A group of people sitting on a bench near a pond.

Bring Nature Home: ART of Hiking #2


You have the opportunity to be part of our Urban Junior Naturalists program from your own home. Today’s blogpost by Paulina Mohamed-Ocasio, Director of Youth Internships, brings the lesson directly  to you.

Let’s take a walk down by the water together….Van Cortlandt Park Lake, to be exact. Urban Junior Naturalists hiked along the waters edge in search of riparian plants and animals. (Riparian plants and animals live along water.)

Try it at home!

Now, picture yourself walking along a long, narrow path. It is very quiet. The water is to your left and the forest is on your right. If you listen carefully, the lake is buzzing and humming with life! As you continue to walk, you will come into an opening where the path disappears into the lake. Now, the shore greets you with a nice breeze and you are surrounded by large water loving trees.

Now, get your sketchbook and magnifying glasses to examine and draw what you see.

Let’s capture the moment Down by the Water by sketching the sites around us. Do you see a tree with a flakey bark? Or maybe you’ve spotted a dragonfly resting on a leaf? Sketch it!

Do you see lily pads or maybe a duck swimming past? Sketch it!

This week our Urban Junior Naturalists created Nature Inspired Wind Chimes. Natural items collected during the hike along with small insect trinkets can create beautiful wind chimes for our homes.

You can decorate your home with a nature-inspired wind chime. Here’s how:


  • A sturdy stick about 12 inches long
  • Twine or string
  • Natural items
  • Small to medium size objects that can reflect light or make a sound

Examples of natural items: Feathers, Small rocks/pebbles, Leaves, Acorns, Seeds or seed pods, Pinecones, Twigs, Shells

Examples of objects you can use: Earrings or pendants that are no longer worn, Buttons, Bottle caps, Charms, Old forks or spoons

What to do?

After you collect your natural materials, spread them neatly out at your work space.

Cut a piece of string twice the length of your stick. For example, if you have a 10 inch stick, cut a 20 inch piece of string.

Tie one end of the string to one end of your stick and the other end of the string to the other end of your stick.

Cut several pieces if string in various lengths. For each piece, tie one end to your stick, the other end should be hanging loose.

On the loose end you can start tying your natural and objects. You can tie them to and part of the strings.

Now hang your mobile and enjoy!

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