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If you’re looking for a reason to enjoy the great outdoors a little more this spring, the Chandler Nature Center is inviting the community to participate in the 2022 City Nature Challenge.
A four-day, global bio blitz, City Nature Challenge invites regions to discover nature in their immediate surroundings outside their front doors, their yard, or anywhere nature is found where they can safely and responsibly explore. Nature can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, or evidence of life – fur, tracks, shells, scat, etc.
From Apr. 29 through May 2, Chandler is one of four organizations hosting the Greater Phoenix Area City Nature Challenge encouraging the community to look at nature, take photos, and put them in the iNaturalist app to document all they can find.
“If you can do Instagram, you can do this – it’s that easy,” said Theo Anglin, Recreation Coordinator at the Chandler Nature Center. All ages are welcome from toddlers to retirees. “Kids often make great citizen scientists because they tend to be curious and are good at following precise directions.”
Chandler Nature Center will be hosting two open house days in April, which coincidently is Citizen Science Month, Friday, Apr. 29 and Saturday, Apr. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon. The open house is an opportunity for the community to learn more about citizen science, how to participate in the Challenge, and connect the iNaturalist app to their personal device.
Participants do not have to wait for the Challenge to begin to sign-up and start taking photos. In fact, Anglin recommends compiling photos and video now. “Once you download the app, you can use it right away, year-round,” he said.
Grab photos and video during your daily walk or run in the park. If you’re outside getting some playtime, keep an eye out for flora and fauna along the way and snap photos and save them to your phone.
Participants are encouraged to upload saved photos of their observations during the City Nature Challenge timeframe to help Chandler rise in the ranks.
In 2021, 52,777 people from 419 cities contributed more than 1.2 million observations worldwide.
“Biodiversity is everywhere even in thriving urban areas like Chandler,” explained Anglin. “This program is not only a great way to celebrate the healing power of nature with friends and family, but also a great way for Chandler to learn about the many creatures and plants we encounter every day.”
For more information visit Chandler’s City Nature Challenge page to find links to the Greater Phoenix Area project, iNaturalist app, and to learn more about the global project.