At the end of last month, I began a project to cover all of the roads in Plainville on foot (with the exceptions of Route 1 and I-495), thereby filling out my mental map and increasing my knowledge of the landscape. So far, I've covered more than 20 unique miles of roadway, noting natural features along the way. Now when I look at a map of town, I have a better sense of what lies on the ground.
Have you walked all the roads of your town? If not, have you at least walked a mile from your home in every direction? Can you point to the closest stream? How about the nearest cattail patch? Wild berry patch? There is much to discover if you are willing to explore.
If you are up for the challenge, I recommend getting a decent map. Topographic maps are great because they show elevation, waterways, and interesting historical features, but depending on their production dates, they may not include newer roads and developments. It's probably best to also get a current street atlas. A local library might have one you could photocopy. Browse the maps for small ponds, old back roads, and parcels of conservation land. Then simply start walking.
There is no deadline and there will be no quizzes (aside from my weekly nature quiz!). Just get outside and see what you can find. Unfamiliar roads can lead to unexpected treasures, and your town, like Plainville, is probably home to both.