Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

N.C. science museum seeks public's help in contest to document nature

Posted April 10

Prairie Ridge Ecostation, part of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences offers visitors 45 acres of Piedmont prairie, forest, ponds, and stream near downtown Raleigh.

This might be a fun spring break activity for families...

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh is participating in the City Nature Challenge. The competition, according to the museum's website, "pits several American cities against each other to see who can document the most biodiversity on the iNaturalist app over a five-day period."

Raleigh is competing against some pretty big cities - Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Boston among them. But, says the museum's website, "North Carolina’s amazing biodiversity and the great urban wildlife we see every day can help us win."

To help North Carolina win, the state will likely need more than 15,000 submissions.

Here's how the public can help:

  • Take a picture of Triangle area plants, animals and fungi from April 14 to April 18.
  • Download the free iNaturalist app and submit those photos by April 30.

The museum has prizes for the top three local contributors to thank them for participating.

To get people started, the museum is offering some events this weekend. Here are the details:

  • On Friday, the museum's Nature Research Center will offer special biodiversity-themed talks in the SECU Daily Planet Theater, hands-on training in how to use iNaturalist, and opportunities to go outside and collect data around the Museum with an iNaturalist expert. There will be a cart outside the Naturalist Center with more information.
  • On Saturday, visit Prairie Ridge Ecostation to help document the wildlife. They'll have guided nature hikes throughout the day and hands-on iNaturalist training.

More information, including links to download the iNaturalist app for both Apple and Android, are on the museum's website.

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