Explore the Great Outdoors this Summer!

A guest post by Marnie Goodbody, a Research Services librarian.

Summer is almost here. It is time to be enjoying nature. The Boston Public Library has excellent resources to help you learn about and appreciate outdoor activities, from gardening to hiking to star gazing.

At the Library

Explore BPL’s research guides to learn about community gardening, baseball in New England, and nature observation. Or discover walking tours—including self-guided tours—of Boston, Somerville, or Cambridge from the walking tours guide. Check out this post for observing nature, and enjoy this list of digital books and audiobooks of true-life adventure stories for adults, and this one on outdoor activities.

For lifelong learners Kanopy has The Great Courses—and they are credit free! The Great Courses are college-level, deep-dive explorations of many subjects. Courses are taught by a professor or expert in the field. Check out this video list of The Great Courses from Kanopy about the natural world such as astronomy and ornithology, and activities that get you outside, like wildlife photography and gardening.

You can access many outdoor magazines and journals at home. Library databases are good places to find articles from journals and magazines about many different subjects. Gale OneFile has a databases entirely about gardening and horticulture. The National Geographic Virtual Library has complete reproductions of the National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler. It also has a searchable collections of books, maps, images, and videos.

PressReader allows you to read your favorite magazine with virtually turning pages and beautiful graphics. This database provides the latest three months of many magazines and newspapers.

Getting Outside

Some parks and monuments are closed now, so always double check before heading out. Fortunately, there are still plenty of opportunities to help you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and canoeing. You can find some ideas on the Mass Great Outdoors Blog and the Mass.gov state park site.

You can find more information on places to go outside in Boston in our blog post about where you can read outside.

So let the library help you deepen your love of the great outdoors. And then get out there and enjoy it!

Remember: when outside stay in areas where you are able to keep at least six feet from non-household members, and cover your nose and mouth with a mask. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or the inside of your elbow, limit time in public, don’t congregate in groups.

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