runs the Mav server, a one-stop-shop for people (especially fans of their YouTube channel!) looking for advice, sharing memories, and getting more involved outside.
Getting into a hobby like fishing or camping alone can feel intimidating. A lot of people who watch Mav’s content are interested but don’t have the resources or a place to ask questions so Mav created the server as a judgment-free space for outdoor enthusiasts where everyone feels comfortable to ask questions to them and other members.
“It’s nice to see people come together with similar and much different interests at the same time.”
Since Mav’s content is based around vehicle camping, there are many fans of truck camping who post pictures of their rigs and talk shop in the #vehicles channel. Take a peek and you’ll see hatchbacks in the wild, camper trucks, and traversing weather of every season!
For Earth Day, Mav is putting together an event where community members can post videos and pictures of them picking up litter for a chance to win prizes. There might even be a guest speaker talking about the importance of keeping the earth clean and leaving campsites better than how you found them.
The Great Outdoors
Kevin runs The Great Outdoors, a server focused on anything and everything outdoor recreation. Common topics include camping, hiking, backpacking (particularly long-distance and ultralight), rock climbing, cycling, snow sports, boating, and archery.
Like most people, Kevin originally joined while looking for help planning a big trip. Upon entering, it was immediately obvious that this group had something special going on. Over the next few months, they enjoyed many great conversations, joined the staff, were promoted twice, and eventually became the server owner — although Kevin says “I’m just a caretaker.”
The Great Outdoors welcomes new members as they join with a channel for people to introduce themselves and let everyone know what they’re into, which almost always strikes up a conversation.
Many members join to ask questions about going camping for the first time, and the server helps them to learn and enjoy nature, allowing them to finally accomplish their outdoor goals like going on their dream hikes.
“Every day is Earth Day here! We’re big proponents of Leave No Trace, which is a set of principles that help you minimize your impact when outdoors. It’s our duty to protect nature, both for the well-being of the nature itself, and for future generations to enjoy.”
Thinking about starting a server for your outdoor (or indoor) interests? Check out our articles on Starting Your First Discord Server and Best Practices for Starting a Great Community on Discord.
Today, like many of the server owners we talked to, we at Discord encourage you to do something nice for the planet, whether that means picking up a quick piece of trash, or making a donation to a charity like The Canopy Project to help reforest the planet. You can find Earth Day education and lots of events around the world over at EarthDay.org.
Happy Earth Day!