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Nature Guides

Two “Locals’ Nature Guides” open up the natural world in your backyard and inspire your family to make your own drawings and observations. Produced by the Franklin County Conservation District in partnership with local day camps in Richford and St. Albans, the 32-page and 16-page guides combine professional expertise with local campers’ creative insights. Learn all about catching crayfish, identifying poison ivy, and getting up close with jewelweed, minnows, burdock, leeches and more. Print one of the pdfs below at home, or email for a pre-printed copy (plain paper, 8.5×11″, stapled).

While the guides were made primarily by and for the Richford and St. Albans communities, families across rural New England will find most of these same animals and plants.

thumbnail for Nature Guide


Click here to download a pdf of the 32-page Locals Nature Guide to the Richford Playground, 2nd ed released in 2020 (26.7MB). Highlights include four pages about crayfish, as well as minnows, aquatic insects, dragonflies, turtles, animal tracks, mushrooms, ferns, burdock, jewelweed, nettles, poison ivy and poison parsnip – plus a map of the nature we found in the Richford Playground!




St. Albans Nature Guide cover thumbnail


Click here to download a pdf of the 16-page Locals’ Guide to Nature in St. Albans released in 2017 (2.2 MB). Highlights include wild mint, cattails, goldenrod and galls, milkweed, baneberry, red-backed salamanders, snails, water striders and more.




thumbnail for cover of Richford 1st ed Nature Guide


Click here to download a pdf of the first edition of the Locals’ Nature Guide to the Richford Playground, 16-pages, released in 2017 (2.2 MB). Highlights include crayfish, minnows, nettles, jewelweed, basswood, horsetails, turtles, animal tracks, poison ivy, poison parsnip and more.