Learnscape Bioblitz!

The world around us is teeming with life! Come take a closer look at this web of life on Saturday, April 27, by participating in a bioblitz of Nearby Nature’s Learnscape and surrounding areas of Alton Baker Park. Volunteers of all ages will take photos of different plants, animals, insects, and fungi and upload them to iNaturalist for identification and a final species count.

A bioblitz is an event in which volunteers work together within a defined area to observe and identify as many different species as possible in a set amount of time. It’s a fun way to look at nature nearby while creating useful data for science and conservation. You don’t even need to be a skilled naturalist to do it. Can’t tell a maple from a cottonwood? No problem. It’s easy to take a photo with your phone, a camera, or another device. Then, upload the images to iNaturalist and let one of our expert naturalists add the species identification afterward.

Follow the Nearby Nature signs to our site in Alton Baker Park and look for the check-in table by the yurt. Drop-in any time between 9 am and 4 pm and participate for as long as you’d like – though, signing up in advance is still appreciated, since it always helps to know how many people to expect. For those interested in learning from and working alongside an expert, we will have skilled naturalists on hand throughout the day to lead small groups in more focused observation.

More detailed schedule coming soon!

What do you need to participate?

  • A smartphone, handheld device, or camera for making observations (please come even if you don’t have ready access to these)
  • Weather-appropriate clothing – event is rain or shine
  • Your own eyes and curiosity

To help streamline check-in, it’s recommended that you download the iNaturalist app, register your profile, and join the “Nearby Nature Learnscape” and “Alton Baker Park Natural History” projects. During the event, we’ll provide a short training on the use of iNaturalist at the top of each hour as needed. (Or you can get a head-start in learning it yourself.)

Nearby Nature will provide:

  • A WiFi hotspot for uploading photos without using up cellphone data
  • Access to a laptop and card reader for transferring photos from point-and-shoot cameras
  • Bathrooms, water, and light refreshments to keep the bioblitz rolling

Through the use of iNaturalist for observations, all of our efforts on April 27 will automatically contribute to the metro-wide Eugene-Springfield City Nature Challenge, which runs April 26-29 and is part of a friendly international citizen science competition to document wildlife in cities around the world. Observations of the Learnscape will also support Nearby Nature’s own efforts to foster biodiverse habitat within our gardens and outdoor classroom space.

Questions about the event and how to participate may be directed to Shaun Daniel at parkhost@nearbynature.org or by calling 541-687-9699.