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

If you are 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 community science project. 

Nature’s Notebook is a great tool for answering questions about the timing of plant and animal life cycle events. Local Phenology Projects looking at pollination, fruit harvesting and leaf fall are emerging at schools, parks and nature centers across the country. It is also an excellent way to teach observation skills and conduct hands-on, experiential and place-based education.  

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.  Get started with our Program Planning Guide, designed to help you brainstorm what kind of project might suit your needs. Every effort is a little bit different! Let us know if you have questions or need help, at

Set Up a Shared 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 Phenology Trail

A phenology trail is a network of 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.  

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Start a 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, and how phenology is used in 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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