Share the Love of The Outdoors

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From Friday, April 24 to Monday, April 27, people of all ages and backgrounds are invited to get outside to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist. The global event, co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, gathers observations via the app for use by scientists and educators.

Due to public health recommendations related to COVID-19, this year’s City Nature Challenge will celebration nature in our backyards and neighborhoods, with social distancing. For detailed information about how the City Nature Challenge is adapting to COVID-19, visit

It’s more important than ever to support communities in new ways. Since 2016, the Boston Area City Nature Challenge steering committee (Brandeis University, New England Aquarium, Earthwise Aware, MassBays National Estuary Partnership, Earthwatch Institute, New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative, Suffolk University, University of Massachusetts, and Zoo New England) has been working collaboratively with dozens of local organizations from Cape Ann to the I-495 corridor, and south to the Cape and Islands to encourage participation.

For both budding and veteran citizen scientists, participating is easy:

1.       Find wildlife! It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your neighborhood, home, backyard, or even through your windows. You might be surprised by how many insects thrive in the nooks and crannies around you.

2.       Take pictures of what you find using iNaturalist. The app can suggest identifications, and local experts will help, too.

3.       If you’re not able to take photos of wildlife, focus your efforts on identifying species documented in your area, especially during the identification period of April 28 – May 3.

This influx of information gives scientists, educators, urban planners, and policymakers insight into the biodiversity of urban locales throughout the world. Scientists can’t be everywhere at once, so without community observations, they’d miss some incredible finds.

Signing up is easy and free. Visit from your browser, or download iNaturalist from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

For more information, visit:

●        General Information and Education Toolkit:

●        Boston Area CNC website: 

●        2020 City Nature Challenge Boston Area Project:

Also, follow along on Social Media using the hashtag #CityNatureChallenge and following Twitter/Instagram/Facebook handle: @bostoncnc

  Metrowest Mamas does its best to make the event information listed as accurate as possible, but event and venue information is subject to change without notice, and Metrowest Mamas is not responsible for erroneous information or the reliance upon it. Always call your destinations ahead of time to confirm dates, times, locations and admission fees.  

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