Nature Quest

Our Nature Quest Challenges are ready for you:

Challenge 6 – Sandhill Cranes

Challenge 5 – Animal Evidence

Challenge 4 – Spider Webs

Challenge 3 – Trees!

Challenge 2 – Monarch Migration

Challenge 1 – Pond Life


What is Nature Quest?

Nature Quest is a free series of self-guided activities for kids of all ages. Each Nature Quest helps you learn about the wildlife and habitats of southeast Indiana – and introduces you to the parks and nature preserves in our area.

Each Nature Quest has a theme and eight challenges. The challenges ask you to look for animal tracks, draw insect wings, listen for birds, and pay attention to nature. Families can print off the one-page Nature Quest challenge, and head to a nature preserve or park to complete the prompts.

Major thank you to the Rising Sun Regional Foundation for making this program possible – and all of our partners, from the Madison Library to the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society.

Photo by Jessica Zins, from our 2020 Nature & Farm Photo Contest

How does Nature Quest work?

  • Nature Quest is a fun, socially distanced activity that encourages kids of all ages to be curious about nature.
  • Families can print off the one-page Nature Quest challenges. Use them as a guide for exploring different parts of the natural world. There are six challenges with different themes like “Monarch Migration” and “Spider Webs.”
  • Each Nature Quest challenge includes a set of prompts that will get kids of all ages to pay attention to nature, ask questions, be curious, and be creative.
  • Each challenge highlights a park that’s perfect for that challenge – but the Nature Quest challenges are designed so that you could complete them at almost any public natural area or park.
  • We’ve created a book list for each challenge. Our “Library Thing” list includes stories for the little ones, books for budding scientists, and some for adults, too. Read the challenge’s books ahead of time, or take them with you as you explore nature.

Can I get some more details?

Yes! The big idea is simple: we want to get kids and families outside in nature, being curious and having fun.

We are partnering with Muscatatuck and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuges, Clifty Falls State Park, and others to host the kid-friendly challenge.

Our groups would normally be hosting hikes and other guided events for the public. We’re adding more in-person events, but we also want to be careful because of the pandemic. The Nature Quest challenges aim to fill that void: the challenges can be completed on their own by families, all while social distancing – and they help people learn and explore.

Donna Stanley, Park Ranger at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. “It’s a great time to get outside!”

Stanley helped design the Nature Quest challenges. Each Nature Quest challenge is a one-page handout designed to help families have a little guidance as they explore the natural world. Parents can print the challenges for free (or take a screen shot).

Each challenge has a set of prompts to complete. Kids will look for animal tracks, draw insect wings, listen for frogs, and more.

Each challenge highlights a different park or nature preserve in southeast Indiana, but the challenges are designed so that families can complete them at almost any public natural area.

“Nature Quest might be a good way to explore some new places in southeast Indiana,” added Stanley.

“Kids of all ages can find balance by taking a break from screens and technology. Right now, the best brain break is right outside our doors in our local parks and riversides,” said Kara Motsinger, the Children’s Librarian at Madison Public Library.

The library is another partner on the Nature Quest challenge. Each challenge also comes with a list of books that kids and adults might enjoy reading before, during, or after the spend time exploring in nature. She’s helping spread the word to libraries across southeast Indiana, and to homeschool families.

Nature Quest is free for everyone. Download a Nature Quest challenge today, and get outside.


This program is brought to you with generous support from the

Rising Sun Regional Foundation.