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The New Hampshire Soil Tunnel

The New Hampshire Soil Tunnel

Entrance to the NH soil tunnel

This colorful, hands-on educational tool includes images and three-dimensional objects inside the tunnel to illustrate the important functions of soil. The soil tunnel structure consists of five pieces of �" plywood that fit together with hook and eye bolts. The sides are approximately 72" X 36" and the ends are approximately 36" X 36". The "roof" of the tunnel fits over the top to close in the structure and make it dark. Visitors to the soil tunnel crawl through using the aid of a flashlight to see images and objects on the walls and ceiling.


  • Educate children about the functions of soil
  • Promote conservation concepts using the "hook" of a crawl-through tunnel
  • Provide an outreach medium into classrooms that students and teachers will enjoy.

Crowds at a fair waiting to crawl through the tunnel The five important functions of soil illustrated
in the tunnel are:

  1. Habitat for organisms
  2. Water purification
  3. Waste recycling
  4. Medium for plant growth
  5. Material for humans to use

Artwork by Marc Sutherland of a gravel miner The structure of the NH Soil Tunnel was created using an enormous amount of volunteerism. Earth Team Volunteer and children’s book author and artist Marc Sutherland provided an artistic vision for the design and painted many of the images seen in and on the tunnel. Earth Team volunteer and "garbage artist" Peter MacDonald built much of the tunnel itself, including carving and crafting items inside the tunnel such as the septic tank and well bucket. We had other volunteers painting and finishing the tunnel as well. Without our volunteers, the NH Soil Tunnel project would not have taken off.

Link to the Earth Team Volunteer Program

The following documents are available for download. These documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Soil Tunnel Information Sheet (188 Kb)
Set up Instructions for the Soil Tunnel (133 Kb)

Here are the two sides of the tunnel:

Soil tunnel side 1

Soil tunnel side 2

For more information on the program or volunteer opportunities with the New Hampshire Soil Tunnel contact Lisa Morin, Belknap County District Manager, at (603) 527-5880 or


The New Hampshire Soil Tent

For more information on the New Hampshire Soil Tent contact Stacy Luke, Merrimack County District Manager, at (603) 223-6023.