City Nature Challenge
City Nature Challenge is an international four-day bioblitz that encourages folks to get outside, take as many pictures of plants and animals they find in the wild, and upload them to their iNaturalist app. This event is ordinarily a friendly challenge between cities, but this year the organizers want to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the collaborative aspect of the City Nature Challenge. The Challenge takes place in 2 parts: For 2021, April 30-May 3 ,taking pictures of wild plants and animals. April 30-May 9, identifying what was found. Learn more.
Local Online Resources
Pacific Science Center – lots of videos and activities to do at home (spiders, etc.) Facebook Live every morning at 11:00 am.
Woodland Park Zoo – Activities for families.
Kid’s Quest Museum – Activities with stories, science projects, art projects on YouTube Channel
Longwood Gardens: Learn about Carnivorous Plants through a Virtual Field Trip at Longwood Gardens (grades 3-8)
Missouri Botanical Garden: Biology of Plants, grades 1–3. Based on the MBG video series of the same name, this site introduces plants to young children. Concepts such as photosynthesis, pollination, seed dispersal and adaptation are explained. Classroom lesson plans are available for download with activities.
US Botanical Garden: Has a coloring book you can download – fun for adults too!
April is Citizen Science Month!
While we are all home walking around our neighborhoods, how about getting involved in helping with a citizen science project? Great for adults or families! Here are some links to get you started:
Budburst (Chicago Botanic Garden): Monitor plants as the seasons change.
Celebrate Urban Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology): 4 easy steps: 1) learn to identify birds (16 main US birds; 4 bird species for Washington state) 2) choose an area 3) watch birds for 10 minutes a day for 3 days 4) report your results online
SciStarter: Starting place to find projects. Try searching on “bees”, “frogs”, “balloon breakdown”, “plants” or any topic that interests you. Note: Chrome browser works best.
Plantsnap: This is a plant i.d. app for your iOS or Android device. This is a fun tool to play around with and by using the app you can help to make it better. There is also an opportunity to share thoughts and photos with others.
Journey North: Record migration-related butterfly and other animal sightings.
Zooniverse: Quite a few of these projects involve analyzing pictures of animals in the wild and celestial bodies.
Photo: © Steven Smith | Dreamstime.com