Before You Begin...

Monitoring your local environment with a Picture Post can reveal a wealth of information and data useful to yourself and your community, policy makers and scientific research. Take a little time to read the tips here and then take some test pictures at different locations before setting the post in its permanent spot - with a little planning you will be well rewarded with a thousand pictures in the years to come!


  • What do you want to monitor (your garden, wooded area, meadow, favorite tree, pond, park, etc)?
  • Who will be responsible for managing the post?
  • Do you want the post to be accessible to the public?
  • What information do you want on your post signage?
  • Do you need permission for your post? Have you gotten permission?
  • Do you have all of the information you need to enter on the website to add the post?


  • Consider the amount of maintenance needed when choosing your construction materials.
  • Consider how much the vegetation that you are photographing could grow over the years.
  • Set your post at a height and distance that captures the features of interest and accounts for vegetation growth.
  • Place the post in a location that is accessible all year-round but not an easy target for vandals.
  • Create a plan for taking regular pictures -- share the responsibility with others in your group or community.


picture post with signage

Suggestions for Environmental Monitoring

  • Measure plant growth (height, width, & leaf cover)
  • Observe the timing of plant lifecycles
  • Measure plant population density
  • Track invasive plant species

Need Help Planning Your Project? - Look Here:

  • SciStarter features many projects and member blogs.