May 11, 2017

City Nature Challenge 2017 - Washington Square Park


To the question, Which city can observe the most nature?, the answer is Dallas/Fort Worth. Sixteen cities participated in the second annual City Nature Challenge (CNC) and 510 citizen scientists made a whopping 24,170 observations of 2311 species. Texas had two other cities in the top 5: Austin and Houston in fourth and fifth places. The second and third spots were filled by San Francisco (23,193 obs) and Los Angeles (18,372). In the first annual CNC between Los Angeles and San Francisco, LA eked out a surprise win. New York City placed ninth with 3862 observations, 675 species, and 155 participants.

I participated as @wspecoprojects and logged 19 observations in Washington Square Park between April 14 and 18, the duration of the challenge. I made an additional 75 observations in the park and the surrounding neighborhood as @localecologist. Check out some of my observations below. You can use iNaturalist to log your wildlife, plants & fungi observations in Washington Square Park.



Two of my favorite things about participating in the City Nature Nature Challenge was meeting Kelly O'Donnell, an evolutionary ecologist at CUNY Macaulay Honors College and listening to my children say whenever I took out my phone that weekend, "you're taking nature pictures."

Was your city one of the CNC 2017 Cities? Share your story with us in the comments!

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