February 03, 2020

Feb. 10. 12 - 3 pm. CNC Meet-up! Join us to learn more. Explore Possibilities! @ Franklin Park Zoo

Hello City Nature Challenge Community!

Have you let us know that you’re joining in the 2020 City Nature Challenge? Still have some questions? Interested but not sure if it is a right fit? Planning on participating but haven’t registered as a collaborating organization for 2020? Don’t worry, there is still time… and in the meantime, why don’t your join us next week to explore the possibilities?

Whether you’ve already signed up or are still considering your options, we hope you’ll join us -- the CNC Boston steering committee -- at our first-ever City Nature Challenge Meet-up on February 10 from 12 - 3 pm at the Franklin Park Zoo! It’s free, and there will be snacks, and it will be a great chance to get together with others interested in supporting the CNC to engage our community in citizen science and documenting biodiversity in our area.

Use this google form to let us know your coming! In the form, you’ll also be able to indicate if you are a returning organization, or joining for the first-time. We’re also asking a couple of questions to find out what type of training or collaborations you might be interested in.

During the CNC Meet-up you’ll have an opportunity to participate in ‘How to iNat workshops’ for both new and advanced users, share ideas for how to engage your community, learn about Data Quests, and have all of your questions about the CNC answered. We look forward to connecting!

This year the CNC will have about 200 cities participating in this global effort to document urban biodiversity. The 2020 CNC: Boston Area will now include within the I-495 corridor, out to Stellwagen Bank, and include Cape Cod and islands. You and your organization can help boost Boston to the top of the leaderboard by making observations from April 24 - 27 and/or helping to identify observations from April 28 - May 3, 2020. Check out our website to learn more! You can also view our ‘Welcome Webinar’ from Jan. 13 on the CNC YouTube Channel. You’ll see it is divided into three parts: part 1 covers an overview of the CNC (including how to get involved), part 2 covers iNaturalist essentials, and part 3 is an open Q & A.

Thanks, we look forward to seeing you soon!

The CNC Steering Committee

Boston Area City Nature Challenge Steering Committee:
Aimee Bonanno, New England Aquarium and New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative
Colleen Hitchcock, Brandeis University
Claire O’Neill, Earthwise Aware
Eliza Forman and John Anderson, Zoo New England
Peter Burn, Suffolk University
Pam DiBona, MassBays National Estuary Partnership
Stan Rullman, Kim Arlen, and Mark Chandler, Earthwatch Institute
Rob Stevenson, University of Massachusetts Boston

Posted on February 03, 2020 13:01 by hitchco hitchco | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 24, 2018

Continued Involvement

Amazing job to everyone who participated in the City Nature Challenge 2018: Boston Area! Together, 287 people have collected 521 skunk cabbage observations in our region. Thanks to your hard work, Eastern skunk cabbage was the second most recorded species in this project. See more of the Challenge results at:

Even though the City Nature Challenge has concluded for 2018, the Spring Marvels data quest is still going. This is a continuous data collection project, meaning your observations will contribute to an important research throughout the year. Let's keep up the momentum and observe even more occurrences of skunk cabbages and their ecologically vital wetland habitats!

Posted on May 24, 2018 15:02 by zoefoster zoefoster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 19, 2018

Guided Observation Events

Are you having trouble making observations? Would you like to meet fellow nature enthusiasts? You should attend a guided observation event. Several researchers and organizations are hosting City Nature Challenge (CNC) walks and we want you to attend! You will work with other naturalists and citizen scientists to take quality observations and learn how to identify local species.

Wetland Wonders

  • When: Sunday, April 29, 9:00am-11:00am
  • Where: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA
  • Description: Join us to explore the plant species found in this urban wetland and learn about the birds, insects and other wildlife that call it home. This event is open to guests of all ages, and you’ll need a smartphone with a camera to participate in the citizen science portion. Be sure to wear boots or waterproof shoes!

Learn more about this and other CNC events at:

Posted on April 19, 2018 16:30 by zoefoster zoefoster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2018

Field Guide

Are you having trouble collecting Eastern skunk cabbage observations? Check out these materials! This field guide will teach you where to collect observations, how to properly photograph specimens, and how to identify this plant species. Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) biodiversity cards will provide interesting information about skunk cabbage traits, conservation status, as well as identification assistance.

Quest introduction: www.drive.google.com/file/d/1b2hfXTqbQj1Z2UAfSM_VVYU4Tu-YGDAD/view?usp=sharing
Field species guide: www.drive.google.com/file/d/1hKklOFhIA8lwSOjXSscuvdhUq-6cQ8mE/view?usp=sharing
EOL biodiversity cards: www.drive.google.com/file/d/1XltuhrDfeeY5JXj6r8GsEwzUNbuGuww5/view?usp=sharing

Posted on April 12, 2018 17:54 by zoefoster zoefoster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 20, 2018

First Day of Spring

Happy Spring Equinox to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere! This is a very exciting time for our Spring Marvels data quest. Though it may not be evident with all the snow on the ground, the Boston area is warming up, and the many forms of life that are not seen over winter will soon be thriving. A wonderful way to celebrate the start of Spring is to take a walk in a local woodland or wetland area and observe the blooming skunk cabbage.

Skunk cabbage is an ecological indicator of seasonal wetlands. Your observations will document the presence of this plant and help us to map wetlands amidst our urban landscape - allowing us to manage development to minimize impact to these important and threatened ecosystems.

Learn more about this vital species and learn where you can find them at:

Posted on March 20, 2018 16:08 by zoefoster zoefoster | 0 comments | Leave a comment