What is the City Nature Challenge?
Invented by citizen science staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Lila Higgins) and California Academy of Sciences (Alison Young). The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made some modifications to City Nature Challenge 2020 to help keep our organizers and participants safe. Firstly, CNC 2020 pivoted to be a collaboration rather than a competition. Instead, we wanted to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the celebratory aspect of the CNC. This allowed people to safely document biodiversity in whatever way they could, even from the safety of their own homes. We urged all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by their local governments, as they are changed in real-time. Individual safety and public health were and will be our utmost priority. The decision as to whether CNC 2021 will be a competition or collaboration will be announced in 2021.
Why participate in the City Nature Challenge?
There is nature all around us, even in our cities! Knowing what species are in our city and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the ONLY way to do that is by all of us – scientists, land managers, and the community – working together to find and document the nature in our area. By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but you can also make your city a better place – for you and other species!