Life in the natural world comes in all shapes and sizes! At the Vermont Atlas of Life, our goal is to collect knowledge on Vermont’s animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms. Now we’re asking our communities’ young naturalists to share knowledge on their own unique Vermont species!

In this time of uncertainty and closed schools, we created this fun challenge to engage younger naturalists in creatively thinking about the outdoors. We invite naturalists from grades K-6 to draw an imaginary plant, animal, or fungi that may inhabit Vermont’s landscape and provide us with more information about it. All ideas and drawings must come from the youth naturalist, but we understand if some writing assistance may need to be provided for younger naturalists by their parental field technicians.

How it works:

Using the form linked below, please have your young naturalists provide us with some basic information about their imaginary species (name, food, habitat, predators, and when it’s most active) and a drawing of what they think their species looks like. The goal is to get as creative as possible while still thinking about what types of resources (habitat, food, etc.) are available to species in Vermont, as well as what predators they might encounter. There is also a section for guardians to fill out regarding permission to post photos of the drawings.

We recognize that printing and scanning may not be available to everyone at this time. You can either print the form and scan it or send us a photo of it, or write out the form yourself if printing is unavailable. Once your young naturalist is ready to submit their drawing, please send the photo or scanned version to Emily Anderson at . We also encourage you to post a photo of your young naturalist holding their photo and use #vtatlasoflife to tag us in it.

We will be accepting submissions from now until June 15th and will announce a weekly winner. Every week, a panel of VCE staff will select the top submissions from that week and post them to social media. The top submissions will be selected based on the level of creativity — not drawing ability — of the submission, as well as the level of detail in the species description and the extent to which the species could fit within Vermont’s real-life habitats. With parental permission, we would love to share a photo of the winner holding their drawing, in addition to the drawing itself. Photos with parental permission can be sent along with the species submission to .

Click HERE to download the form.

Questions? Please contact Emily at .