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Junior Naturalist Program

The Junior Naturalist Program is an excellent opportunity for youth 7-18 years of age to explore South Dakota State Parks and learn about the rich natural and cultural history of South Dakota.

The Junior Naturalist Program also encourages youth to be physically active in the outdoors by participating in exciting recreational opportunities. If you need to arrange for special accommodations, please contact GFP at 605.773.3391 a minimum of two weeks prior to the event so that arrangements can be made.

As a Junior Naturalist you will:

  • Explore nature and the history of South Dakota
  • Gain knowledge to share with others
  • Protect the valuable resources in the state
  • Be physically active in the outdoors

Level 1


Attend 5 GFP programs and do 3 healthy recreational activities and earn a Junior Naturalist badge.

Level 2


Attend 5 additional GFP programs and do 3 additional healthy recreational activities or visit 5 different GFP areas and complete 5 hours of volunteer service at any GFP location where opportunities exist and earn a GFP sleeping bag. Volunteer hours can be such things as helping a naturalist put on a program, picking up litter, watering plants, planting flowers, painting, or helping in the office.

Level 3


Create a nature program and present it to the public or create and/or help to complete a project in a GFP area with the help of a GFP exist. Minimum of 15 hours. Examples include creating flower boxes, creating a new walking/hunting trail or path, or making new nature signs.
Earn a choice of: 

  • Snowshoes
  • Fishing pole and tackle box
  • Disc golf set
  • Binoculars