“Colorado Springs is excited to once again join this effort to help provide important insight about the biodiversity of urban areas,” said Cody Sutton, natural resources specialist with the parks department. “This has become a fun, annual springtime tradition, and we hope people of all ages will join the fun, learn something new about the world around them, and help scientists learn more about the biodiversity of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.”
Participating is easy:
- Find wildlife (plant, animal, fungi, or any evidence of life such as scat, fur or tracks)
- Take a picture of what you find and note the location of the critter or plant
- Share your observation by uploading your findings through iNaturalist
The City Nature Challenge was started in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. Colorado Springs has taken part since 2019. For more information, visit CityNatureChallenge.com and iNaturalist.org.
New this year, there will be several events to support the initiative in Garden of the Gods Park:
Friday, April 29 – Starting at 3:15 p.m., Nick Darling, park interpreter, will lead a hike to cover the ecology, geology and history of Garden of the Gods. Participants will also document findings on the iNaturalist app. Bring water and the appropriate footwear for a 2-mile hike. More information and registration can be found at GardenOfGods.com.
Saturday, April 30 – Motorless Morning will close the roads in the park to motor vehicles from 5 a.m.-noon, which makes it a great time to walk through the park and record wildlife that is not often seen. Visitors are typically able to hear more birds singing and notice more animals coming out of hiding when there are no cars driving through the park. More at ColoradoSprings.gov/MotorlessMorning.
Monday, May 2 – Take part in a scavenger hunt. Stop by the table in the downstairs lobby of the Visitor & Nature Center to pick up a scavenger hunt card of plants and animals to record in the park. Make sure to add them to the iNaturalist app too. Return to the table after you’ve completed your scavenger hunt for a prize.