Native Plant Wizard Patch Program

A program of guided exploratory activities to inspire, educate, promote stewardship and enhance children’s understanding of Native Plants in their natural environments. 

  • Actively exploring Native Plants helps bond children to nature in their own locale
  • Adaptable to ages 5 through 16
  • Small groups of youth participate along with their adult leaders (scouts, church groups, clubs)
  • Focused on a specific natural area in the community (park, schoolyard, nature preserve)
  • Exploratory activities led by an INPAWS volunteer who knows the site well
  • Children learn valuable lessons they can pass on to their friends and family
  • Participants earn the Native Plant Wizard patch when they complete age-appropriate activities

Here are the materials you need to implement the program:

Examples of Activities

  • Leaves of three, let it be! The upside as well as downside of our native poison ivy.
  • Get to know our state tree, the tulip tree or yellow poplar.
  • Hunt for caterpillars in the forest.
  • Learn about trees that provide food, shelter, and places for animals to rear their young.
  • Visit a rain garden and learn how it purifies storm water runoff.
  • Observe a wildflower garden or prairie and note what critters you see.
  • Learn about plant invaders that crowd out Indiana native plants.
  • Discover how butterflies use native plants to rear their young. 


  • Flexibility: INPAWS guide selects the activities most relevant to a particular site
  • Children learn to “see” nature with understanding
  • Understanding promotes bonding with nature
  • Bonding encourages stewardship of a natural area near their home

Seeking Your Input

We are eager for you to try out the activities with the kids in your life and give us feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

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