City Nature Challenge, 2018

Hi everyone,

Gordon Dietzman here, administrator of The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area project and National Park Ranger. We now have over 2100 observations and nearly 430 species in just a few short months of the project's existance. That's pretty good in my mind and thanks to all of you who are members and have contributed your observations to the project. I appreciate it so much!

Have you heard of the City Nature Challenge 2018? Using iNaturalist cities are going to "compete" in finding observations over the course of several days later this month. I'm kind of ambivalent about the competition part of it (being that we are just leaving our cold season and competing with cities that are warm year-round--well, maybe we can beat Duluth...grin), but I am enthusiastic about getting out and going for a hike with camera and cell phone in hand to document the life along the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities area. And it would be great to either see you again or to meet you for the first time.

As a result, I'm putting together a public program at our Coldwater Spring unit (5601 Minnehaha Drive South, Minneapolis, MN 55111), near Minnehaha Regional Park in Minneapolis for April 29, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 pm. We will start with a short hike to aquaint participants with the area and its rich natural and cultural history (and to stretch those couch-weary, winter legs). Then we will spread out along Coldwater's trails to find observations and post them to the "City Nature Challenge 2018" and "The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area" project.

This program is open to the public with instructions that they should arrive with their cameras and/or the app on their phone and an iNaturalist Acount. If you could lend your expertise to help the uninitiated, that would be fantastic, but isn't required. I see this as a pretty informal program and for fun, to get outside, to help others better understand our world, exhale indoor air and suck in outdoor air, and to kick off another iNaturalist season along the Mississippi River.

Free parking is available at Coldwater for about 10-12 cars. Additional parking (fee-based) is available on the access road.

Learn more about the City Nature Challenge at and local efforts at .

Questions? Comments? Let me know. You can contact me here or through my work e-mail at

Posted by gordon_dietzman gordon_dietzman, April 19, 2018 16:57


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