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Junior Park Ranger Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Can’t get to a park this weekend? No problem. How about hosting a Backyard Scavenger Hunt at your home or a local park instead?

A scavenger hunt is like a treasure hunt, but during this hunt you’ll discover many wonderful elements of nature.

You will need a camera (the one on a smart phone will work), a shoe box or other small container, colored pencils or crayons, and an envelope and notebook. You’ll use the camera to take pictures of the living things on the list below, and you’ll use the box to gather non-living items on the list if you’d like to keep them. You can also use blank pages in a journal to draw pictures of some of the items you find.

Below is a list of the things you will be looking for and the method of collection you should use. After you complete the scavenger hunt, use a notebook or journal to record facts about each item you found.

Item Collection Method

Acorn Gather

Two different insects Photograph or Draw

Sand or dirt Gather

Leaves from three different tree species Gather and Draw

Tree bark Photograph

Blooming flower Draw and Collect

Bird and butterfly Photograph

Clover and dandelion Draw

After you’ve collected your items, try this!

  • Can you figure out what type of oak your acorns came from?

  • Can you figure out what tree species your leaves came from?

Use a notebook or scratch paper to identify what you found. The trees that grow around you can tell you a lot of information about where you live. For example:

  • Certain trees like certain climates, and they may not grow where you live. Do palm trees grow where you live? Why or why not?

  • Different types of animals get their food from trees. What kinds of animals are eating from your trees? (Don’t forget to think about insects, too!)

After you’ve studied your samples, you can keep your leaves in this binder by taping them to a blank page with your notes written beside them.

See you on the trail!

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