This spring Vail joins 150 other cities on six continents competing to see which community can make the most observations of nature, find the most species and engage the most people in the 2019 City Nature Challenge.
Started in 2016 for the first-ever Citizen Science Day, the original City Nature Challenge was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity. Over 20,000 observations were made by more than 1,000 people in a one-week period, cataloging approximately 1,600 species in each location, including new records for both areas. By 2018, the CNC became an international event.
Residents and guests throughout the Eagle Valley are asked to join the 2019 City Nature Challenge Vail project by downloading the iNaturalist App to explore nature all around them and to use the app to document the species they find. The challenge takes place April 26-29 and results will be announced on May 6.
To prepare for the challenge, the Town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Team will sponsor a workshop on how to identify native plants and animals and to log those observations on the iNaturalist App. This free workshop, led by Pete Wadden, watershed education coordinator, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. After some time in the classroom learning to use the app, attendees will venture out on the trail to practice their new skills.
According to Wadden, knowing which species are in our community and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the only way to do that is by all of us - scientists, land managers, and the community - working together to find and document the flora and fauna in our area. “By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but you can also make your city a better place - for you and other species,” says Wadden.
For more information or to RSVP for the upcoming workshop, contact Wadden at email@example.com, or call 970-479-2144.