Junior Naturalists

Be an Iowa Junior Naturalist

What is the Iowa Junior Naturalist Program? This is a wonderful opportunity for children ages 6-18 to experience (and share with adults) such diverse programs as environmental education, outdoor recreation, natural resources, conservation and historical interpretation.

This program is offered each calendar year and encourages children to attend programs offered by local County Conservation Boards, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state park units, local libraries, nature centers, YMCA camps, 4H, or any other programs with a nature theme. In addition, it encourages families to learn about and participate in independent nature and outdoor recreational activities.

After participants complete the requirements and fill out the Iowa Junior Naturalist Record Sheet they submit it to a participating sponsor to receive an official Iowa Junior Naturalist Patch and Certificate of Achievement.

Age: Should be between the ages of 6-18 years old.

Public Programs:

*Attend three public programs - examples include:

  • Wildflower hike
  • Night hike
  • Fishing contest
  • Campground program
  • Hunter safety

Independent Activities:

*Complete two independent activities - examples include:

  • Reading a nature book
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Camping
  • Bike Riding along a nature trail
  • Hiking


Upon completion of the above requirements, participants will receive a certificate of achievement and a colorful embroidered Iowa Junior Naturalist patch.  Participants can collect them all.

How Can I Be a Iowa Junior Naturalist Sponsor Location? Simply contact Michele Olson to order patches. Download the Brochure/Record Sheet and provide information about the IJN Program and copies of the Brochure/Record Sheet at your facility. Encourage families to participate through your educational programs and events, day camps, and after-school programs. Don't forget to add your logo to the record sheet/brochure and certificate. Download the Certificate of Achievement to hand out with the patch to any youth completing the program.

For more information, contact committee chair:

Michele Olson

Jones County Conservation