Congress should protect hunter safety education in schools

Check out this Op-Ed from our Executive Director in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. In this op-ed he urges Congress to reinstate funding for hunter education to ensure a new generation of sportsmen know how to safely use firearms and archery equipment.

Link to Terre Haute Tribune-Star article

The Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) is joining the National Wildlife Federation and other state wildlife affiliates in urging Congress to swiftly enact a bipartisan legislative solution to ensure that schools can continue to access Department of Education funding for archery and hunter safety education.

Archery and hunter safety education programs are vital in teaching our youth about the importance of safety, conservation, and the outdoors. Unfortunately, new laws have put these programs at risk. The Safer Communities Act includes language that would prohibit the Department of Education from funding archery and hunter safety education programs. These programs are designed to teach safe usage of hunting equipment to our future Conservationists throughout our state.

The IWF is urging Congress to amend The Safer Communities Act to protect archery and hunter safety education programs funding. This bipartisan fix is supported by a wide range of organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, and the Boy Scouts of America.

We urge Indiana’s congressional delegation to support the reinstatement of archery and hunter safety education in schools. We urge them to work with their colleagues to pass this important legislative fix and ensure that our youth have continued access to these vital programs.

The Indiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving Indiana’s wildlife and natural resources. The IWF works to protect and restore wildlife habitat, promote sustainable land and water management practices, and educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation.

— Dan Boritt, executive director

Indiana wildlife Federation


Indianapolis Honored as a Top Five City That Gardens for Wildlife

IWF has been honored as one of the top 5 cities that Garden for Wildlife!


Top Five Cities That Garden for Wildlife


Did you know that you can help wildlife by gardening? That’s right! By planting native plants, providing water sources, and creating safe places for wildlife to raise their young, you can create a backyard habitat that will attract birds, butterflies, bees, and other animals.

The Indiana Wildlife Federation is a great resource for information on how to garden for wildlife. They offer a variety of resources, including a certification program and educational materials.

So what are you waiting for? Start gardening for wildlife today!


There are many benefits to gardening for wildlife. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased biodiversity: By providing a variety of food sources and habitats, you can help to increase the diversity of wildlife in your area.
  • Improved air quality: Native plants help to filter air pollution, which can improve air quality for humans and animals.
  • Reduced stress: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health.
  • Increased property value: Studies have shown that homes with gardens and other natural features sell for more money than homes without them.

How to get started:

If you’re interested in getting started with gardening for wildlife, here are a few tips:

  • Choose native plants: Native plants are adapted to the local climate and conditions, so they are more likely to survive and thrive.
  • Provide a variety of food sources: Birds, butterflies, and other animals need a variety of food sources to survive. Plant a variety of native plants that provide nectar, fruit, and seeds.
  • Create a water source: A water source is essential for wildlife, especially during hot weather. Provide a birdbath or other water source in your yard.
  • Add some shelter: Wildlife also needs places to hide from predators and the elements. Add some shelter to your yard by planting shrubs or trees, or by creating a brush pile.

Gardening for wildlife is a great way to help the environment and improve your own quality of life. By following these tips, you can create a backyard habitat that will attract birds, butterflies, bees, and other animals.

2021 IWF Annual Member Meeting: Proposed Bylaws Amendments

To maintain clear transparency of our organization, the IWF annually hosts a meeting with members to share updates, track progress on goals, and to make any amendments to our bylaws. Members are invited to attend this virtual meeting to be hosted on:

IWF Annual Member Meeting
Thursday, December 2nd, 2021



>> Click to Review Proposed IWF Bylaws Changes<<
Proposed changes to bylaws were approved by the board on 10-27-21 and are shown in red. These bylaws changes in general are related to our board processes shifting largely to virtual communications during COVID 19. The redlined portions reflect in certain and limited cases, usually regarding legislation, the board may need an expedited vote via electronic means.   

To register and receive your meeting link, please send an RSVP email to:



April was a Busy Month for IWF

The month started with transition as the new Executive Director, Erin Baird, got started in the role and previous ED, Barbara Simpson, moved to a part-time position as Conservation Policy Director.

On April 14th, we celebrated a huge victory for wildlife as the canned hunting bill, HB 1453 was defeated in the Indiana Senate by a vote of 27-23. Thank you all for the calls, emails, letters, and face to face meetings with your Senator. The grassroots hunters and other conservationists made their voices heard! The canned hunting issue is still in the courts – headed to the Indiana Supreme court next. We’ll be following that closely and will keep you up to date.

On April 15th, IWF attended Indiana State University’s Earth Day celebration and awarded President Bradley and the University with certification as a Gold Level Conservation Champion through our Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program. The LSC program was designed to encourage colleges and universities to evaluate their current landscaping practices and implement practices that will better manage surface water runoff, reduce excess nutrient pollution, and add quality habitat space for wildlife. ISU’s Sustainable Landscape Plan highlights wonderful practices being used on campus, such as the installation of rain gardens and bioswales, the drastic reduction in overall chemical usage, the use of pervious pavement, incorporating education about sustainable landscape practices into course curriculum, the installation of beautiful native landscapes as showcased in front of the Welcome Center, and a variety of other practices and projects that are improving the campus ecosystem for both wildlife and people. Way to go and congratulations ISU!

On Earth Day, April 22nd, IWF officially recognized Butler University for their December 2014 certification through the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus Program. Butler also achieved Gold Level certification and they were the second university in the state to become certified. There are many exciting things happening on the Butler Campus, including the established Butler University Prairie, multiple new rain gardens which feature native plantings and help manage stormwater runoff, the use of pervious pavement options in parking lots and walkways, smart sprinkler systems, and a green roof. Other exciting BU initiatives include the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) farm, the inventive single-stream recycling program, and their newest project, their Sunset Avenue Streetscape project(currently being installed) which will include a pervious pavement bike lane. Great work and congratulations to Butler!

On April 23rd, IWF attended an Earth Week Tree Planting event at Purdue University where we presented the university with the 2015 IWF Conservation Education Award. The award is given for outstanding efforts to educate the public and youth about conservation and natural resources. Purdue has shown exceptional success in their education and outreach on campus, online, and through their ongoing sustainable landscape projects. Purdue University is an excellent example of a university that is not only implementing more sustainable conservation practices on campus, but also educating, engaging and sharing knowledge about their experiences with those practices.

Our last big event of April was the Earth Day Indiana Festival at White River State Park on April 25th. Even though the weather decided to give us a rain or rain forecast for the event, we had a big success with our bird feeder building activity. We built 92 bird feeders and talked to many dedicated conservationists that attended the Festival. We can’t wait for our next bird feeder building event in September at the Hoosier Outdoor Experience!

Hope you all enjoyed the month of April too!