PLIX Urban Ecology is designed to provide learners of all ages with new skills to observe the ecologies of cities and suburbs. These workshops leverage local environments as living, dynamic classrooms for fostering landscape literacy. They can be used individually or as a series in which sessions build on one another; you could run all three of them, or even just one.
Workshops at a Glance
- Sensory Nature Walk 🌬️ – Cultivate a keen eye—and nose, ear, and hand—when evaluating the qualities of our living world. Then use these observational skills to explore your local urban or suburban environment.
- The Tangible Ecosystem 🖐️ – Learn how to highlight abiotic (nonliving) and biotic (living) factors as the key actors in the urban environment. Examine how these environmental components interact, as well as how they are related, to form unique ecologies associated with your local community.
- Understanding Urban Soils 🍂 – Explore the diverse functions and roles of soils—the foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems—and the types of life they support. Learn to categorize various soils and the species contained therein, and begin to unravel how urban environments shape soil structure and function.
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.
Ideas for bringing these workshops to your library
- Run these workshops during a climate-related community event, like Earth Day or International Day of Climate Action 🌎
- Use these workshops as complementary education to community 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 🎟️
On our PLIX Activity Repository, you'll find the full documentation for the Urban Ecology activity series! All of our PLIX activities include background information, materials lists, workshop guides, and facilitator resources.
Share your experience running these workshops on the PLIX Discussion Forum or on social media using #PLIXUrbanEcology 🌱