Published on April 25, 2022

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department has joined the multicity, global event called City Nature Challenge. More than 350 cities worldwide will participate April 29-May 2. Nature and science fans of all ages are asked to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi using the free app, iNaturalist. Scientists can use the collected pools of data to better understand and conserve urban wildlife habitat. 

“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:

  1. Find wildlife (plant, animal, fungi, or any evidence of life such as scat, fur or tracks)
  2. Take a picture of what you find and note the location of the critter or plant
  3. 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 and  

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  

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  

Sunday, May 1 – Join us for a BioBlitz from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. to help record all the different types of living creatures who call Garden of the Gods home with the iNaturalist app. Stop by the table in the downstairs lobby of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center to be assigned to a section of trail. Return to the table after you’ve completed your trail for a prize.

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.

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