Nature Works Everywhere

Nature Works Everywhere

Explore the amazing ways in which nature works to make our lives cleaner and healthier every day. In this series of videos from The Nature Conservancy, see how all types of environments, plants, and animals play crucial roles in maintaining our global ecosystem, and how we can help play a role as well in making a more sustainable future.

  • Planning Your Garden | Video

    Having a successful and productive garden starts with a great plan. In this first How-to-Garden video, learn how to design your garden for the most impact. Maximize the sunlight, water source, soil quality, climate, and budget available to you. This video supports the Nature Works Everywhere Gardens curriculum that includes activity guides and the How-to-Garden video series.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Building a Garden in a Day | Video

    Believe it – you can build a garden in a single day. In this second video of the How-to-Garden series, you will see that creating a garden doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these guidelines, you will build a productive and healthy garden from the ground-up in just a few hours. This video supports the Nature Works Everywhere Gardens curriculum that includes activity guides and the How-to-Garden video series.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Caring for Your Garden | Video

    You’ve planned and planted; the soil, plants and structures are in place. Now what? In this third video of the How-to-Garden series, see and hear how easy it is to care for your garden. Learn about the three components of a healthy, productive garden and develop long-term maintenance strategies. This video supports the Nature Works Everywhere Gardens curriculum that includes Activity guides and the How-to-Garden video series.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Fears in the Garden | Video

    Don’t let fear stop you from enjoying the fun and the bounty of gardening. This final video in the How-to-Garden series will guide you through some of the most common fears in the garden and how to manage them. Bees? Heat? Brown thumb? Not to worry — find out how you can take real steps to keep the fun going without fear! This video supports the Nature Works Everywhere gardens curriculum that includes activity guides and the How-to-Garden video series.

    Grades: 2-13+
  • Food and Carbon | Garden Activity Guide

    Does eating food grown locally help reduce your carbon footprint? In this activity and lesson plan, students will learn about the relationship between CO2 production, climate change, and sourcing food locally. Students will consider different ways food is produced, transported, and consumed and will evaluate how food they grow locally may have a smaller carbon footprint than food found in the grocery store. They will measure their garden's CO2 offset by using calculations based on the production, transportation, and consumption of their food.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • Community | Garden Activity Guide

    The purpose of this activity and lesson plan is to help students understand how their garden can benefit not just their classroom or their school, but also their entire community. This guide provides instruction on how to plan and execute a community outreach event in the garden, and on data collection to help students evaluate impact beyond their school and provides service-learning ideas to apply knowledge learned from the garden to a community improvement project.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • Living Systems | Garden Activity Guide

    How does a garden function as a model for natural living systems? Many elements are interconnected and function together to create the natural and productive living system that is your garden. The purpose of this activity guide is to teach students the ecological functions found in any natural system and model how these functions are performed by a natural area like a garden.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Habitats and Pollinators | Garden Activity Guide

    In this lesson plan and activity, students learn how the garden provides habitat for a variety of different animal species. Through making observations and collecting data, students determine which species inhabit the garden (especially pollinators), investigate relationships among them, and identify factors that may affect them.

    Grades: 4-8,13+
  • Water and Filtration | Garden Activity Guide

    In this activity and lesson plan, students will observe and record rainfall to determine how much rainwater is filtered by their garden. The goal is to help students understand that the ecological benefits of the garden include improved water quality for the surrounding watershed. They will learn that the permeable surfaces that are part of the garden ecosystem naturally absorb and filter rainwater that otherwise could collect pollutants on impermeable surfaces, flow into the sewer system, and then into natural waterways, where it would cause harm to all members of the ecosystem.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • Soil | Garden Activity Guide

    How does soil texture and fertility contribute to the overall health and productivity of a garden? In this activity and lesson plan, help students explore the details of garden soil and learn about the different ingredients that help fertilize growing plants.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • Global Gardens | Nature Works Everywhere

    Urban gardens are powerful tools that can help grow healthy food, reduce our carbon footprint, and increase the overall health of our city environments. By creating a small, contained habitat for plants, pollinators, and other creatures, these tiny garden ecosystems actually contain a huge diversity of animals. This video explores the role that urban gardens can have on an individual, a local, and on a global scale.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Making Clean Energy | Video

    Explore where our energy comes from, and what makes certain types of energy renewable and sustainable. Unlike the nonrenewable energy sources that humans currently use (fossil fuels, coal and natural gas), solar and wind power can quickly replenish themselves and are usually available in a never-ending supply. But we can't just harness renewable energy anywhere—what makes a good environment for harnessing sustainable power?

    Grades: 3-12
  • Pollinators: Putting Food on the Table | Video

    Pollinators are often overlooked, but in reality are overwhelmingly crucial animals in maintaining ecosystem health and productivity. By enabling plant reproduction, bees and other insects hold the key to keeping wild systems functioning. Learn how scientists and everyday people can help pollinators by changing farming practices and by planting pollinator gardens. 


    Grades: 3-12
  • Making Clean Water | Nature Works Everywhere

    Nature works to filter and release water over time, thereby reducing the amount of artificial treatment needed to filter water and to help prevent flooding. In this video, learn about how the water cycle impacts our daily lives and how we can take steps to improve the health of our own local watersheds.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Forests: The Stuff of Life | Video

    For the standards-aligned lesson plan that corresponds with this video, go to

    In this video, explore how forest resources are much more diverse than most of us think. Not only do they provide wood and paper, but also fundamental amenities like water and oxygen. Sustainable forestry is an important field in understanding how we can keep the ecosystems prestine, while also harvesting resources with a controlled strategy.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Coral Reefs: Feeding and Protecting Us | Video

    Explore how coral reefs are more than just a pretty face; the resources from reef ecosystems impact us in our daily life. The ecosystems are some of the most biodiverse on the planet, as well as shaping many aspects of the marine environment, but the reefs are in constant danger of extinction. See how the country of Palau has been at the forefront of preserving reefs and their ocean environment.

    Grades: 3-12
  • The Amazing Oyster Reef | Video

    Click here for the standards-aligned lesson plan that corresponds with this video.

    There are many ways to protect coastlines, and in this video, see why oyster reefs are one of the most important lines of defense we have. In many marsh and sea-grass environments, the balance of the ecosystem is maintained due to the shelter provided by oyster reefs, but human impact has caused a massive decline of natural oyster formations in the last century. See how humans are working together to build artificial oyster reefs, and learn about the benefits of using natural resources to save these sensitive coastal ecosystems.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Managing Salmon to Support Healthy Forests | Video

    This video addresses the impact of unsustainable fishing practices and how salmon fishing risks harming much more than just aquatic ecosystems. Salmon runs are an important factor in cycling many nutrients from the ocean to the forest and beyond. Over-fishing salmon can reduce the forest's capacity for growth and regeneration.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Urban Trees | Video

    Tree planting in urban areas can reduce summertime temperatures, noise pollution, and harmful airborne particles, all while trapping some of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. In this video, students learn how trees are crucial organisms in urban foodwebs, and how planting and maintaining trees can benefit all elements of city living. 

    Grades: 3-12
  • The Value of Grasslands | Video

    Grasslands have grown to be a massively undervalued ecosystem, but a recent surge of ecotourism in grassland systems have given the land new value. In this video, explore the balance between ecotourism and environmental stability, and learn about how people all over the world are living together with grasslands.

    Grades: 3-12