In our Grow the City exhibit, we invite nature into the city and show some examples of how we can turn gray to green!
Feel free to take off your shoes and discover different natural materials with your feet. How does it feel? What’s your favorite material to walk on?
In the city, it can be difficult for insects to find places to live, lay eggs, take refuge, or hibernate. Therefore, we have built an Insect hotel - and we hope some little guests will choose to creep inside.
We also want to attract insects to our urban garden, because they help to improve the harvest by pollinating plants and by combating pests such as aphids.
Can you see if anyone has moved in?
A place in the forest
Did you know that we feel better and become less stressed when we have trees around us? You don’t have to be in the middle of a wild, primeval forest to enjoy this effect.
Even a garden or just a strip of forest behind the schoolyard can affect us. This is the Swedish Museum of Natural History’s
Dead wood - full of life!
Did you know that dead wood is full of life? Many organisms, such as fungi and insects, live inside old trees and logs. A dead spruce lying on the forest floor can be home to up to 350 species of beetles and 200 species of fungi!
Unfortunately, these days there is too little dead wood. This means that many species that depend on it are becoming rarer.
Needless to say, there isn’t much dead wood in the urban environment. What if the city had more logs? For bugs and fungi? For curious little humans who like to climb?
The compost - the heart of the garden
Our compost is a garden compost. Here we compost leaves, branches, and other such material, but not food scraps, which could attract crows, rats and mice.
A compost that contains food scraps is called a household compost, and must be kept in a tightly closed bin. Here, microorganisms convert leaves and branches into soil.
The composting process takes place in two steps. First, the compost gets very hot, between 35-55 degrees Celsius. This is called the thermophilic stage. In the next step, you have to add oxygen so that the process will continue. You use a shovel to dig in the pile and turn the compost. It takes about a year for the compost material to become soil!
Soil makes you happy!
Soil is full of microorganisms, including a bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae. When we dig into the soil, these bacteria travel up into the air and we inhale them. That can help our brains produce the substance that can put us in a better mood! Pretty cool, huh?