A girl takes a photograph of a species of plant to upload to iNaturalist.
Bioblitz A girl takes a photograph of a species of plant to upload to iNaturalist. © Devan King/TNC

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City Nature Challenge

Maryland / DC

As with so many aspects of our lives, the City Nature Challenge (CNC) has been impacted by COVID-19. The event is still being held from Friday April, 24 to Monday April, 27,  with more than 200 cities around the world planning to participate in whatever limited ways they can.

CNC organizers in the Washington, DC area have named April City Nature Month!  The Nature Conservancy has several virtual events planned to help you safely take part. There are still many ways to look for nature in your home or backyard—you never know what you might find!



iNaturalist 101 | Thurs. April 9 | 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Join Carrie Seltzer of iNaturalist.org for a live tutorial and learn how to record your observations in the iNaturalist app. Space is limited. Register for this event.

Train the Trainers | Date and Time to be announced

Learn iNaturalist best practices so you can share your knowledge with others! This webinar training is ideal for teachers, educators, scout and youth activity leaders.

Fantastic Photos | Date and Time to be announced

It's easy to get involved in City Nature month. Just take a picture of a plant or animal and upload it to the iNaturalist app. Join Katja Schulz, program coordinator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as she guides you through tips and tricks for taking fantastic photos.

ID How To | Date and Time to be announced

You've made your City Nature month observations, now what? Identification! Getting observations down to the species level provides valuable data for scientists, land managers, non-profits, and governments about the areas that they help to protect. In this webinar, learn how to properly identify your observations.

Please contact Bridget Moynihan at bridget.moynihan@tnc.org with questions or for more information.


What is the City Nature Challenge?

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..

EXPLORE YOUR WORLD!

Given current precautions and efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, we know that many people will be limited in their ability to get outside.

There are still many ways to look for nature in your home or backyard. Discover the plants that are growing on their own and the insects and pollinators that live in and around our homes and yards. You never know what you mind find!

HOW TO FIND INSECTS

Insects are probably some of the easiest organisms to find in and around our homes, since they’re abundant and incredibly diverse! But where should you look to find them? What can you use to catch them?

These sites provide some guidance on how to find and temporarily hold insects. Be sure to release them after you've posted your observation on iNaturalist!

MOTH LIGHTING

Setting up a light and a sheet to attract moths is a simple and easy way to bring more nature into your backyard. Photographing moths on the sheet is easy, and you’ll definitely attract other flying insects as well!

Science Friday has a great set of instructions for observing moths, and the California Center for Natural History has instructions for building your own moth light to attract a wider variety of moths.

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.  

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