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

How do I enter (or help my kids enter) to win the Grand Prize?

Click here to enter to win the Grand Prize – a set of monarch butterfly themed goodies. The prize is being donated by the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society. Two quick notes:

  • Remember, you can enter to win the Grand Prize once for every challenge you complete!
  • Families with multiple kids who are participating: each child is welcome to enter to win, for each challenge. Just fill out this form again, with that child’s name.

What is Nature Quest?

Nature Quest is a fun, free event happening throughout Fall and Winter 2020/21. Families can do Nature Quest together, but still social distance from others. Every few weeks, we’ll release a new “challenge” with themes like Monarch Migration, Spider Webs, and more. 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. We’ll post new Nature Quest challenges throughout the Fall and Winter!

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 Erin Schuerman, from our 2019 Nature & Farm Photo Contest

How does Nature Quest work?

  • Nature Quest is a fun, socially distanced activity you can do this Fall and Winter.
  • Families can print off a one-page Nature Quest challenge and take it with them as a guide for exploring different parts of the natural world. There will be eight challenges in all.
  • 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.
  • We will release new challenges throughout the Fall and Winter.
  • Anyone who completes all eight challenges can enter to win the Grand Prize. Details coming soon!

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. Those events are on hold because of the pandemic – but we want to help people connect to the natural world. 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.

“As the temperatures cool off, the meadows and woods light up with color and life,” said Donna Stanley, Park Ranger at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. “It’s a great time to get outside!”

The Refuge’s friends group, the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society, is providing the grand prize. Kids of all ages who complete all eight Nature Quest challenges can enter to win the grand prize. Click here to enter.

Stanley is helping design Nature Quest. A new challenge will be released every few weeks, through Fall and Winter. 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 this Fall and Winter,” 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, and anyone who completes a challenge can enter to win the grand prize. Details coming soon!

Download a Nature Quest challenge today, and get outside.

Follow us on social media to hear when new challenges are released.

This program is brought to you with generous support from the

Rising Sun Regional Foundation.