Looking for fun activity to get outside and enjoy nature?
Join Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Audubon Society, and other groups in a fun challenge to see which city can document the most species. It is easy to participate by joining an event, or making observations on your own using the iNaturalist app.
This is a nationwide effort to get out, observe and document the incredible biological diversity found within the city, and surrounding areas. The City Nature Challenge is organized by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences.
Which city will win?
In Texas, the competition is between Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston. The Dallas Park and Recreation Department wants to help ensure that the Dallas/Fort Worth area wins the Texas portion of the competition, and hopefully the national level competition!
Dallas parks are a great area to get out and record a lot of different plants, animals, and insects. We are literally looking for any living organism found in Dallas. White Rock Lake and Harry S. Moss Parks have a wide variety of birds, prairie grasses and flowers, and insects. The river bottom forested parks like William Blaire Jr. and LB Houston Nature Area have an incredible diversity of trees. Want to see something completely different than most of Dallas, check out the parks around the escarpment, Emerald Lake and Cedar Ridge Preserve. The natural areas in Keist Park and Crawford Memorial Park hold an amazing diversity of plants and animals, you just have to look real close.
To participate, simply add the iNaturalist app to your smartphone or create an account within iNaturalist on your home computer. All you have to do is hit the “add observation” button, shoot a photo, fill in some basic information, and hit the check/sync button. Project administrators can then capture any needed data for the observation, and assist with the identification of your observed species.
To help with this effort, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s Urban Biologist, Brett Johnson, will be hosting an iNaturalist training event on Friday morning: