Local Nature Lab
Local Nature Lab has been working in the field of nature education and biodiversity monitoring in New York City since 2013. We formally incorporated in 2021. Our home base is Washington Square Park, but we work throughout the city.
We are committed to monitoring, educating, supporting, and advocating for local nature. We believe neighborhood parks should be planted for biodiversity, ecological health, and plant longevity.
WSP Eco Projects | Explore Birds | Quercus | Your Bird Story & CHIRP
WSP Eco Projects
Washington Square Park Eco Projects launched in 2014 with the first online map of the park's trees. The mission of the initiative is to monitor biodiversity, to provide environmental education and community science programs, and to advocate for the ecological health of Washington Square Park. Learn more about Eco Projects.
Explore Birds is a mobile education program for public spaces and classrooms. Using museum quality bird specimens and bio-facts, we provide hands-on exploration of birds you can observe in NYC. Explore Birds was first piloted in Washington Square Park, and we have also worked on "open streets" and in gardens and plazas. The program is a great fit for teachers who would like to complement existing bird curriculum or to jump-start bird studies. Download the Explore Birds brochure.
What do you know about the keystone genus, Quercus (oaks)? We use an 8-foot tall sculpture to jumpstart appreciation and curiosity. We commissioned Data Vandals to co-design and build a sculpture based on the Northern red oak and the environmental benefits and cultural associations of the oak genus. There are four diptychs representing the four seasons of the year. The left side of each diptych represents the seasonal look of a red oak while the right side is decorated with medallions (ex: acorn) providing seasonal ecological data about oaks. View the Kickstarter Kickstarter campaign and watch a video of Quercus's outdoor debut.
Your Bird Story
Your Bird Story is a monthly podcast about everyday birders and bird watching in cities, and first aired in September 2020. The podcast is hosted on Anchor here but you subscribe and listen wherever you get your podcasts.
In Seasons 3 and 4 of Your Bird Story, aka CHIRP, we hope to capture people and birds in place, sparked by bird specimens in the education collection. CHIRP is made possible by a Voice for Foundation grant. We recommend listening to Bird Times at a Manhattan Middle School which was recorded in an eighth-grade science classroom.