The City Nature Challenge 2021 runs from April 30 - May 3. Only observations taken on those 4 days will be counted.
- We do get an additional 6 days, May 4 - May 9, to add any photos taken during the Observation days to iNaturalist. We also have these days to add IDs to observations to bring them up to Research Grade!
The Pioneer Valley is defined as Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden counties in Massachusetts. Only observations taken within these geographic boundaries will be counted.
Please follow all of the recommendations of your area for avoiding COVID-19! For Massachusetts, our guidelines include statements about how to protect yourself and others when outside: wear your mask, and maintain 6 feet from others at all times.
Some tips for staying safe while taking observations include:
Keep in mind the virtual social options available!
Find any WILD plant, animal, or fungus in your backyard, campus, sidewalk cracks, mountain paths, river banks - anywhere in the Pioneer Valley. Please avoid landscaped areas planted by people, pets, zoos, etc.
Be sure to record where you were when you took the picture - the iNaturalist app and most smartphone cameras do this automatically. Remember, only observations in the three counties will count!
The iNaturalist app also combines step 3 and 4 (below) in with this step.
*Birdcalls that are unique to a species also count. As well as pictures of evidence of species, such as distinctive tracks and shed feathers.
Upload your findings to iNaturalist, through the app on your phone or in a browser on your computer at iNaturalist.org.
This way all of the participating cities have an easy way to compare our results.
Identify the species of observations collected during the first phase of the challenge online at iNaturalist. Try to stick to the ones from the Pioneer Valley!