Carbon County is participating in 2021’s City Nature Challenge! In partnership between Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, the City of Red Lodge, Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Hero’s STEAM Centre, we are bringing this Bio-Blitz to area April 30th – May 9th. The City Nature Challenge was initiated by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of LA as a way to get the community involved in identifying native plants and animals in their area. Since 2016, this event has grown international in scale! Carbon County is the only area with in Montana participating this year but are 1 of over 400 worldwide. As part of the Northern Rockies Challenge, we have been challenged by Bonner County, ID and the City of Boise in friendly competition to see who can make the most identifications per capita. While we may have the smallest population, we know Carbon County has a kaleidoscope of flora and fauna and just as many enthusiastic naturalists!
The City Nature Challenge is a two-part event. For part one from April 30-May 3, citizen-scientists of all ages and abilities capture images of plant and animal specimens and upload them to the web-based platform iNaturalist. During these days, Hero’s STEAM Center will help facilitate taking photos and uploading them to the website. Further, volunteers will help parents, educators, and group leaders to facilitate specimen collection activities. Stop by the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary for activities and more information over the weekend!
In part two from May 4-May 9, keen-eyed experts can log on to iNaturalist to identify specimens photographed in part one! Montana is beaming with opportunities for discovery, and you can help scientists by identifying species. You may just uncover a new observation in the scientific community!
We will be running two virtual trainings to help familiarize folks with the iNaturalists platforms and give ideas on activities. The trainings will take place Tuesday, April 20th, 1:00 – 1:30 pm and Friday, April 23rd, 6:00 – 6:30 pm.
For more information, please visit our website at https://www.cityofredlodge.net/bc-parksb/page/city-nature-challenge