PARK CITY, Utah — Citizen science is a big help to wildlife departments and scientists across the country. Beyond being helpful, finding wildlife, insects, and plants to document can also be fun. This year’s City Nature Challenge is set to kick off on April 28, and last through May 1.
Each sighting will be documented using the iNaturalist app. The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and a combination of counties will be working to meet the annual worldwide challenge in Utah.
Almost 1.7 million observations were made during the 2022 event, in which over 50,000 species were documented by over 67,000 participants across the globe. The overall goal is to document biodiversity in areas, and promote understanding and coexistence with nature.
“The City Nature Challenge is an awesome way to get outside and enjoy the nature all around you,” said Jess Oveson, Lead Naturalist at the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter. “We’re excited to be facilitating so many fun events this year. iNaturalist is such a great way to use technology to enhance your experiences in the outdoors and connect to nature lovers across the globe.”
Swaner will be hosting events in partnership with Basin Recreation, Park City Library, Summit County Library, and the Natural History Museum of Utah. The events are meant to help area residents get involved in the community science effort.
The events will include bio-blitzes (opportunities to take inventory of the nature around you, learn to use iNaturalist, and meet fellow nature lovers) and will take place at the Swaner EcoCenter, including nature walks on the preserve, Park City Library, and Spring Creek trailhead. There will also be story times at the Kimball Junction branch of Summit County Library.
The first event will be on April 28 from 1:30 – 5 p.m. in front of the Swaner EcoCenter with snacks and music.