Welcome to the City Nature Challenge 2018: Chicago!

Welcome to the City Nature Challenge 2018: Chicago! While we settle into winter (I'm already eagerly awaiting baby spring wildflower sprouts) I thought I'd put some information out here introducing the challenge, as well as some feelers to see if anyone is interested in organizing an event during the challenge timeframe.

What is the City Nature Challenge?
The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a friendly bioblitz-style competition between urban areas all around the world. It began in 2016 between just Los Angeles and San Francisco and has since expanded worldwide, with 65 cities on 5 continents so far planning on participating in 2018. The Challenge aims to engage city residents and visitors in documenting urban nature using iNaturalist to better understand our urban biodiversity. Anyone can take part. Just upload observations of animals, plants, fungi, and other creatures to iNaturalist using the mobile app or website. It’s a fun and easy way to learn about urban nature while simultaneously adding your observations of nature to iNaturalist's global biodiversity database. The official website is citynaturechallenge.org, but it's still under construction for 2018 as different cities join the project.

When?
It runs from Friday, April 27th through Monday, April 30th, 2018. A full 96 hours of pure nature nerdery.

What the...that's so far from now. How am I ever going to remember to participate?
Join this project and you'll get pinged on iNat when there are project updates.

But is it just in Chicago? I don't live in Chicago.
No! Last year we limited the challenge to Cook County, Illinois but this year we've opted to expand to the entire Chicago Wilderness region to be more in line with other metro areas acreages and populations. View the homepage of this project for a map of the CW region. It's big!

How can I participate?
-log observations on iNaturalist using the app or directly at iNaturalist.org as you already do
-help other folks identify their observations
-attend an event during the CNC
-organize an event during the CNC
-incorporate the use of iNaturalist into your existing activities, whether as an educator, during a habitat restoration workday, or when your niece tells you about the cool roly poly she found
-promote the CNC/iNaturalist among your audiences
-?

So...did we win in 2017?
Well...the challenge took place in early April and we were competing against subtropical cities, so I'll let you guess, but you can see last year's leaderboard here, as well as a summary of results here. We did have 2555 observations of 532 species made by 144 different people which is pretty amazing! We also won the prize of "City with highest percentage of verifiable observations making it to Research Grade." Fit that on a trophy.

How is this any different from how I already use iNaturalist?
It's not too different, but you may notice an influx of new users during the timeframe of the challenge. I'm really hoping some folks will organize public events during the challenge timeframe. Maybe meet some of your iNat friends in person! That could be a mini bioblitz at your favorite park, an identification party, a wildflower walk, a bird nerdout, or a log-flipping fiesta. What do you think?

@adye @aleksandra3 @amendez @andrewstpaul @andriy @ashleywold @astake @bmorrisett @brendan20 @bwagner @cardnoclare @caseyaceae @charles18 @chi_kid_naturalists @citymouse @cpdlauren @cqlanus @d_coulter @danders4 @dbild @debantlitz @dorothybayern @dougtaron @droberts49 @dsuarez @dylanfaughn @eattaway92 @ekrimmel @elfaulkner @eriko @evan8 @evelyngarcia @ewarden @flexfolks @hikebikerun13 @hollykatz @irmela @isaac_krone @jackassgardener @jamie53 @janebaldwin @jeanfrancoisroch @jeffcramer @jetteth @jilldoub @jmpatton @joelle @jordan64 @jvreeland @kathleensoler @kennedy9094 @kevinwhiteloyola @kiara4 @kjack125 @kumar2 @lala @lifeondakinstreet @martinlucas @maxclifford @mepatter @michellerabkin @missgreen @mjdiaz5 @molanic @mtienes @nfurlan @nicole117 @nuthatch75 @prairieclover @psweet @randyshonkwiler @reptilianreprobate @rgraveolens @rheinrichs @rlevine @sanguinaria33 @saucerful @scoobbi @scottmohan @shannon63 @skrentnyjeff @spices_july_2005 @tamandua2 @timidlittleturtle @xyz

Posted by bouteloua bouteloua, December 02, 2017 00:47

Comments

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I'm in!! Will give some thought as to strategic sites for organizing a mini event.

Posted by missgreen almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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Really enjoyed last year's City Nature Challenge, HATED the WHEN. Late April is better, but mid-May would be even better! That said, I am in again for 2018. Spring bird migrants will be showing up and spring flowers and trees and insects... Can't wait and thanks for the early heads up for planning.

Can we get to 5000 observations from 250 or more people? I think that would be TOTALLY possible!

Posted by skrentnyjeff almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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Cassi, could you explain the geographical area for us? I did not expect to see that when I looked.

Posted by skrentnyjeff almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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I think we will double our observation count pretty easily :)

As far as the geographical area, it comes from the actual organization Chicago Wilderness: https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/illinois/howwework/cw-region-map.pdf

Posted by bouteloua almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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Totally in. Having the Chicago Wilderness Region will help out a lot I suspect. Plus it gives us a wider group of people and places that can participate and be part of the team! And I think Jeff's goal is totally doable.

Posted by ewarden almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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If we were to coordinate even minimally in organizing local mini-blitzes across this region, we could ensure that as a group we're able to contribute, in addition to the spring ephemerals and backyard birds, observations of plants and critters from some of the more unusual habitats (e.g., fens, dunes, bogs, dolomite prairies).

Posted by missgreen almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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@missgreen AGREE!

I am already considering a month long April bioblitz at LaBagh Woods, my local patch, to culminate with the event the last days of April. But I will gladly go to a bioblitz for at least two of the days in question... Saving at least one day for running around collecting birds for the effort.

Posted by skrentnyjeff almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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Goooooo Chicago! Cheering you on from D.C.! :-D

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 3 years ago (Flag)

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