For those adults sequestering at home who have a little extra time on their hands, we have some activities and resources to recommend. Some of these activities are even good for our community … and the planet. See our curated list below:
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood. March/April is a great time to do this, because it’s easy to see litter before plants start growing. You can also collect the winter’s accumulation of returnable bottles and cans along the roadside. CREA has CLYNK bags we can mail to you if you want to put a little deposit money in our bank account. Email to request a CLYNK bag.
- Make a birdhouse. There is still time to get birdhouses up in the Northeast, but March is the month! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has great guidance on what types of structures work for different birds.
- Get involved with citizen science. There are so many ways to contribute to research today. There are citizen science apps for your phone, enabling you to record observations from anywhere. For example, on Ebird, you can record incidental bird sightings or ALL the birds you see on a walk. Project Feederwatch lets you send data about who’s showing up at your feeder. iNaturalist is used by citizens and scientists to record species’ presence and distribution (plants and more). If you don’t know what something is, take a picture of it. The app will suggest possible options, and someone else in the network may subsequently confirm what it is! It’s a fantastic tool for learning more about the natural world. This data is incredibly useful to scientists tracking the health of plants and animals. It’s a great time to get involved!
- Learn about the importance of native plants to birds. Doug Tallamy is a well-known entomologist who has written books (Bringing Nature Home) and research articles about the role plants play in birds’ lives. He spoke at Maine Audubon in 2016 about this topic. He’s a great speaker. Check out his engaging and informative talk here.
- Learn about the many benefits of native plants. The Wild Seed Project, based in Portland, Maine, is a treasure trove of information about the benefits of native plants and how to cultivate them for your landscape. The blog and Learn sections of their website have TONS of information about how to grow native seeds, what to plant, you name it. You can spend hours poking around. Do it!
- Learn about Maine. The website, Maine, An Encyclopedia, has information about Maine’s history, economy, ecology, society, recreation, and government. Maine trivia, all in one place.
- Learn the Wabanaki origins of place names in southern and western Maine. Click on the name on the map and this website gives the origin and meaning of the name. For example, “Cathance” means either ‘crooked’ or more likely is Abenaki for ‘the principal fork’ in reference to the Cathance River’s fork with the smaller and shorter West River.
- Learn about natural history via Google’s curated website of fascinating pictures and information. You can spend hours wandering around their website.
- Make a compost bin. Composting your food waste is easy, reduces your trash bill, and reduces the amount of waste going into landfills or incinerators (why pay to burn food that has a high water content?). There are lots of models to buy, or you can make your own – as simple or as complicated as you like.
- Watch a nature video. There are so many fascinating videos – professional and amateur – to see. Check out this short video of all the animals that utilized a log across a stream over a period of time.
We’ll have more activities and resources for adults in the days and weeks to come, so check back. We’ll have a lot of posts for families with children to help them with fun, educational activities, but we know the adults appreciate some fresh ideas too!