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City Nature Challenge Happening this Weekend

(Pre-construction pic)

If you love plants and animals as much as me, there is a cool event happening this weekend that you can participate in. The City Nature Challenge is an international event that asks people around the world to find and document wildlife in their own cities. The Virgin Islands National Park is participating in the event, so if you are lucky enough to be on St. John tomorrow through Monday, you can join the fun. Not on St. John? No problem! Numerous cities around the country are participating too!

The City Nature Challenge asks participants to do three things:

  1. Find wildlife. It can be any plant, animal or other evidence of life found in your city.
  2. Take a picture or record a sound. Be sure to note the location of the plant or animal.
  3. Share your observations through the iNaturalist app (or your city’s chosen platform). We are using i-Naturalist down here in the Virgin Islands. Tip: If it’s planted or taken care of by people, it is not wild. Mark those captive or cultivated.

Participants are asked to take pictures from April 26th through April 29th. All images will be identified from April 30th through May 5th. The results will be announced on May 6th.

The City Nature Challenge began in 2016 as a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Here is what they had to say about this year’s event:

“There is nature all around us! 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!”

Staff from the Virgin Islands National park will be available at Cinnamon Bay from 7 a.m. to noon Friday through Monday to introduce guests to the i-Naturalist app and to provide information about the event. Guided bird walks, plant identification walks, and seashore walks will be offered daily, as well as a moth program on Saturday night. Click here to see that schedule.

Click here to learn more about the City Nature Challenge.

Click here for a full list of participating cities. 

Want to learn more about St. John? Looking to take an island tour?

Learn more here –> See the island of St. John with a resident. See the nooks and crannies that many visitors miss. Explore the beaches, historical sites, perhaps a tiki bar or two, and much more. Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

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