Abbey Brook Expedition

Naturalists in an Urban Park

Many Springfield students have made personal connections to nature, fearing to encounter prickers, poison ivy, mud, bugs, and even ticks! To learn to observe and make sense of the natural world, we used a STARS grant to work with Mass Audubon naturalists and educators to explore an urban park to connect to the natural world and care about how humans affect it. 

Our explorations were informed (and made more familiar and accessible) with a mobile app called iNaturalist, where students could upload photos and get species identified automatically or later by other observers in the system.  

7: Abbey Brook Prep (MA 1)
7.5: Abbey Brook Prep
11: Abbey Brook Reflections + Local Plants and Animals
11: Abbey Brook Reflections & Local Animals
21: Abbey Brook Trip II Reflections
21: Abbey Brook II Reflections

Supports for Park Expeditions

Environmental science and climate adaptation fieldwork is not just a "walk in the park".  Students drew upon four different strands of previous study to make the most of their fieldwork. 

LT 1: Sense Writing

Connecting to our senses in a nature setting and writing using sensory language.

LT 3: Fieldwork

Exploring an urban watershed preserve and surrounding neighborhoods to connect to natural and built habitats.

LT 4: Partner Work

Connecting across the climate justice divide to see how an island territory is impacted and responding to the climate crisis. 

LT 5: Projections

Understanding what changes are happening, likely or possible on a global and regional scale, depending on mitigation levels.