Introducing Nature In My Backyard, a new resource page where you’ll find monthly activities and challenges for the whole family to explore nature… right in your own neighborhood!
Here’s your lead challenge for April!
April is Earth Month
We’re well into the spring season, and every day there are more signs of spring that we can observe as our region transitions out of the winter and into the warm months of the year. This is a great time to get to know your surroundings and consider how they change over time.
1. Signs of Spring
What Signs of Spring can you observe in your neighborhood? Complete this easy activity to tune in to the natural processes happening right in your backyard.
- Observe 5 signs of spring in your neighborhood.
- Then, write a poem or story, or draw a picture that includes the 5 things you observed.
- Share your creation and compare with your friends!
2. Soundscape Cartography
Create a sound map! Sound maps are created by associating landmarks and soundscapes. Complete this easy activity to tune into your soundscape, and then create a sound map that puts it into context with your built environment.
- Find a place where you can sit comfortably.
- For 3-5 minutes, close your eyes and listen. Try to identify as many different sounds as you can.
- After 3-5 minutes of listening, recall what you heard, and think about what information you could gain from those sounds.
How many different bird calls or songs did you hear? Did you hear any other animals, or insects? Did you hear traffic? How far away was it?
- Next, draw a map that describes the landscape based on the sounds you heard. Be as detailed as you can. Include structures, roads, trees, and any thing else that a sound gave you a clue of.
- Do you think your soundscape will change over time? How is your soundscape different from other spaces? What could someone sitting here 50 years ago have heard that was the same? What sounds might be different? Does your soundscape tell you anything about the natural habitats in your neighborhood?
3. Woodland Wildflower Word Search
Blooming wildflowers carpet the forest floor in the early spring, before the trees leaf out. If you want to venture out of your backyard, we highly recommend visiting a nature preserve where you can see these gorgeous blooms before they disappear! Meadowbrook Nature Preserve, Ritchie Nature Preserve, and Lydick Bog Nature Preserve are great places to find some of the flowers included in the word search!
Printable Mini Nature Journal and Activity Book
Print our the additional activities and keep them with you on your outdoor adventures. There’s plenty of space to sketch and make notes, and you can share your creations by taking a picture and sharing it on social media or with your friends!
Register to Win!
By participating in Nature in My Backyard Challenges and Activities, you are eligible to enter into our monthly drawing!
One entry will be given for completing the Lead Challenge, and you can earn an additional entry for completing any of the three additional monthly activities. One winner will be randomly chosen on the last day of the month.
To register, send an email with a photo, video, or story of how you participated in this month’s challenge. You can keep it simple, or be creative! Media may be shared on our website or social media sites. If you do not wish for your content to be shared, just let us know in your message.