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  • Writer's pictureYouth Energy Squad

Finding Nature in Your Neighborhood

Our communities are currently working together to reduce the spread of

COVID-19 by practicing social distancing. As a result, more families are heading outdoors to go on walks. Taking walks has proven benefits for physical and mental health, including reducing blood pressure, stress, and improving our body’s ability to fight infections. Additionally for young people, taking the time to experience the outdoors can foster a lifelong interest in the local environment and a greater appreciation for nature.


In this activity, encourage youth to act as scientists - record what they find and make observations using all their senses. For this activity, walk in your neighborhood, or explore at one of the many City of Detroit parks:

Goals: Age Group: K-8

  • Discover your local environment

  • Build observational skills

Supplies: Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour

  • The following checklist

  • Writing utensil

  • Take a bag with you on your walk, to collect any trash you come across!


  • Turn your walk into a scavenger hunt by looking for all the items on the following checklist. With multiple people, this can also be competitive!

  • Most are open ended, so encourage children to be creative in their choices.

  • Optional: Encourage youth to take notes on what they observe, including counts. Take photos of interesting findings!



  • What is something you were surprised to see? What was your favorite?

  • Do you feel any different after the walk, compared to how you felt before?

  • Do you normally go for walks? Why or why not?

  • What is nature? What separates nature from things that are not nature?

  • Are you a part of nature? Are humans?

  • Did you see any neighbors? What do you think they were up to?

  • What is one thing you could do to improve the neighborhood/park?


I-spy Game

  • Pine tree

  • Squirrels

  • Bird’s nest

  • Buds on a tree or shrub

  • Chipmunk

  • Mud

  • Flying birds

  • Moss

  • Soil

  • Fallen leaves

  • Decomposing wood

  • Raised garden beds

  • Litter

  • Rocks

  • Acorns

  • Animal footprints

  • Spiderweb

  • Sitting water

  • A flying bug

  • Beehive

  • Worm

  • Deer

  • Ants

  • Bonus point if you add 3 more ispy items.

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