Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UMass Amherst Libraries

City Nature Challenge: Pioneer Valley

Information and resources on the Pioneer Valley's participation in the 2020 international City Nature Challenge community and citizen science ecology event.

When

Next Year's Challenge (2022):

April 29 - May 2: Collect Observations
May 3 - May 8: ID Species

City Nature Challenge 2021 Promotional Video

Who

Everyone! 

If you are in the Pioneer Valley April 30 - May 3 and can add observations to iNaturalist please do! 

If you want to contribute species IDs to observations in the Pioneer Valley, you can do that from anywhere May 4 -  May 9!
     - Just go to the City Nature Challenge 2021: Pioneer Valley iNaturalist page starting May 4th, click on Observations, and then the Identify button.

What

The City Nature Challenge is a friendly competition* among cities across the globe to see which city can find and document the most plants and wildlife over a four-day period.

In 2021, we urge everyone to follow the health directives of your area, including maintaining social distancing of 6 feet between people, wearing your masks while outside together, and not sharing items like binoculars.  For any observing you want to do in close proximity, please limit to members of your household. 

*In these challenging times the focus of the event has shifted from competition to community building.  Let's all get out there and see what we can find!

Where

Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, USA: Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties
map of the three counties of the Pioneer Valley


See the Where Can I Find Wildlife? page for a more detailed and interactive map.

Why

There is nature all around us—even in our cities. Last year’s challenge saw over 815,000 observations made by more than 41,000 people around the globe.  By making wildlife observations, you are contributing data to scientists and your community, which helps the study and protection of local species.  Previous years' participants have documented species in their areas that were completely surprising, species they did not know were there.

Plus, it's true always but especially in the current stressful pandemic, nature is good for you!  Taking a walk in the fresh air, getting some (but not too much!) sun, letting your senses engage with nature, and letting your mind focus on something other than worry are all good for your health.  Exercise is good for you, sunshine gets you necessary vitamin D, using your eyes and ears to focus on a variety of things rather than just your screen is scientifically proven to be good for them, and taking breaks to de-stress is more important than ever.

Brought to You By...

The Pioneer Valley's participation in the 2020 City nature Challenge is being organized by the UMass Amherst Libraries.  

UMass Amherst Libraries

The overall City Nature Challenge was dreamed up and is coordinated by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.  The very first Challenge in 2016 was just between LA and San Francisco.
 

logos of city nature challenge organizers