PIKES PEAK REGION – You can help the City of Colorado Springs in a global challenge, called The City Nature Challenge, by simply taking a picture.
More than 350 cities worldwide will participate in this challenge with the goal of making the most natural observations around your city.
You can download the free app iNaturalist and post pictures of plants, animals or fungi you find around the city. From your backyard, to parks and open spaces, to just walking through town — find something that will help the City of Colorado Springs in this neat challenge.
Snapping pictures of evidence of life such as scat, fur or tracks can also count in the observations. Scientists can use the collected pools of data to understand and conserve urban wildlife.
It starts Friday, April 30, and runs through Monday, May 1.
It’s more than just a friendly challenge. The data helps scientists monitor and protect urban wildlife by studying them and their long-term habits. The city can find new living species around the region through these community observations.
“It provides a huge pool of information that allows us to monitor what our plants, animals and other living things what their populations are doing over time. Like birds are a really good example, when we see one of their populations fluctuating, going way up or way down, that’s an indicator that something’s going on and we can study that,” said Wesley Hermann, a park ranger with the city of Colorado Springs.
Observations up the summit of Pikes Peak and into the eastern plains count in this four-day challenge. Any pictures around the Pikes Peak Region posted in the iNaturalist app April 30 through May 3 will automatically be tallied in the nature challenge.
“And you don’t have to know what the living thing is you’re taking a picture of. That’s kind of the fun of this app. So you can learn along the way and find out what is that plant that I’ve been seeing in that park down the street,” said Hermann.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department of Colorado Springs has participated in the City Nature Challenge since 2019.