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Neighborhood Naturalists for Kids

Nature is around us all the time – NHMU invites you to take a closer look with us this summer to observe and learn more about nature in your neighborhood!

Become a Neighborhood Naturalist!

We will be exploring new topics all summer long, introducing you to local naturalists and scientists, learning more about our nearby nature, sharing fun activities you can do outside, and even connecting you with research happening right here at NHMU.

We’ll launch a new naturalist topic right here every 2 weeks through August. Get started below by learning what it means to be a Neighborhood Naturalist.

We look forward to adventuring with you this summer!

An illustration of a wetland landscape

How To Be a Naturalist

A Naturalist is a student of natural history- someone who is curious about their surroundings, both past and present, and wants to learn more! Explore more about the tools you need and may already have!

Click here

An illustration of a magpie

Backyard Birds

You don’t have to be an expert bird watcher to enjoy the songs and calls of birds. Birds are truly unique and adapt to live in environments all over the world. Just in North America there are 2,509 species of birds. Discover more about bird songs, identification and hands on activities you can do to be a backyard birder!

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An illustration of bees


Bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and bats may be small but they play an important role in the world’s ecosystems as pollinators. Did you know that just in Utah we have more than a 1000 different types of bees and 150 types of moths and butterflies. Learn more with interactive activities about what you can do at home for local pollinators!

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An illustration of a juniper tree

Wildflowers and Weeds

The moment you walk out of your door whether it’s on your way to school, to the bowling alley, or for a hike in the mountains you are surrounded by plants. Some plants we might call weeds and others are adored as wild flowers. How can we tell the difference or is there a difference? Tour nature all around you and actively engage with different plants!

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An illustration of a squirrel

Urban Mammals

Can’t get enough of those furry critters that we call mammals? Mammals like other wildlife have adapted to live in both urban and rural environments. The biggest tree squirrel in North America is called the Fox Squirrel and they were actually introduced to Utah only a few years ago. Jump in to actively explore the different types of squirrels and mammals living just outside your doorstep!

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An illustration of a spider on a web

Utah Spiders

Spiders too often get the reputation of being scary or gross but just like most wildlife they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. In fact most spiders are friendly and non poisonous! Just in the state of Utah there are over 620 spices of spiders. Our spider friends weave intricate webs, take care of the pests we don’t want and play an important role in the world’s ecosystems. Explore spider identification, spider myths and more with hands-on activities!

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Neighborhood Naturalists in Action

Share your Neighborhood Naturalist experience with us. We may just feature you right here on our webpage! Submit photos and stories here.

A woman walks with

Ellen Eiriksson, NHMU Citizen Science Coordinator

“I love getting outside, walking a little slower, and finding nature living right under my feet!”

Two kids sit on a tree stump

Beth Mitchell, NHMU Director of External Relations

"I love to watch our kids come alive in nature, breathing deeply, looking more closely, and challenging themselves in new ways."

A woman gives a thumbs up

Sarah Allen, NHMU Community Outreach Manager

“Each time I step into nature I feel a little bit more in tune with the world around me.”