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UMass Amherst Libraries

City Nature Challenge 2020: Pioneer Valley

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

City Nature Challenge 2020 Promotional Video

Who

Everyone! 

If you are in the Pioneer Valley April 24 - 27 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 April 24 -  May 3!
     - Just go to the City Nature Challenge 2020: Pioneer Valley iNaturalist page starting April 24th, 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 2020, we urge everyone to follow the health directives of your area, including maintaining social distancing of 6 feet between people, and not sharing items like binoculars.  Please enjoy nature on your own or with members of your household. 

*We've also shifted the focus of the event from competition to community building in this trying time.  Let's all get out there and see what we can find!

When

April 24 - 27: Collect Observations 

April 28 - May 3: ID Species

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 nearly 1 million observations made by 35,000 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