Use this resource to learn about and develop connections to a local green space.

This resource provides an overview, introducing key concepts. Students start to form an inquiry plan (using your own inquiry model, or the one provided), identify a local green space and begin to explore it.

It includes activities to help plan an investigation into the biodiversity in your local green space. The activities can also be used as stand-alone authentic learning experiences, to encourage students to connect to a local green space.

This resource is part of the Protecting your environment series, to encourage primary and intermediate students to go outdoors, explore and connect to a local green space.

Published: 2016

Exploring your local environment resource.

Download the resource

Exploring your local environment (PDF, 4,158K)

Inquiry cycle for working through the 'In the environment' resources (PDF, 421K)

Inquiry plan for your green space (Google Doc)

Learning outcomes

Using this resource students will:

  • appreciate that people are part of the natural world
  • build knowledge and understanding of ecosystems
  • investigate what is living in a green space
  • understand how birds, invertebrates and other native and endemic animals are part of a healthy ecosystem
  • contribute to increasing biodiversity in a green space.

Curriculum links

Level 1-4 Science

  • Living World: Evolution, ecology, life processes
  • Nature of Science: Investigating in science, communicating in science, understanding about science, participating and contributing

Science capabilities

  • Gather and interpret data
  • Use evidence
  • Critique evidence
  • Interpret representations
  • Engage with science

Level 1-4 Health and Physical Education

  • Healthy communities and environments

Resource contents

  1. Introduction
  2. DOC's conservation education 'In the environment' resources
  3. Connections in an ecosystem
  4. Health and safety considerations
  5. Getting started - Teaching in nature
  6. Starting your learning inquiry
  7. Inquiry plan for your green space
  8. Place-based learning in the outdoors
  9. Māori perspectives and values
  10. Science capabilities
  11. Curriculum links and example unit plan
  12. Inquiry plan for your green space
  13. Integrated inquiry cycle for working through the 'In the environment' resources

Learning levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary 


  • Forests and green spaces

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Education for sustainability
  • English
  • Health and PE


Webinars are available to view on the Science Learning Hub website. They use the Exploring your local environment resources to model how conservation education can support student inquiry into a local green space:

Special thanks to Science Learning Hub for partnering with us to deliver these fantastic webinars.


For questions or feedback about these resources, email

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