Join us in celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd! This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the annual celebration. One of the best times to explore nature is as the seasons are changing; and in honor of Earth Day, you can make your very own Nature Notebook to document your discoveries. It’s sure to be a treasured keepsake for years to come! All you need are a few paper bags. You can also check out this site for additional printable resources to help get you started.

Once you’ve personalized the cover of your notebook, head outside to begin your adventures! This can be a great time to bring along any additional tools you may have for further investigation, like a bug catcher or magnifying glass. But all you really need to explore are your keen senses, power of observation, and curiosity as your guide! And remember, it’s best to collect things already on the ground, or in abundance, being sure to leave behind what other animals need for food and shelter.

Your Nature Notebook is a place for you to record whatever nature inspires! Drawings, leaf pressings, journaling- all are great ways to use your notebook and there is no right or wrong way.

To add another element to the experience, outfit a backpack or knapsack with any of the following:

  •       Magnifying glass
  •       Shovel
  •       Binoculars
  •       Camera
  •       Field guide
  •       Compass
  •       Ruler or measuring tape
  •       Butterfly net
  •       Bug jar
  •       Art supplies

Consider sharing your wildlife observations with Nature’s Notebook, a national phenology program for recording seasonal changes in nature. By simply sharing your observations you can contribute to a growing body of data that informs researchers across the globe! 

The Minnesota Zoo would love to see examples of how you used this activity at home! Please share pictures or comments via email at [email protected], and take less than 5 minutes of time to provide us feedback by completing this short survey.