Sixth annual challenge to document biodiversity grows to over 400 participating cities on six continents; results announced on May 10.
Lexington, KY (April 13, 2021) – The City Nature Challenge is coming to Lexington for the first time this spring. The City Nature Challenge is a global community science event that mobilizes urban residents and visitors to observe, document, and celebrate wild nature in and around urban areas. This focused and collective effort increases our awareness and understanding of urban biodiversity around the world.
As community science initiatives—which provide a safe way to connect people with nature and each other during the pandemic—continue to grow in popularity, this year’s sixth annual City Nature Challengeis expanding to more than 400 cities across six continents. Beginning on Friday, April 30 at 12:01 am in each time zone, the Challenge runs through Monday, May 3, 11:59 pm. The global event, co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, calls on current and aspiring community scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and education backgrounds toobserve and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist. From Friday, April 30 to Monday, May 3, participants can upload their observations to the app, with identifications happening from Tuesday, May 4 to Sunday, May 9. Final results will be announced on Monday, May 10.
Nature is all around us; in our cities, neighborhoods, and even in our homes. One of the best ways to study nature and its biodiversity is by connecting scientists and local community members through community science. As global human populations become increasingly concentrated in cities, it’s more important than ever to document urban biodiversity and help ensure the future of plants and wildlife. Large pools of data built through iNaturalist, natural history museums, and science organizations help leaders make informed conservation decisions that allow both human and natural communities to thrive.
In response to the pandemic, this year’s Challenge will not be focused on competition, but rather global collaboration as more than 41,000 people around the world are estimated to participate however they can. For both budding and veteran community scientists, participating is easy:
- Find wildlife in your home, neighborhood, backyard, or anywhere else! It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, shells, or carcasses. Check out this guide for tips on finding the surprisingly abundant biodiversity in and around your own home!
- Take pictures of what you find using iNaturalist or your city’s chosen platform.
- Learn more as your observations are identified.
Lexington’s City Nature Challenge is locally organized by Floracliff Nature Sanctuary. Community partners include The Arboretum, Central Kentucky Audubon Society, Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington Parks & Recreation, the Living Arts & Science Center, the Central Kentucky Chapter of the North America Butterfly Association, the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves, and Wild Ones – Lexington. For more information, visit floracliff.org.
More Information and Education Toolkit
Signing up is easy and free. Visit inaturalist.org from your browser, or download iNaturalist from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.
Twitter handle: @citnatchallenge
4/13/21 – Press Release