Nature Activities for Home
A Healthy Reminder
Some of these activities may take you out into nature. Be sure to follow the recommended health and safety guidelines, including keeping at least six feet from others and washing your hands well when you return home.
All you will need to do to complete this tree census is walk the neighborhood or observe from a window to count the number of trees on your block or in your neighborhood. Consider which types of trees are most abundant and make note of their identifying features. Later, you can use the NYC tree map to identify the species of trees you saw.
When you are finished, ask participants why it is important to count the trees in your neighborhood. Discuss the parallels between the role of trees in a forest ecosystem and the role of trees in an urban ecosystem. These may include (but are not limited to): oxygen production, shelter for local wildlife, environmental cooling, water purification and protection from erosion. Get participants excited about keeping trees safe.
Then, have them select and research a nearby street tree. Prompt them to consider its energy needs, lifespan and what other plants or animals it interacts with (including people!). Find the tree on the NYC tree map to learn how old it is, what species it is, and whether anyone has taken care of it recently. Ask participants to sketch their trees and record their features. If it is safe to do so, you can begin periodically visiting their street tree (bi-weekly or monthly) to provide it with some love and care. In this way, participants can assist in producing clean air and energy for their community!
“New York City Street Tree Map.” Map. New York City: NYC Parks, 2015. https://tree-map.nycgovparks.org/.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden. “Street Tree Bed Care: Give Trees a Chance.” Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 28 June 2012, www.bbg.org/gardening/article/street_tree_bed_care.