Looking for a fun activity to get outside and enjoy nature? If so, join us for the 2017 Nature City Challenge on April 14-18. It’s a nationwide effort to get out, observe and document the incredible biological diversity found within the city, and surrounding areas. The City Nature Challenge is organized by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences.
In Texas, the competition is between Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston. The Dallas Park and Recreation Department want to help ensure that the Dallas/Fort Worth area wins the Texas portion of the competition, and hopefully the national level competition.
Dallas parks are the perfect place for exploring and then recording the diverse plants, animals and insects one encounters. We are literally looking for any living organism found in Dallas. White Rock Lake and Harry S. Moss Parks have a wide variety of birds, prairie grasses and flowers, and insects. The river bottom forested parks like William Blaire Jr. and L.B. Houston Nature Area have an incredible diversity of trees. Want to see something completely different than most of Dallas, check out the parks around the escarpment, Emerald Lake and Cedar Ridge Preserve. The natural areas in Keist Park and Crawford Memorial Park hold an amazing diversity of plants and animals, you just have to look real close.
To participate, simply add the iNaturalist app to your smartphone and create an account within iNaturalist. Then all you have to do is hit the “add observation” button, shoot a photo, fill in some basic information, and hit the check/sync button. Project administrators can then capture any needed data for the observation, and assist with the identification of your observed species.
To help with this effort, Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s Urban Biologist, Brett Johnson, host an iNaturalist training event on Friday, April 14 at the Bath House Cultural Center (521 E Lawther Dr, Dallas) at 8:30 a.m.
Get out there, enjoy nature, and let’s discover the diversity of plants, animals, and insects living in Dallas.