Cincinnati Parks has teamed up with Great Parks and a dozen other regional environmental organizations to participate in the international City Nature Challenge.
The event, going on April 30-May 3, encourages the public to help discover, identify and catalog plants and animals in the region. Locally, the event is an exciting opportunity to learn more about biodiversity in our community. It is also a chance for cities across the world to collaborate and participate in nature observations and species found. In fact, the 2021 event has expanded to more than 400 cities across six continents!
The City Nature Challenge utilizes the free iNaturalist platform (web and app) to record environmental data.
- April 30-May 3, participants log photos of plants and animals they see anywhere in nature.
- May 4-9, information gathered identified and saved to a database.
- May 10, accumulated information released to help create community programming, assist in controlling invasive species and help prioritize natural areas in need of further preservation.
- Log on.
- Find wildlife or plants in your backyard, neighborhood, park or even 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.
- Share your findings on social media with #CityNatureChallenge and tag @cincyparks and @great_parks on twitter while you are out exploring your local park to be featured.
- Learn more about your observations as they are identified through iNaturalist.
As global human populations become increasingly concentrated in cities, it’s more important than ever to document urban biodiversity and help ensure plants and wildlife’s future. Also, with travel restrictions due to the pandemic, scientists rely more than ever on observations from community findings. Large pools of data built through iNaturalist, natural history museums, and natural science organizations help leaders make informed conservation decisions that allow both human and natural communities to thrive.
The Cincinnati Park Board and Great Parks are partnering with other local organizations – such as Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Civic Garden Center, Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, among many others – to make this event successful for the City of Cincinnati.