Watch the video clip of Mel taking a tour through the woods:
- Guidebook (any plant or animal kind based on where you live) and/or smart phone with one of the apps listed
- Weather appropriate clothing
- Boots/hiking shoes
- Small net if you are near a creek
- Bottle of water
Using a guidebook or a citizen science app (Seek, iNaturalist, eBird, etc.), walk through a patch of woods, in your backyard or a nearby park, and survey the area. Feel free to also bring a notebook and jot down things you notice or sketch a cool plant or bug! Really take in all the smells, sights and sounds of the woods in the winter season. Because many plants are dormant in the winter, it can be easier to see through the woods and make observations. If you’re near a creek or small waterway, you can use a sampling net to scoop leaf litter and look for macroinvertebrates or fallen seeds from nearby trees.
Safety: Never trespass and always be aware of your surroundings. If you are at a wildlife management area or public lands where hunting is allowed, make sure to wear orange until hunting season is over. Follow a path and do not go deep enough into the woods. You can use a compass, trail map and drop a pin on your smartphone if you are in an unfamiliar area. *This activity can be done in a small wooded area where getting lost is not a concern*. After your walk, check for ticks as they look for warmth in the winter months.
Activity is open to all ages and can be combined with other activities to meet Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Language Arts. Standards of Excellence will depend on the grade level of participants.