City Nature Challenge 2021

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Have you ever heard of a bioblitz? It’s a way for scientists, naturalists, and community volunteers to come together for a brief period of time to survey all the bio-diversity in a given area. The interconnectedness allowed by technology allows communities, especially in cities, to collaborate in documenting the natural world like never before.

Your playground’s butterfly and vegetable gardens, trees, and other planting areas make a perfect place to participate in this global collaboration called the City Nature Challenge 2021! Students are welcome to participate individually or you can facilitate a citizen-science observation session as a class.

They’ve compiled some excellent tips on taking your students outside (applicable to all outdoor learning endeavors) here.

  • The free app iNaturalist lets students easily upload the photos they take, and offers suggestion for identifying the species they’ve documented based on location.
  • The app also facilitates discussions within the community so that students share their observations and confirm their findings.
  • Students observations get vetted and shared with real scientists working to better understand and protect nature!
  • Use the projects incredible selection of Educator Basecamp Resources to tie these nature observations into your classroom’s curriculum. They’ve got a menu of lessons and activities aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards for K-12, Higher Ed, and the General Public.

Send us pictures of your students capturing species in their NYC Playgrounds, and/or let us know if you’d like support in leading an event!

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