Nature Observations Program

The Tsongas Industrial History Center and Lowell National Historical Park bring you a series of activities for all ages, which can be done right in your own home! Learn all about how cities can still be a home for animals and plants that you can respectfully observe in a Nature Journal!

This was originally part of a five week series of activities, but has now been made publicly available for everyone to enjoy!

The Tsongas Industrial History Center is a partnership between Lowell National Historical Park and the University of Massachusetts Lowell College of Education.
 

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Getting Started

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 2 seconds

The Lowell Rangers Theme was generously written, performed and composed by Jeffrey Rawitsch for the Nature Journals program. Graphics created by Susan Diachisin

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 3 seconds

Learn a little bit about the city of Lowell, wildlife, and all of the fun activities awaiting you in the Nature Journal program!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 21 seconds

Learn how to make a Nature Journal in this fun craft brought to you by the Tsongas Industrial History Center! Having a Nature Journal is important for completing other activities on this page.

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 2 seconds

In this fun craft, you can create and design your own Nature Kit to store nature observation supplies for the rest of the program!

 

Plants and Trees

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 38 seconds

Learn some helpful facts about trees, and find out what kinds of activities the Nature Observations Program has in store!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 7 seconds

Learn how to make and plant seed starters that are good for the environment!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 46 seconds

Just as scientists sketch or take pictures to record information over time, so can you draw in your nature journal a tree/plant to visit over the course of either a few weeks or even a few years!

 
If you are looking for new natural places to explore check out these two local organizations with nature sancuaries in Massachusetts:

Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust
Mass Audubon

Those outside of Massachusetts can get inspired and visit other National Parks here!

Additional Resources:
John Muir Laws is a present-day naturalist, artist, and educator with a robust website containing tutorial videos discussing nature journaling and sketching techniques.

Observational Drawing for Kids is a helpful, kid-centered blog that highlights how to teach kids to make observational drawings!

An extra video!
We worked closely with Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust and Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm to bring you a neat activity which shows you how to calculate how much carbon trees are able to filter out! Follow this link to find the video.
 

Wildlife

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 14 seconds

Even urban environments like Lowell can be populated with critters. Learn how to observe and appreciate these creatures respectfully with Ranger Haillie!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 29 seconds

Spend some time in nature and use all of your senses to appreciate nature and the environment in this fun activity!

 
For the activity sheet that goes with this video, follow this link!
 
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Duration:
1 minute, 15 seconds

Become an urban explorer and have an adventure in your very own backyard, downtown or local forest looking for wildlife!

 
For the activity sheets that go with this video, click the links here and here!
 
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Duration:
1 minute, 27 seconds

Join Ranger Allison and learn about "scat," or animal droppings. It may sound icky, but it plays a vital role in keeping our ecosystems healthy and happy!

 

The Daytime Sky

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 59 seconds

When you look at the sky, what do you see? Probably a lot of clouds! But what are the types of clouds, and how do they get there? Find out with Rangers Elizabeth and William!

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 59 seconds

Learn about the different types of clouds and how to spot them! You can also do a fun nature journal activity!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 37 seconds

Join Ranger Elizabeth and learn how to make and shape your very own cloud dough!

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 56 seconds

Ranger William shares a neat craft idea for how to replicate the stages of the water cycle on a much smaller scale!

 
Additional Resources:
Need some help identifying clouds? Check out this great site for kids and adults to help you learn about al lthe different types of clouds!

The GLOBE Program is a hands-on international education and science program that joins students, educators, and scientists from around the world in studying Earth system science (ESS). The core objectives of GLOBE are to improve science education, enhance environmental awareness, and increase understanding of Earth as a system. For more information, please visit their website.

For a more detailed look at the water cycle, this NASA article and USGS webpage can help!

 

The Nighttime Sky

 
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Duration:
4 minutes, 36 seconds

The night sky is not just something great to look at, it's also something that we have to work to protect! Join Ranger Allison to learn about why there may not be as many visible stars as there used to be, as well as some of Lowell's connections to astrology!

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 42 seconds

Learn what meteorites are, how to spot them and even collect them with Ranger William!

 
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Duration:
2 minutes

With Ranger Lesly's help, you can make your very own planishere to with the Junior Ranger Night Skies Booklet to map the stars!

 
Additional Resources:

At Lowell National Historical Park, we face a problem that is more and more common all over the world: light pollution. What this means is that even when it's nighttime, it's not totally dark where you live. You can learn more about light pollution here.

To complete the Planisphere Activity with Ranger Lesly, download the Junior Ranger Night Skies Booklet by the National Park Service. It's also just a great resource on how to enjoy the night sky.
 

Wrapping Up

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 7 seconds

You've reached the end of the program, congratulations! We've enjoyed sharing these fun activities with you, now it's your turn to share what you've found with us and people you know! Send your findings to tihc@uml.edu!

Last updated: November 11, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

67 Kirk Street
Lowell, MA 01852

Phone:

(978) 970-5000

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