Welcome to PLIX Urban Ecology! Develop your patrons' landscape literacy and environmental appreciation through hands-on exploration, data collection, and creation.
✋ Extended Interaction 🥰 Ages 8+ 🕐 1–1.5 Hours 👩👦👦 up to 15 Participants 🍎 1–2 Facilitators 🎨 Craft Materials
Each workshop is composed of three different elements:
- 🌬️ Sensory Nature Walk: An introductory activity to spark curiosity in the topic of focus.
- 🖐️ The Tangible Ecosystem: A field exercise designed to give participants hands-on experiences with the topic.
- 🍂 Understanding Urban Soils: A come-together activity, where participants will work together to create a shareable artifact and reflect on what they've learned.
We aim to:
- Provide learners of all ages with new skills to observe the ecologies of cities and suburbs.
- Facilitate the development of a critical eye—fit for detecting environmental challenge, nuance, and phenomena—as well as an ability to imagine more safe and equitable futures for city development.
- Cultivate a reverence for and love of place—adding value to mundane or familiar landscapes.
- Leverage local environments as living, dynamic classrooms for fostering landscape literacy.
In Your Library…
Some ideas for bringing these activities to your library:
- Run these workshops during a climate-related community event, like Earth Day 🌎
- Use these workshops as complementary education to community or library gardens 🌿
- Offer these workshops as a summer programming series for middle schoolers 🌞
- Borrow smaller activities from each workshop for a drop-in style public event 🎟️
What We ❤️ About This Activity
🌳 Offers the chance to understand ecology through creation Activities encourage hands-on crafting and visualization of interactions and processes within your local ecosystem.
👯 Encourages peer exploration and discussion Participants work together to explore local habitats and share what they observe.
👁️ Facilitates the development of heightened senses Fit for detecting and interpreting environmental challenge and nuance.
🏝️ Cultivates a reverence for and love of place Adding new interest to mundane or familiar landscapes.
🌃 Encourages civic engagement As participants learn to imagine more safe and equitable futures for town and city development.
PLIX Community Remixes
PLIX Community Book Connections
The Collectors by Alice Feagan Ages 3+
Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary and Carmen Mok Ages 3+
Sam Sorts by Marthe Jocelyn Ages 3+
Pitter Pattern by Joyce Hesselberth Ages 4+
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst and James Stevenson Ages 6+
Recommended by Clara Hendricks (Cambridge Public Library)
About PLIX Urban Ecology
These workshops were originally designed as a series of community-oriented experiential learning sessions intended to combat the disregard for nature in and of cities. It was later expanded and adapted for the public library setting in collaboration with the PLIX team. The ultimate objective of this series is to support learners of all ages to further understand local urban ecology by employing a systems-level, nature-conscious, and playful approach to learning.
Other ways to engage with the Urban Ecology program
- Read more about this program's original inspirations and aims ✨
- Contribute to our Urban Ecology Spotify playlist 🎶
- Sign-up for our Urban Ecology Facilitator Training email mini-course 💌
- Share your experience running this activity on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @heyplix
The Public Library Innovation Exchange (PLIX) is a project of the MIT Media Lab Digital Learning & Collaboration Studio. Except where otherwise noted, all materials on this site are licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Accessibility.