Think of Flybird as your local nature tour guide. Flybird will help you get the most out of the time you spend outdoors.
Flybird works with
We are based in Oak Park, Illinois, and travel throughout Chicago. Nature is welcoming to all. Access to nature is an important social justice issue. Flybird actively supports national and local efforts to expand access to nearby nature.
As leader of Flybird Experience, Laura Derks has been guiding people on restorative experiences in nature since 2016. She has over 30 years of experience in health care, environmental stewardship, and sustainability.
Laura fell in love with nature while exploring her backyard and neighborhood in San Antonio, as well as the Texas Hill Country on visits to her grandparents. She spent hours and hours in the treehouse her father built—imagining stories as she scanned the canopies of the neighboring trees. Her family often camped in woodlands and visited the Gulf of Mexico. Her first glimpse of the Rocky Mountain National Park spurred a lifelong love for the mountains.
She volunteers regularly as a Master Naturalist in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In addition, Laura is a certified TreeKeeper through Openlands. As a volunteer with Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections to the Outdoors, she has developed programs with youth groups in Hermosa, Pilsen, North Lawndale and Cicero neighborhoods. She also has a First Aid Certification through Red Cross. Laura holds a master’s degree in health science from Johns Hopkins University.
WHAT'S A FLYBIRD?
Laura chose the name “Flybird,” because it was an early 20th century nickname for the hummingbird, which is the tiniest, most fascinating bird: fierce, flexible and fastidious.
Although a hummingbird weighs just a few grams, it can fly backwards, hover, and travel thousands of miles during spring and fall migration.
The hummingbird’s spectacular beauty and athleticism never ceases to surprise and instill awe in Laura—and is a fitting metaphor for nature’s power to inspire the human spirit.