Every year the community science platform iNaturalist organizes the City Nature Challenge, a friendly competition between cities all over the world to see who can find the most species, make the most observations, and involve the most people in community science. This year the Challenge will take place from April 29 to May 2, but we’ll be focusing our efforts on April 30 and contributing our observations to the Washington, DC Metro Area team.
On April 30 from 10AM to 4PM, we will have tables where you can learn how to use iNaturalist, get a map to your very own little patch of the property to survey and photograph, see examples of a few common species, and play a game to practice using a dichotomous key. The only thing you need in order to participate is a camera or phone and a willingness to slow down and look closely. (It would help to download the iNaturalist app before you arrive.) Don’t worry about identifying all of the plants, animals, and fungi you photograph! iNaturalist will help you make a good guess and nerds from around the world (or here at Clifton) will identify them the following week.
Here at the Clifton Institute we use iNaturalist every day to keep track of what we find on our property. The current count is a whopping 2,127 species! This is a great way for families and adults alike to help us grow that number, spend some time outside during a beautiful time of year, and learn about Virginia’s plants and animals.
Age: All ages. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)
Bring: Please bring your smartphone or a camera.
Weather policy: Date and time subject to change dependent on weather. Please check our Facebook page on the morning of the event in case of inclement weather.
COVID-19 Information: This program will be entirely outdoors (an outside porta potty will be available). Please do not attend if you are experiencing or have experienced in the last two weeks any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.).
By attending this event, you are affirming that you have read and agree to our liability release policy.
We look forward to seeing you at the Clifton Institute!