The Nature Friends of California—with branches in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles—is part of the International Friends of Nature (IFN) organization, which is a non-profit confederation of over 600,000 hikers, climbers, mountaineers, skiers, and others who love the outdoors.
Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1895, IFN is the umbrella organization of the national Friends of Nature federations, and is one of the largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world.
Most branches built and maintain at least one local clubhouse. There are over 1,200 clubhouses worldwide, run by associations and partners in Albany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Ukraine, and USA.
The club lodges range from the rustic, to a few that are hotel-like in facilities and accommodations. Each club operates independently, but members are welcome at all Nature Friends clubs worldwide. Most clubs have accommodations for members at reasonable rates, reflecting our founding principle, Berg frei, which means “The mountains are free” (for everyone).
Although Nature Friends are conservationists, the organization is non-political. Its members come from a variety of international backgrounds, ages, nationalities and races. Joining Nature Friends is like joining a large and diverse family with a common appreciation for the outdoors.
Mina Leslie-Wujastyk during the qualifying round of the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Boulder World Cup in Vienna 2010. Event co-organized by Nature Friends. Image from Wikipedia.