City Nature Challenge

City Nature Challenge 2020 logoCity Nature Challenge 2020
Friday, April 24–Monday, April 27

The 2020 City Nature Challenge is almost here!

As citizen science (also known as community science) initiatives increase in popularity, this year’s fifth annual City Nature Challenge is set to take place in cities throughout the world.

The global event, co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist.

From Friday, April 24 to Monday, April 27, participants can upload their observations to the app, with identifications happening from Tuesday, April 28 to Sunday, May 3. Final results will be announced on Monday, May 4.

We know COVID-19 will significantly impact our 2020 City Nature Challenge project. After much thinking, we have decided to keep the City Nature Challenge event scheduled for April 24–27 (observations) and April 28–May 3 (identifications). However, we will be making some significant modifications: 

This year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a competition. 

We want to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community, and celebrate the healing power of nature as people document their local biodiversity to the best of their ability. We want people around the world to have the opportunity to participate, while still following all federal and local recommendations to keep communities safe.

As a participant, it is up to you how much or how little you take part! Do only what feels safe for you and your family. Follow all government health-safeguarding regulations!

Here in the St. Louis area, we realize that in-person events are likely not going to happen. But since we're still allowed to go outside, let's enjoy and document nature in whatever ways we feel we can! Being outdoors can also help to lower stress levels and increase overall feelings of well-being, so take care of yourselves by being in nature if you're able to.

Here are some suggestions to explore nature in and around your backyard:


In Backyards: 

  • Put up bird feeders or moth lights, or put down cover boards to bring nature to you! 
  • What are the wild plants growing in your backyard?
  • What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?

Stay safe, hang in there. We can't wait to see what you find in your houses, in your backyards, along sidewalks, in parks. Know that people all around the world are joining you in documenting nature in whatever way they can, even during these uncertain times.


A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region

Supported by Ameren Missouri

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