Urban Naturalists

Connecting young adults with opportunities in green infrastructure and native landscape maintenance, restoring habitat in Indy’s urban neighborhoods.

  • Why Native Plants?

    Public spaces and residential neighborhoods are usually designed with a very limited palette of plant species, mostly from far-away lands in Europe and Asia. Native insect species—like butterflies—can eat only very specific plants in their larval stages, and are starved out when they encounter only exotic vegetation. Those native insect species serve as the main food source for all small mammals and amphibians—no native flora means no native insects, and that means no wildlife.  

    We need native plants, and lots of kinds of them, to build an effective food web, sustaining life in our ecosystem. Biodiversity has been nature’s way of ensuring the survival of species. We need to bring back the variety of native plants that has sustained life for millions of years!

  • Connecting Young Adults with Professional Experience in Green-Collar Jobs
    Connecting Young Adults with Professional Experience in Green-Collar Jobs

    Our work readiness program is comprised of college students in environmental fields of study, who are interested in pursuing green-collar jobs after graduation. This program provides an excellent opportunity for these students to receive exposure to different types of green-collar careers.  Urban Naturalists will take part in enrichment activities that include networking with environmental leaders, touring green industries, and career exploration opportunities.

  • Our Work
    Our Work

    Our work is almost exclusively outdoors, and is focused on the maintenance and management of green stormwater infrastructure. The team works on a variety of green projects to manage the city’s stormwater, with contracts from Citizens Energy Group, the city of Indianapolis, and KIB themselves. Here are some of the team’s regular duties:

    • Maintaining stormwater planter beds (planning, design, and plant installation)
    • Watering, mulching, mapping, and pruning perennial plants
    • Weeding, litter clean-up, and community engagement

    In addition to our contracted work with CEG and the City’s Department of Public Works, team members will partake in habitat restoration work along some Indianapolis waterways and various in-house projects with KIB, like maintaining some of our greenspaces and pocket parks. The Urban Naturalist program hires young adults with a desire to do meaningful, environmental work for our city, while also engaging neighbors in community-based environmental stewardship.


  • How to Apply today to be an Urban Naturalist
    How to Apply today to be an Urban Naturalist

    Work is set to begin mid-late April, beginning part-time during the end of the spring semester, and extending to full-time opportunities during the summer as schedules allow. Beginning pay rate is $12 an hour.

    >>> APPLY NOW <<<

  • Sponsors

    The Urban Naturalist program would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors: Citizens Energy Group and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.