Earth Day 2021: Earth Day in Your Back Yard

Enjoy Earth Day in Your Yard and Neighborhood

We've searched the web to collect tips to help you enjoy nature in your back yard and in your neighborhood--and also to encourage your children to appreciate nature, too. What a great time to start a new garden to help our native pollinators!

  • Activities for Children
  • Birding and Bird Identification
  • Plant Identification and Garden Planning
  • Nighttime Sky


Birding and Bird identification

Introduction to Birding. In the following video, Michele Grzenda, Conservation Agent for the Town of Lincoln and a longtime SVT volunteer, offers tips for beginners who are interested in becoming birdwatchers. Michele also recommends these resources:

  • Bird Call Video (YouTube) that shows images of birds and plays their calls, helping you put the "voice" with the "face."
  • Bird Checklist from Mass Audubon. This list was created for the Blue Hills area, but you can use it to keep track of the birds you find in our region.

Other Resources

  • Cornell FeederWatch Cam lets peer into the homes of birds around the world, from Barred Owls to California Condors. If you love reality television, give this a try!
  • Merlin Bird ID This free app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology can help you learn to identify birds in your region. Great for beginners or experienced birders. 
  • Project Feederwatch from Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps you selecting the right feeder and seed for attracting different birds.
  • Common Bird Species in MA. The Mass Audubon website offers lots of information about the birds you are likely to see in our area.
  • Bird Calls This tool from the American Bird Conservancy can help you identify the songs of seven common birds.
  • Nestwatch can help you identify common nesting birds based on the type of nest the bird builds.

Plant Identification and Garden Planning

  • Pollination Protection Garden Toolkit from the Native Pollinator Task Force of the Metrowest Conservation Alliance. An abundance of information about plants that help native pollinators.
  • An Ecosystem Approach to Planning a Garden from Grow Native Massachusetts includes tips about soil, leaf litter, plant diversity, and more.
  • What Tree is That? The Arbor Day Foundation offers a step-by-step, online guide to help you identify the trees you see.
  • GoBotany  The Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wild Flower Society) offers a wealth of information to help you both identify plant species and select the right native plants for your yard. 
  • Garden Plant Finder Also from the Native Plant Trust, this powerful tool helps you select plants that are native to New England. You can even target plants that provide good habitat for bees or butterflies or songbirds!
  • Native Plant Finder With this tool from the National Wildlife Federation, you can discover the plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths in your area. As you select plants that help our native insects thrive, you'll also be providing a food source for birds and other wildlife.
  • iNaturalist This app helps you identify plants and animals you encounter while also sharing data with researchers. After you upload a photo of plant or animal, iNatualist uses recognition software to make suggestions about the name of the species.

Other Species ID

  • Fox or Coyote? Mass Audubon offers tips for distinguishing between these canines that live in our midst.    

Nighttime Sky

  • Interactive Sky Map from Sky & Telescope lets you see a map of the night sky for any date and time at your location.

Stand Up for Nature with SVT: