A box with a picture of a coyote in it.

Bring Nature Home: ART of Hiking #5


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 activities directly to you.

There’s no place like home…today Urban Junior Naturalist will explore the many different types of habitats in Van Cortlandt Park that our resident creatures call home. After selecting a furry, feathery, scaly or slimy creature, Urban Junior Naturalist will collect items from their walk that they think will make a suitable habitat for their animal. Afterwards they will use a small shoe box to create a diorama of their animals home. 

Try it at home?

Find an old shoe box or small box and go for a walk. Do you have a favorite woodland creature? Pretend to be a squirrel or blue jay…what would you need to make a home? 

Does your creature sleep up high, like in a nest? Or do they snuggle down below, under the leaves? 

Gather leaves, twigs, sticks, rocks, grass clippings, soil and other natural items to create a safe space for your creature. Please do not pick living plants from a NYC park.    


  1. Shoe box sized box
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue or tape
  4. Natural items
  5. Cotton balls, paper, string, markers, foil paper, other arts and craft materials that can be used as fillers. (clouds, body of water etc.)

Share your artwork with us and we will give you a shout on our Facebook and/or Instagram page! Take a picture of your artwork and email it to vcpalliance@gmail.com and let us know what your account handle is if you would like to be tagged!

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