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 were seeded in Washington Square Park, and have branched out throughout the city. We formally incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2021.

We are committed to monitoring, educating, supporting, and advocating for biodiversity, and plant and wildlife health in neighborhood parks.

Our Initiatives

New York City Urban Bird Explorers Guide

Look Up! Look Down! Look all around these NYC neighborhood parks and find the birds and trees highlighted in this Urban Bird Explorers Guide. This beautiful pocket-sized zine with illustrations of birds and trees was developed in partnership with Madison Square Park Conservancy, Natural Areas Conservancy, Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, Washington Square Park Eco Projects, and designed by Super Nature Adventures (now Art  Place Nature). The zine unfolds into a 11x17 poster. Download the guide (12.9MB pdf).

Wing-It Bird Box

Wing-It Bird Box is a program that highlights local bird diversity, while integrating arts and science in a hands-on format for children of all ages. Wing-It is an in-person workshop that can take place in virtually any park in NYC. Wing-It includes three components: a presentation about an aspect of birds using specimens, use of materials in the Bird Box to design that aspect of the bird, and a bird excursion through a nearby greenspace.

Quercus NYC

What do you know about the keystone genus, Quercus (oaks)? We use an 8-foot tall sculpture to jumpstart appreciation and curiosity for oaks. We commissioned Data Vandals to co-design and build the sculpture. There are four diptychs representing the four seasons of the year. The left side of each diptych represents the seasonal look of an oak. The right side of the diptych is decorated with ecological and cultural information. View the Kickstarter Kickstarter campaign. Watch a video of Quercus's outdoor debut in 2022. 

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.

CHIRP: In Seasons 3 and 4 of Your Bird Story we try 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.

Explore Birds

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.

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 our work in Washington Square Park.