What’s so special about soil?
Lums Pond State Park has a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses, mosses, and mushrooms that play a vital role in our ecosystem. They depend on nutrient-rich soil and material. That soil is made up of a mixture of substances, but the most important is the Organic Material.
Organic Material comes from decaying plants and animals, as well as their waste. This material is high in nutrients for plants and soil organisms (earthworms, bacteria) to use.
In the forest, when plants and animals die, the decomposers help break them down into organic material, returning those nutrients to the soil.
Those same nutrients are what new plants use to grow, which provides habitat and food for other wildlife.
How can you help improve soil quality at home?
Composting – Save your food waste (fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.) and use it for compost instead of throwing it in the trash! Once these things decompose, they can be added to the soil in your garden or be used in potted plants. This will add more organic matter to the soil, while also reusing your food waste.
Leave your leaves on the ground! – Just like your food waste, they will decompose which will also add organic matter to the soil.
Join the Scavenger Hunt!
On your next hiking adventure at Lums Pond State Park, take our “Soils Detective Scavenger Hunt” sheet and record what you find in nature! Click here to download the scavenger hunt!