Discover Plants in Your Neck of the Woods

Have you ever stopped to think about plants in your neck of the woods?  Can you identify which plants you see? Between December 26, 2014 and January 30, 2015, in addition to your reading, use these activities to discover the importance of plants as part of our Winter Challenge


Look for an evergreen or conifer tree in your neighborhood (These types of trees have green needle-like leaves throughout the year.) Identify types of trees using the Online Tree Identification Guide or our Royal Horticulture Society Encyclopedia of Conifers at the library. Record information about them, using resources like Adopt a Tree and keep track of  trees and record your observations:

  • Type of tree
  • Date and the location of the tree
  • Label the trunk, branches, crown, twigs, leaves and roots
  • Point out any special characteristics of the tree, such as scars, seeds or cones, bark, etc.Picture5
  • Estimate the height of a tree using your body as a scientific tool. Face away from a tree. Bend and look at the tree though your legs. Can you see the top of the tree? 
  • If not, keep moving away from the tree until you can just see the top of it through your legs. Measure the distance between you and the tree. This will be about the height of the tree! That’s tree-gonometry  (actually, its trigonometry, the study of triangles). *Did you know the tallest tree in the world is 379.1 feet? That’s taller than the length of a football field! Learn more interesting facts about the tallest trees in America!
  • Or attend one of our many programs this month! Click here for a full calendar of events.


  • Write a poem in the shape of a tree.
  • Create your own unique tree art.
  • Make a winter break tree of fun, all you need is:
  • Picture32 pieces of green construction paper
  • 1 piece brown construction paper
  • Marker/Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  1. Fold the green construction paper in half. Draw a conifer tree pattern on one side. Cut out the pattern. Fold each tree piece in half, unfold and cut one piece from the top to the middle and one piece from the bottom to the middle. Slide the two pieces together to make your tree. Use tape to reinforce the cuts.
  2. Cut out pine cone shapes and write one fun activity you want to do with your family over the winter break. Tape them to your tree. When you’ve completed an activity, take the pine cone off the tree and create a memory page of all your winter break activities!

More Themes

        *These are just a few suggestions-feel free to DISCOVER and CREATE in whatever way inspires you!