COVID 19 and City Nature Challenge -- message from organizers

We know COVID-19 is affecting many of our CNC cities, some much more than others. After much thinking, we have decided to keep the CNC event scheduled for April 24-27 (observations) and April 28-May 3 (identifications). However, we will be making some significant modifications:

This year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a competition.
We want to embrace the collaborative aspect of the CNC this year and the healing power of nature to allow people to document their local biodiversity in whatever way they can.
It is imperative that you follow the regulations of your governments and the organizations where you work.

We have left it up to local organizers if they need to cancel the CNC in their city this year. We support any changes our organizers need to make and hope those that cannot participate this year will join us again in 2021!

As a participant, it is up to you how much or how little you take part! Do only what feels safe for you & your family and is in accordance with all your local regulations.

For cities continuing to participate in CNC 2020:

- It is imperative that you follow the guidelines/recommendations of your local governments & institutions (i.e., limit or cancel events if needed)
- Do what’s best for you & your community

Alternatives to in-person events

Indoors:

- What can people find in their houses? What can they see through their windows?
- Focus on identifications! Can your city go through ALL the observations (not just CNC!) that have already been made in your area but aren’t research grade yet?
- During April 28 - May 3, hold virtual ID parties!

In Backyards:

- Encourage people to put up moth lights or put down cover boards at their houses to help bring nature to them!
- What are the wild plants growing in your backyard?
- What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?

Outside of your home and backyard (if allowed):

- Practice social distancing wherever you go.
- Promote people going outside and making observations on their own/with a small group of their family & friends, instead of joining big events.
- Think about making observations along sidewalks, pavements, roads, or in residential areas if local parks are too crowded for social distancing. Always be mindful of traffic.

If you’re allowed to hold CNC events:

- Keep them outside! Luckily this is what the CNC is all about, but if you were planning an indoor portion of an event, forgo it and keep the whole event outside
- Limit registration
- Practice social distancing (it's best if people stay 2-3m apart)
- Don’t have shared, unwrapped food available - encourage people to bring & eat their own food
- Have places available where people can wash their hands and/or have hand sanitizer
- Don’t pass around binoculars, phones, guidebooks, etc. - everyone should keep their gear to themselves

Stay safe, hang in there, and we can't wait to see what you find - in your houses, in your backyards, along sidewalks, in parks - and know that people all around the world are joining you in documenting nature in whatever way they can during these unprecedented times.
Our thoughts are with all of you,
Alison Young (@kestrel) - California Academy of Sciences and Lila Higgins (@lhiggins) - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Posted by sambiology sambiology, March 18, 2020 21:20

Comments

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Luckily LLELA is still open for the time being.

Posted by tgbirdnerd 2 months ago (Flag)
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We've had to cancel our Moth Night at Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian on April 24.

Posted by cgritz about 2 months ago (Flag)
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It would be great if we had a list of parks/preserves/places that will be open that weekend. Id still love to go to Mockingbird NP by myself if possible. I know that many parks in Dallas are being closed down over Easter weekend. I don't know if that will continue though.

Posted by tadamcochran about 2 months ago (Flag)

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