Survey Your Site


Where in your community could you restore the health of soil?

Now that you understand the connection between healthy soil, the carbon cycle, and climate change, it is time to make a plan to restore the health of soil where you live. You might also decide to create a space for healthy soil where it is now missing. Since soil is all around you, you will need to choose a site to focus on.

You'll want to refer back to the Quest's resources to inform your decisions:

  • Use UNCOVER resources to help determine the health of soil around you.
  • Use EXPLORE resources that describe practices that help and harm soil health.
  • Use your Soil-Carbon Impact Survey and Plant Product Survey to help identify what could be affecting the health of soil near you.

As you begin to solve the problem facing your soil, make sure to track your plans in your Project Planner below, and submit it to Hero headquarters on the "Design and DO" page. This will qualify you for grants to help fund your project!

Questions to Consider

Consider these questions as you complete your site survey:

  • Where have you seen unhealthy or missing soil in your community?
  • Why do you think the soil there is unhealthy?
  • How do you think you could restore the health of this soil?


As you conduct your survey, draw a map of your site. Add labels and notes that describe what you find. You might want to color code what is "helpful," "harmful" and "missing."  Mark one or more places where you could focus your project efforts.

Site Survey

  1. Choose places near you to explore in search of unhealthy or missing soil. Consider where your help would be most impactful. Even if you are surrounded by buildings and concrete, where can you find or create a space for soil? The possibilities are endless:
  • your school grounds
  • a nearby park or greenbelt
  • landscaping at a storefront
  • an office building's outdoor space
  • along a path or sidewalk
  • along a creek, lake, or other natural space
  • your family's yard or porch
  • potted plant gardens on balconies
  1. Explore the site(s) to locate the unhealthy or missing soil. Make sketches, or take pictures or videos of the area. Look around or talk with people to begin piecing together clues for why the soil is unhealthy. Heads-up! Make sure you get permission to work in that space before you consider it for a project.
  2. Repeat Step 2 at other sites you want to consider.
  3. Compare site surveys.
  4. Decide the site where you can design and carry out a project that will have the most impact on restoring soil health. Explain why you chose this site for your project.