junior-naturalist-patch.jpg Junior Naturalist Certificate

Any park visitor from the age of seven years and up may participate in the Junior Naturalist Program. See a Park Naturalist for your card and instructions on how to begin. To complete the program you must complete all of the following requirements:

1. Service Project

Candidate must devote two hours of service to the Dobbs Park property. The Park Naturalist will assign your service project. This might include picking up trash or spreading bark on the trails, washing windows, etc.

2. Nature Project

Choose a native Indiana plant or animal and answer the following questions:

    • A. What does your plant or animal use for food? What might eat this animal, and what happens to it after it dies?
    • B. What would happen if every one of your plant or animals disappeared?
    • C. Be able to explain why plants and animals need each other.
    • D. You must draw your plant or animal or you may build a model, using your choice of materials.

3. Naturalist Activities

The candidate must attend three naturalist-led events. These are presented one Saturday each month.

4. Identification

The candidate will be able to identify any ten of the following (any combination, such as five birds, two trees, one ground plant, two reptiles).

    • A. Reptiles and Amphibians
    • B. Ground Plants
    • C. Insects and Spiders
    • D. Trees
    • E. Birds
    • F. Mammals

The Park Naturalist may quiz the candidate by their own methods (out on the trail, with Nature Center displays, pictures, slides, etc.)

5. Observation

Choose one of the following projects that interests you. At the end of the observation, orally report to the Park Naturalist about what you saw.

    • A. Observe a bird or mammal for ten to fifteen minutes. Record its actions, interactions with other species, and feeding habits.
    • B. Observe a flower for ten to fifteen minutes. Keep a record of insects or animals visiting it. Why are they there? Why do some avoid this plant?

Upon completion of this program, a Junior Naturalist Patch and Certificate will be awarded at a Saturday Naturalist Program, shown above. There is no time limit for completion of the Junior Naturalist Program.