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City Nature Challenge


A young girl crouches down next to a tall leafy plant to take a photo with her cell phone.
Bioblitz A girl takes a photograph of a species of plant to upload to iNaturalist. © Devan King/TNC

Join The Nature Conservancy for educational hikes around Charlottesville! Our expert guides will help you to identify all things that flap, slither and crawl at various local parks. Hike leaders will also help participants learn how to use iNaturalist so any sightings can be counted towards the City Nature Challenge.

Attendance at each event is limited to 9 people. We will be observing Covid-19 safety precautions, including social distancing and mask wearing.

For more information about our City Nature Challenge and Earth Month events, please contact Caitlin Embly, AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, at

Guided Hikes

  • 4/22: Bird Hike at Ivy Creek Natural Area with Jim Nix
  • 4/24 at 1:00 pm: Tree ID Hike at Ivy Creek Natural Area with Vanessa Kulick
  • 4/30 at 10:00 am: City Nature Challenge Bioblitz with the City of Charlottesville at Pen Park
    Register (Select "Search Now" and scroll down to event #230243)
  • 5/1: Bird Hike at Pen Park with Jim Nix
  • 5/2 from 1:30-3:00 pm: Family Wildlife Wander at Pen Park
    Register (Select "Search Now" and scroll down to event #230244)
  • 5/2 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm: Fernbrook Preserve Hike with Tex Weaver
  • 5/3 at 2:00 pm: Reptile Hike at Forks of Rivanna with Chris Asquith

Citizen Science Bioblitz with iNaturalist
April 30 - May 2, 2021

In addition to our educational hikes, you're invited to take part in the City Nature Challenge bioblitz around the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County! Participants for the bioblitz must have a smartphone or computer and be able to use the iNaturalist app or website. Training can be provided.

What is the City Nature Challenge?

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an international citizen science effort to discover and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. What began in 2016 as a friendly challenge between Los Angeles and San Francisco, organized by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, has now grown to an international event.

Get Involved

It’s easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Just take a picture of a plant or animal and upload it to the app. Any observations made in the Charlottesville challenge area will count during the four day event.

Explore your neighborhood parks—or even your own backyard.  There's nature all around you!

After the challenge, we'll need help identifying the observations recorded in iNaturalist. The more observations we get down to species level, the more species we get in our tally! It also provides valuable data for scientists, land managers, non-profits, and governments about the areas that they help to protect.