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Soil Tunnel

Somerset County Soil Conservation District Soil Tunnel

The Soil Tunnel is an innovative way to promote environmental education for first, second and third graders. Through an interactive, hands-on, three-dimensional soils exhibit, children can view the world below the ground surface by crawling through the Tunnel.

Built from four pieces of 4’x8’x4’ sheets of plywood, the Soil Tunnel panels are fastened together using dry wall screws which can be easily taken apart by 1-2 persons for transport or storage. Assembled, the Tunnel weighs approximately 80 lbs.

The panels (both inside and outside) were primed and painted in soil-like colors while the inside panels were hand painted with images of animals (i.e. a rabbit), insects, burrows, plant roots,  well, and a septic tank. Objects such as plastic insects and gravel were also glued to the inside panels for additional interest. Carrots and leeks were inserted through the top of the tunnel to simulate plant growth. With the aid of a flashlight, children can crawl through the tunnel and encounter numerous soil-related images on the walls.

Soil tunnel demonstration in a classroom Children exploring the soil tunnel

The soil tunnel works well with groups of 20-25 children with a 15 -20 minute talk on soil and water related topics.

 Objectives of the Soil Tunnel:

  • Provide education to children on soil functions (i.e. waste recycling, habitat for organisms, medium for plant growth)
  • Provide outreach to students and teachers

  • Provide education on soil and water conservation techniques

The Soil Tunnel is available for loan for educational events.  For more information or to reserve the Soil Tunnel, contact the Somerset Soil Conservation District at (410) 651-0370 x3.

View of inside panel illustrating images
View of Viewinside of panel illustrating images.

Side view of the soil tunnel

Close-up picture of a soil tunnel illustration

View of the top of the Soil Tunnel