Exploring Ferns

Nature in Your Neighborhood Logo Banner Image

Exploring and Observing Ferns

Ferns Exploration Icon ImageIn the Exploring Ferns virtual nature walk, naturalist and Nature in Your Neighborhood co-founder Heather Harding takes us outside to help identify some of the most common ferns in our area.

Heather explains their fascinating life history, including their secret life underground (hint: they are actually often made from two different plants!) and the strange process from spore to leafy fern.

After watching the virtual nature walk, find a set of resources and activities on the page below.


Exploring Ferns Virtual Nature Walk with Lead Naturalist Heather Harding


Exploring Ferns Resources from Heather Harding:



Recommended Exploring Ferns Activities from Heather Harding:

  • Visit your sit spot and see how many different kinds of ferns you can find.
  • Choose a focal species fern (from one of the eight ferns discussed in the virtual nature walk) to study more deeply. After you have chosen a focal species to study, begin these activities:
    • Identify your species using the resource suggestions for ferns listed above.
    • Sketch your fern and label it with its common and scientific names (with correct use of capital letters!), size, and main identifying features. These Sketching Tips and Resources may be helpful.
    • Use the resource suggestions listed above to learn about your fern species and write down one thing about it that you find particularly interesting.
    • Rinse and repeat. Want more to do? Choose another fern and start again!
  • Start a nature journal and record your fern discoveries.
  • Create art with ferns: here are some ideas and links for more information: