What’s in your garden?

Our editors picked five projects you can do in your garden. Learn more about your garden while advancing important scientific research. Learn how, below.

AND….Citizen Science Day is April 14th! Find, join or host an event near you to celebrate the awesomeness of citizen science!

The SciStarter Team

Photo courtesy of National Environmental Observatory Network

Here is a project you can do in your own back yard! Monitor your plants as the seasons change, particularly as blooms emerge. Record your observations online and help scientists keep track of how plants respond to changing climate.

Get Started!

Brian Forbes Powell

Send your plant observations to the National Phenology Database. This allows scientists to keep track of the life cycles of plants and animals year after year.

Get Started!

Lauren Nichols

Now is the time to start prepping your garden beds and sowing the seeds! When you’re planning your gardens, leave some extra room for pumpkins so you can help scientists identify which insects are pollinating and eating the plants.

Get Started!

aussiegall _Flickr

Cabbage white butterflies are common invasive pests of gardens. These butterflies (technically caterpillars) feed on plants in the mustard family (like broccoli, cabbage and kale).  Help scientists learn about how they adapt to new areas by collecting and sending in butterflies.

Get Started!

Copyright_ Al

The spread of exotic earthworms have been quietly changing our native forests. You don’t have to live in the Great Lakes region to participate in this project! As you’re turning over soil, do an earthworm survey to help scientists determine the range of non-native earthworms.

Get Started!

SciStarter at the USA SciFest

Are you planning to attend the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., the Cambridge Science Festival in MA, or the Philadelphia Science Festival in PA? Stop by the SciStarter booth to say hi!

We will demonstrate the following projects and provide new Citizen Science Kits with everything you’ll need to get started!

Get Started!


What if we told you that zombies are real? Well, that’s only half true; zombie flies are real, and infecting bees in North America. Scientists in California are trying to determine the range of zombie flies across North America. Learn how to help them.

Get Started!

SciStarter at the USA SciFest

For Citizen Science Day, members of the SciStarter team will be distributing kits for collecting face mites for scientists at the California Academy of Sciences. Your face mites can help tell the story of human migration across our planet!

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The ants are starting to get much more active now that it’s warm! Help scientists learn about their diet preferences around the world; their choices will inform scientists on what food resources are available to ants throughout the year.

Get Started!

Mark your calendars! Citizen Science Day, presented by SciStarter and the Citizen Science Association, is April 14, 2018! Plan your day by checking out events near you using the SciStarter Citizen Science Day event finder.  Are you looking for free resources to help you host an event? The Citizen Science Association is your go-to source!

Get Started!

Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Featured Projects, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Newsletter, SciFests, SciStarter News, USA Science and Engineering Festival

About the Author


Lea Shell

Lea worked at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She previously managed education initiatives and authored SciStarter's bi-weekly newsletter. Lea is also a co-founder and co-owner of Essential Montessori, where she designs and hand-crafts learning Montessori-inspired materials for young children.