Ready, set, snap! Connect with fellow nature lovers from around the world in the 2020 City Nature Challenge, a worldwide bioblitz held April 24 – 27 that encourages participants to get outside and celebrate their region’s biodiversity by taking photos of plants and animals found in their communities and uploading them to iNaturalist. This year, the Challenge will not be a regional competition but rather a four-day global citizen-science collaboration that embraces the healing power of nature and supports scientists worldwide. The Arboretum will be serving as the lead institution for the Western North Carolina region and will be offering a variety of online programming for adults and youth in conjunction with the Challenge.
How to Participate
1.) Download iNaturalist, a free mobile application on your iPhone or Android device.
2.) From April 24 – 27, get outside in your backyard or a nearby natural area (while practicing social distancing) and take pictures of wildlife, including plants and animals (no pets, please!).
3.) Upload your photos to iNaturalist and tell your friends to join in on the fun! **Children 12 & under can submit their photos via ecoexplore.net.
Get to know the nature near you! This year, as part of the City Nature Challenge, the Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE program has launched a special BioBlitz Bonus Badge. Children in grades K-8 who complete six “challenges” will earn the BioBlitz Bonus Badge and their adult helpers will also receive a North Carolina BioBlitz patch. ecoEXPLORE is an initiative of The North Carolina Arboretum and is free to all North Carolina residents due to the generous support from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation and the Duke Energy Foundation.
For adults looking for an extra challenge this spring, the Arboretum has created a North Carolina BioBlitz patch. To earn the patch, participants will need to create a free iNaturalist account; watch the recorded “Intro to iNaturalist” class; make 50 nature observations during the City Nature Challenge; and help identify 50 species during the Challenge’s “identifying” stage (April 28 – May 3). Students in the Arboretum’s Blue Ridge Naturalist and Blue Ridge Eco-Gardener certificate programs can earn three elective credits if they complete the North Carolina BioBlitz program and one credit if they only take the “Into to iNaturalist” class. Candidates pursuing a North Carolina Environmental Education Certification can also receive these credits