"Father Nature" gives presentations, programs and outdoor field trips for schools, churches, retirement homes, libraries, senior groups, social clubs, and non-profit groups. "Sensing the Seasons" is a very popular choice for adults. Teachers especially like "You Can Haiku Too!" People in the Creative Arts especially like "Learning to See".

Now scheduling programs for 2019
616-691-7878 - home 
616-250-8943 - cell

New! Available in 2019:

"Wildflowers ~ Collected by Richard Havenga" 
Intended for Garden Clubs, Nature Centers, etc.

Under Construction:

"The Poetry of Nature ~ The Nature of Poetry" 
Intended for college classes & adult classes.

616-691-7878 home 
616-250-8943 cell 
Email: for details on fees and scheduling.

Recent Events:

"Secrets of Summer" & "Photo Poetry"
August 14, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m.
Sentinel Pointe 
2900 Thornhills Ave, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

"Secrets of Summer" & "Photo Poetry"
August 23, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m.
Heron Manor
2106 Leonard N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI  49525

"Secrets of Summer" & "Photo Poetry"
August 22, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m.
Northview Senior Citizens
Plainfield Senior Center
5255 Grand River Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

"A Congregation of Birds" & "Photo Poetry"
September 19, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m.
Owashtanong Islands Audubon Society
Loutit District Library
407 Columbus Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417

"Artistry of Autumn" & "Photo Poetry"
September 21, 2017  7:00 - 8:15 p.m.
Roselle Park 
1010 Grand River Drive
Ada, MI 49301

"Artistry of Autumn" & "Photo Poetry"
September 22, 2017  @ 1:00 p.m.
Salvation Army - Senior Program
1235 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

"Artistry of Autumn" & "Photo Poetry"
September 25, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m.
Samaritas Senior Living
2000  32nd St. S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

"Artistry of Autumn" & "Photo Poetry"

September 27, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m.
Heron Manor
2106 Leonard N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

The Creation of Poetry ~ The Poetry of Creation
At the 2017 

BREATHE ~Christian Writers Conference

October 6 & 7, 2017
Grand Rapids Theological Seminary of Cornerstone University
1001 East Beltline Grand Rapids, MI 49525

October 7 from 2:45 - 3:45 link: Breakout Sessions

"Artistry of Autumn" & "Photo Poetry"
October 24, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m.
Northview Senior Citizens
Plainfield Senior Center
5255 Grand River Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49525



Your work is beautiful and moving -- such incredible photos and lovely poems revealing your wonderful sensitivity and soul and your pureness of heart! Your poems and photos remind us to take the time to experience the beauty of nature and realize the gifts we have been given. 

Blake and Emerson both wrote of seeing things well -- as Ruskin did. You do see things with a "good eye" and capture the essence of a "moment." 

I was reminded in one of your poems of Walt Whitman -- it was the poem entitled "You". It reminded me of Leaves of Grass. You invite the reader to enter your world by listening to your words and seeing your photographs. "Go with me on my journey." "Walk with me." Those are the quiet invitations offered. I just found the entire experience refreshing and educational.

~ Dr. Pam Sellers - Women's City Club
PhD. - Michigan State University
MA - Georgetown
BA - Wittenberg

"Thank YOU, Richard for your wonderful presentation yesterday. Your photography is breathtaking! You have a special gift for sharing the subtleties of God's creation with amazing detail and intensely brilliant color. And your poetry adds a richness and depth to the feelings your audience would be unable to so eloquently express. It was truly a delight to have you join us for our event - your audience was spellbound. I will definitely recommend you to others." 

~ Sylvia Stouten~
Director of Discipleship, Trinity Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids

Mr. Havenga presented his "You Can Haiku Too!" program to our 7/8 grade students. He was able to relate to the students on so many levels. We all appreciated his willingness to share his talents so generously. From his amazing photography to his inspirational words, to his personal story, Mr. Havenga truly enriched us all with his presentation. He truly has a gift for capturing the beauty of our earth and bringing out the poetic voice in others. 
~ Mrs. Nikki Kevic ~ Teacher - St. Patrick School

Dear Richard:

What a delightful time we had with you at Women's City Club. Our ladies loved your presentation: "Sensing the Seasons": "Secrets of Summer", and "Artistry of Autumn". The photos were so clear and beautiful. Your Poetry was so expressive and fitting to each nature scene. 
Thank you! - Jean Vanderlaan - Program Chair, WCC

Hello Rich:

Thank you for your program to Grand Rapids Audubon Club Monday evening. I keep seeing your marvelous images of birds in my head.

Also, I sincerely appreciated the Poetry part of the program. You have a marvelous voice for reading; and the fact that you were reading your own works added a tangible layer of richness to the evening. 

Bea Verburg 
~ Grand Rapids Audubon Club


Thanks so much for the moving and beautiful program "Learning to See", presented to Ottawa County MARSP (Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel) members. Your photography represents a gift you have been granted, a gift to see nature in unique ways, and then capture it with your camera in a unique way. It is obvious that your photography is complimented by your gift of writing - utilizing words in ways that so beautifully represent the often "unseen" elements within a photograph. 

You mixed music, photography, a soft and tender voice, and beautiful words to deliver a moving presentation. The reaction and feedback from our membership was affirming of my own impression of a job extremely well done. 

Blessings to you as you explore additional ways to use your gifts with groups or through classes. I will never look at God's nature in quite the same way after experiencing this presentation. 


Bob VanderZwaag, President
MARSP - Ottawa County chapter

I wanted to thank you for the beautiful pictures, poetry, and stories that you shared with our group. We had a delightful experience as we took a "Walk With Father Nature". 
~ Robin Johnson - President - Belding Gardeneers.

Now Scheduling Programs for 2019

Call: 616-691-7878 home
         616-250-8943 cell

"Nature Journalingsession with Knapp Charter Academy Third Graders.

Announcing a brand new program:

"Photo Poetry"

Become immersed in the intricacies of nature and the lyrical landscape 
as Poet/Photographer Richard Havenga reads his poems and shares his images. 
Travel through the seasons and around the U.S. on this journey with words.  

Audience: High school, college & adults


April - November, 2019
Call: 616-691-7878  Home
            616-250-8943  cell

"Learning to See"

This program is for anyone who enjoys art, nature, writing, photography, music, and non-fiction. I will share my Nature Photography through the seasons while showing you how to slow down, reflect, and observe with awareness and focused curiosity. 

Learn how to enhance your time when you go outdoors. Nature is a soothing, comforting place to find inspiration and outlets for personal expression. 

During this presentation, I will also share my philosophy, favorite poets and authors that will help participants in "Learning to See". Audience participation and discussion is strongly encouraged.

Audience: High school, college, & adults.


April - November, 2019

"Artistry of Autumn" for O.W.L.S. "Older Wiser Livelier Seniors" - from St. Roberts 
@ Fallasburg Park Shelterhouse

"Father Nature" gives presentations, programs and outdoor field trips for schools, churches, retirement homes, libraries, senior groups, social clubs, and non-profit groups. "Sensing the Seasons" is a very popular choice for adults. Teachers especially like "You Can Haiku Too!" People in the Creative Arts especially like "Learning to See".

Call: 616-691-7878 Home, 616-250-8943 Mobile, or Write: for details on fees and scheduling.

Recent testimonials: 

Rich Havenga's visit to Porter Hills was a perfect "trip" away from the cold, gloomy, rainy afternoon that day. I was so impressed with his Photography and Poetry. I loved that he was so personal and enthusiastic, and his passion showed! He brought the images of his Autumn experiences in for us who are unable to get out to enjoy them. 
~ Nancy Frans - Resident - Porter Hills Retirement Village


Thank you for the thoughtful "Learning to See" presentation to our Seniors. The photos, narrative, soothing music and poetry reading was inspiring. God has gifted you to share the beauty of His nature with others. Thank you!"

~ Jean Kubiszewski - Director, Forest Hills Public Schools Community Services 


Thank you for stimulating my students' minds with your beautiful photos. I loved how you encouraged the use of active verbs and specific nouns to my fourth grade class. They were so proud to share their "published" work. You made them comfortable and motivated to marvel at nature and grapple with the word choices available to them as writers." 

~ Cheri Dettwiler - Valley View Elementary - Rockford Public Schools


Thank you so much for coming to Raybrook Manor to share "Spectacle of Spring" with us. The gasps from the audience at each new slide said it all - your photographs are spectacular and a beautiful testament to an imaginative and generous God. 

Thank you for sharing your gifts of a careful eye and studied knowledge with us as well as the creativity of your written words.

Many Blessings,

Hope Staal " - Program/Activities Director Holland Home - Raybrook Manor

"Thank you Richard, for the unique program "Learning to See" that you gave to          Grand Valley Artists. I loved the photographs, books, presentation, and your unique       way of looking at the earth." ~ Bonnie Osborne - GVA Member

"Thanks for sharing your love of nature, photography, and writing. I know that you inspired the kids to look and think about our world in a new way." ~ Dan Derksen - Teacher @ Valley View Elementary - Rockford Public Schools

" Richard: 

Thank you again for presenting to our "Learning Cafe" group. Your Photography, Poetry, and admiration of nature and deep faith in God was very inspiring!"
Sincerely, Jean Kubiszewski - Director - Community Services, Forest Hills Public Schools

 "Sensing the Seasons

Power Point presentations with classical music and optional narration. 
30 - 45 minutes duration, plus discussion, and Q. & A. session if desired. 

Sample photos from each "Season"... 

"Spectacle of Spring"

"Secrets of Summer"

"Artistry of Autumn"

"Whispers of Winter"

You Can Haiku Too !

You Can Haiku Too ! is the most popular program for Teachers and Students. This is adaptable for upper elementary, middle and high school students. It works well in a Writing Workshop setting. See details below.

1. Read Haiku - From approximately 100 examples available at "Walk With Father Nature", I will read several of my Haiku to the students while they listen and observe the Photo~Haiku. Topics include: birds, mammals, reptiles, wildflowers, trees, clouds, landscapes, etc.

2. Learn Haiku - Using Nature Photography from my Picasa collection as prompts, I will ask key questions to stimulate students' writing and creativity. We will employ "clustering" and "mapping" for idea generation.

3. Write Haiku - While viewing selected photographs, students will create their own Haiku. The Teachers and "Father Nature" will rotate around the room to assist students with revision. 

4. Share Haiku - Students will volunteer to read aloud their best work, or have it read by an adult.

5. Publish Haiku - Teachers will determine how (and if) they want to compile a class Haiku collection / anthology.

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