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The '''environment''' is a gameplay element featured in all installments of the {{SER}}. In earlier ''Animal Crossing'' games, the [[Wishing Well]] or Bell Shrine tells the [[player]] how the town is doing, along with pointing out an [[acre]] in particular that needs work. In later installments, the town's environmental status can be checked in the [[Town Hall]] by talking to either [[Phyllis]] or [[Pelly]]. In {{NL}}, players check their town status by talking to [[Isabelle]].
Various plants (flowers and trees in this case) impact the player's [[town]]'s environment. Sometimes, [[villager]]s will also comment about the town's environment when talking to the player.
Trees impact the towns environment and, unlike other plants, cannot be as easily removed. To plant a tree, one must first dig a hole using a [[shovel]]. The tree will be fully grown after 4 days, and it requires no care. Some trees can grow only in certain parts of a town. [[Tree#Cedar tree|Cedar trees]] can be grown only in the top two [[acre]]s of town; [[Tree#Oak tree|oak trees]] (and trees that bear [[fruit]]) can be grown in most [[grass]] or dirt areas, but not sand or cobble, and not on ramps; [[palm tree]]s can grow only along the [[beach]].
The town's environment rating can decrease if there are not enough or too many trees in one or more acres. In {{PG}}, the correct number of trees is very important in attaining a [[perfect town]], while the [[Wishing Well]] will tell the player which acres need work.
Flowers are one way to greatly improve the town's environmental status. However, in {{PG}}, flowers do not affect it. Placing at least one flower in each [[acre]] improves the town's environment immensely. The town cannot have too many flowers, and a very high amount of them will cancel out other flaws in the environment, such as [[weed]]s. If [[Pelly]] or [[Phyllis]] tells the player that the town needs 'more green', the problem may be a lack of flowers (or trees) in the town area. Any type of flower can be grown anywhere, but the player can keep it evenly distributed for a better environmental status. Players may have to [[Watering can|water]] these flowers as soon as the flowers are wilting unless it is raining.
Sticking flowers of the same species together (such as tulips with tulips and roses with roses) can create a [[hybrid]] species of flower.
A small number of weeds (two or three in most games) show up per day. The weeds will accumulate as you miss more and more days of game play, so it is best to get on every day to pull any additional weeds that sprout.  To get a [[perfect town]], players should pluck all weeds and prevent more weeds to grow in any [[acre]].
===Dropped items===
Furniture, accessories, and other droppable items all fall as dropped items, and therefore, should not be left on the ground if the player wants a good environmental status for the town. [[Shell|Seashells]] on the beach, and [[fruit]], are not counted as dropped items.
Boots, cans, and tires fished out from the [[river]] or [[ocean]], as well as spoiled [[turnip]]s, must never be placed on the ground, or the environmental status for the town will instantly decrease. These items also attract the [[fly]], an inexpensive [[bug]]. Trash should be placed in the [[Dump]], disposed of at [[Re-Tail]] (which requires a fee), or thrown away in the [[trash bin]] (which can be found in homes, or it can be made as a [[public works project]]).
When talking with [[Pelly]] or [[Phyllis]] about the town's environmental status, the designated pelican will relay "messages" that other villagers have given her. Her response will inform the player if the town is prospering or not in {{WW}} or in {{CF}}. Here are the responses that either Phyllis or Pelly will tell the player:
* Horrible - ''"This place is the pits! Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong! There's not a single thing I like in this town!"''
* Bad - ''"I'm not sure what good it will do to write this, but... Could you try and be a bit more thoughtful about your town? Because at this rate..."''
* Neutral - ''"Hmm... it's not a passing grade, but it's not a failing grade either. It's like more than milk, but not quite a milk shake, you know what I mean?"''
* Good - ''"This town is fantastic! But even so, it still seems to be missing something"''
*Perfect - ''"Fantastic! [Town Name] is in great shape right now! Yep, it's pretty sweeeeet!"''
After Pelly or Phyllis relays the message, she will give a player a hint that can help into making the town healthier. For example, at the "getting there" phase, Pelly may tell the player that some areas have inadequate green, which is a tip to plant more flowers and trees in areas lacking them. Phyllis's messages tend to be a little more straight-forward about what the player needs to do.
Generally, for the best environmental status in {{WW}} and {{CF}}, eight of the acres should be classed as 'perfect' and the rest as 'good'. In {{NL}}, a points system is used instead (divided into three hidden categories), and the requirement for a specific number of trees/flowers in each acre no longer applies. [[Public works project]]s are necessary for a positive rating.

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