Nature’s Notebook

Connecting People with Nature to Benefit Our Changing Planet

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Create a Local Phenology Project in your community to generate local phenology enthusiasm and connect like-minded organizations!

Image credit:
LoriAnne Barnett

Start a Local Project

Interested in what’s happening to plant and animal populations in your community, either on a seasonal or long-term basis? Turn your interest into a valuable record of information and a community-based science project. 

Nature’s Notebook can help you answer questions about the timing of plant and animal life cycle events. Local Phenology Projects (LPPs), or organizations which engage the community in long-term phenology monitoring exist to explore bud and flower break, pollination, fruit harvest, leaf fall, and more, for research or education. These projects are emerging at land management areas, Fish and Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, schools, and nature centers across the country. LPPs are an excellent way to gather organized phenology data, teach observation skills and conduct hands-on, experiential and place-based education.  LPPs help science staff with goals of recording plant and animal phenology. Science or education staff or volunteers leading Nature's Notebook efforts at LPPs are known as Local Phenology Leaders (LPLs).


There are many different ways to get started, from training others, to creating a phenology monitoring group, to starting a phenology trail in your town.  Think you need some help getting started? Consider taking the Local Phenology Leader Certification Course which walks you through the steps to implementing Nature's Notebook for management or education. Benefits include one-on-one guidance from USA-NPN Education Staff, development of useable resources to help you get started, and recognition on the Certified Local Phenology Leaders Page on the website and in the database.

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You can also get started on your own with our Program Planning Guide, designed to help you brainstorm a project to suit your needs. Every Nature's Notebook effort is a little bit different! Let us know if you have questions or need help, at

Local Phenology Leader Community of Practice

Consider joining our Local Phenology Leader Community of Practice. We host a monthly call and ask questions of colleagues who have established monitoring sites across the US. The Community of Practice is suitable for management and education staff.

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Start a Phenology Walk or Trail

A phenology walk is an observation location at a physical site. A Phenology trail is a network of those Nature's Notebook observation sites. Linked together, these sites provide the participant with places to visit, enjoy nature, collect data, and learn about supporting organizations. Phenology trails are also excellent community engagement tools, designed to develop local partnerships between organizations and develop a data resource to answer regional science and management questions.  

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Set Up a Group Site

We offer the capacity for many observers to collect data at the same sites, and on the same plants and animal species, as part of a Local Phenology Project.  

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Start a Regional Phenology Network

Develop a network of agencies interested in monitoring phenology in service of management goals, science questions, or outreach and education programming. Phenology Networks are ways to share meaningful programming and provide a connection with like-minded groups of volunteers and scientists.

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Host a Workshop

Use our workshop materials to train others on the meaning of phenology, how it relates to ecology and climate, the data collection process via Nature's Notebook, and how phenology is used in science, management, education, and outreach programs across the US.  

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Nature's Notebook in the Classroom

Using Nature's Notebook in your classroom, K-College, provides a framework for teachers to introduce the concepts of inquiry, observation, hypothesis writing, long-term data collection, data analysis, and much more. Consider using Nature's Notebook when you visit popular field trip locations or adding your school to a local phenology trail. Assign students class projects related to phenology observation. And it is not just for science classes!   

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