Resurrection ferns growing out of a dead tree

Habitat Exhibit

Dead Wood Is Life

Outside the National Museum of American History

When a tree dies, it’s not the end of the story; it’s the start of a new chapter. Immerse yourself in artist Foon Sham’s wooden sculptures in Dead Wood is Life and discover the important role dead wood plays as a source of food, shelter, and soil fertility.

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Exhibit panels from Dead Wood Is Life

These installation panels tell diverse stories about habitats and the plants, animals, and humans that call them home

Dead Wood Is Life
Make Yourself at Home
A Log Called Home
Developing Sustainable Practices

Photos from Dead Wood is Life

Installation outside of the National Museum of American History

Sculptures by Foon Sham, Artist

Sculptures by Foon Sham, Artist

Sculptures by Foon Sham, Artist

Sculptures by Foon Sham, Artist

Explore another of the 14 exhibits

Click on a numbered circle to find details about an exhibit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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Live oaks

Sheltering Branches

Outside the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Discover the story of the Southern live oak tree: an enduring symbol of safety, strength, and resilience.

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Inocybe species

Life Underground

Outside the National Museum of American History

Did you know that beneath your feet is a network of living organisms communicating with each other?

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Resurrection ferns growing out of a dead tree

Dead Wood is Life

Outside the National Museum of American History

When a tree dies, it’s not the end of the story; it’s the start of a new chapter.

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A Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on coneflower

We Need You!

Outside the National Museum of American History

Native wildflowers are beautiful, but did you know they also help us produce food?

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Bird's nest with eggs

Nests

Outside the National Museum of Natural History

Ever wondered what a bird nest looks like up close?

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Leaf litter on the forest floor

Bug B&B

Outside the National Museum of Natural History

Bugs are everywhere, and they need places to live, just like us.

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Chesapeake Bay saltwater marsh

Biomes: Life in the Balance

Inside the S. Dillon Ripley Center

Visit deserts, rainforests, grasslands, wetlands, and tundra without leaving the National Mall.

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Starfish

Key to the Forest

Enid A. Haupt Garden

Figs are delicious, but did you know they also play a vital role in their habitats?

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Dragonfly

Sign of the Dragonfly

Enid A. Haupt Garden

How healthy is your wetland? Ask a dragonfly.

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Fish swim around a reef

Foundation of the Sea

Enid A. Haupt Garden

Plants and animals live in habitats, but did you know that some species create habitats themselves?

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Bird's nest with eggs

Homes

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

Want to transform your garden into a habitat?

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Monarch Butterfly

Monarchs on the Move

Outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Monarch butterflies travel around 3,000 miles when migrating—that’s farther than the distance between Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

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Turkey vulture in flight

Habitat of Flight

Outside the National Air and Space Museum

For centuries, humans have sought inspiration from nature while studying the mysteries of flight.

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Native Landscape at the National Museum of the American Indian

Native Landscape

Outside the National Museum of the American Indian

The Native Landscape at the NMAI features more than 33,000 plants of approximately 150 species native to our area.

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