Soil Sound Opening Protocol 04

To complete this protocol we invite you to search for a place to open the soil by using a spoon as a resonating device. Record the soundscape of the tree pit as you tap with your spoon. Dig a small hole, attuning yourself to the resonance of digestion and decay in the tree pit habitat through sound and smell, then document the soil opening with a photograph.


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Participate: Soil Sound Opening Protocol 04

Resonating soil soundscape: Return to the Soil Wunderkammer you explored in protocol 02 and 03. Bring a metal spoon and a phone or other recording device. Use your spoon to tap on different surfaces around the tree pit. Search for a place to open the soil by using your spoon as a resonating device. Make a one minute audio recording of this process. 



Open and sense the soil: Where did the soil resonate in a way that made you curious? Choose a place to open the soil with your spoon. Begin to make a small hole. Listen as you dig. Bring a teaspoonful of soil to your noise. Close your eyes and smell. What else–microbes, elements, toxins–might be present but outside of your ability to sense?

Respond and document: Continue digging. When the hole feels big enough (as deep as your index finger?) pause and assess your intervention. Think about how the soil flora and fauna will respond to the opening you made. What processes of decay and digestion have you affected? Finish by taking a photograph that shows the soil texture, color, and anything else you noticed.

Use this link to email your audio recording to (use the subject line “protocol 04”) Upload the photo of the hole you made below.


  • Agoston, from Gellért Hill, Budapest
  • andrea from Lenapehocking land, Brooklyn, NY
  • Ellie, Mohican land, Troy, NY

Further action

Save 1,000 Urban Trees + SOIL

Many cities are making climate change mitigation plans. All these plans will impact climate justice and multispecies life. In New York City, human community members were consulted about plans to change access to greenspace in Lower East Side of Manhattan, a largely immigrant neighborhood with a high proportion of city housing. Now the community’s input is being ignored, and the agreed upon plan set aside. As a result, people will loose much needed access to greenspace, and 1,000 trees and the rich soil they are entangled with will be lost. Learn more about the struggle to save East River Park!

Save 1,000 Trees + SOIL

Is your state fighting to control transportation-related emissions?

Global temperatures are on target to rise at least 3°C (5.4 ° F) by 2100. On March 31, 2020, while the country was in lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, the US EPA passed a rule relaxing fuel efficiency standards through 2026 (based on spurious science). Transportation related greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise as Americans get on the road again. While Federal agencies fail us, states are fighting to regulate emissions more aggressively. Twenty-two states have sued the EPA.

Is your state one of them?

U.S. EPA is trying to omit vital Public Health Data- Tell them what you think!

In early March 2020, the U.S. EPA announced further amendments to it’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” policy proposal, which has been dubbed the “Censor Science Rule” by the scientific community, as it disqualifies all anonymous medical data – effectively the data that measures the health impact of environmental pollution.  We now know that the respiratory illness caused by Covid19 has brought the unsettling correlation between death rates and the POC and immigrant communities most exposed to environmental pollution further to light. 

ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE PUBLIC COMMENTS: Due to continued pushback on this proposal commenting is extended until May 18th. Visit to give a public comment, search by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OA–2018–0259.

Sent a comment to the US EPA

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Good Air quality is key for both humans and nonhumans alike. On March 26th, 2020, the U.S. EPA released a letter titled “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program”, announcing that it would not be enforcing its compliance regulations, giving industry a pass to pollute freely during this global health crisis. Former US EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, called it “an open license to pollute.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the NRDC Petition

How are bird and multispecies communities being impacted by US EPA rollbacks?

This March the U.S. EPA gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which now no longer holds individuals or companies (for example real estate companies) accountable for the incidental killing of migratory birds. In New York City, 90,000 birds collide with buildings every year, many of these are migratory birds, as the city is located on a major migratory pathway. One more reason to stand up against massive real estate developments in the city! 

MAKE A PROTEST POSTER FOR YOUR WINDOW! And if you happen to live in a highrise, or any building with glass:

Use this Template to Help the Birds See the Glass

We want real climate justice policy! What Energy Policy would your Street Tree Endorse? 

In 2017 former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a notice proposing a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which requires utilities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The rule was replaced in 2019 with the “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule which weakens emissions standards. The U.S. EPA, over the past 4 years, has rolled back over 95 rules put in place to protect environmental health, supporting the interests of the coal, gas, and oil industries, along with Big Agriculture. How has this changed the role and pressure we place on so-called green infrastructure? What kind of energy policy would street trees endorse? Read about the Red New Deal, and A Peoples Climate Plan for NYC.

Read the Peoples Climate Plan for NYC

 Almost ⅔ of Earth’s biodiversity is bacterial. How do we deconstruct and unlearn human supremacy?

The U.S. EPA endorses the use of powerful herbicides and pesticides like glyphosate (Round Up) and chlorpyrifos. In 2019, the U.S. EPA announced that it would not ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that its own experts have linked to serious health problems in children, and farmworkers. Now more than ever our food supply depends on supporting and protecting farmworkers.

Visit Beyond Pesticides to learn more.

Tell Congress to provide essential benefits to essential workers