City Nature Challenge, 2022

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The City Nature Challenge is an international competition between cities to document wildlife, plants, and fungus. City Nature Challenge is organized by the California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Our local Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge is organized by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Severson Dells Nature Center in collaboration with many local land conservation and environmental groups. Take part in this community science event and you will be shocked at the biodiversity that exists in our urban and rural areas!

People of all ages and abilities can participate in the City Nature Challenge, all you need is a phone or camera. First, download iNaturalist, a free app available for all phone types, or make your account on their website. Then get outside and start posting observations between April 29th- May 2rd 2022. iNaturalist has an incredible feature that will automatically suggest identifications for your observations. All of the observations made in iNaturalist during the City Nature Challenge will be available to researchers and naturalists who can use this data to better understands and preserve our natural spaces. 

Learn more about City Nature Challenge here.

Aldeen Park: 4/29/22, 6:30-7:30pm

Experience the winding woodland trails and spring ephemerals of Aldeen park on this beautiful sunset hike while learning to use iNaturalist from 815 Outside AmeriCorps member, Lydia! RSVP at https://815outside.com/event/city-nature-challenge-hike-aldeen-park/. Attendees will receive an email with the hike details, including where to park, a day or two before the hike. Address: 602-490 Alpine Road, Rockford IL, 61107

LIB Conservation Area: 4/29/22, 9-11am

Registration: email office@bccdil.org or call 815-547-7935. Address: 5601 Newburg Rd, Belvidere, IL 61008

Ipsen Road/Newburg Village Conservation Area: 4/30/22, 7-8:30am

Registration: email office@bccdil.org or call 815-547-7935. Address: 739 Ipsen Rd, Belvidere, Illinois, United States of America

Flora Prairie: 4/30/22, 9-11am

Registration: Email office@bccdil.org or call 815-547-7935. Address: 498 Poole Rd, Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Nardi Equine Prairie Preserve: 4/30/22, 9am -11am

Registration: not required. Address: 6651 North River Road, Byron, IL

Nicholas Conservatory Bioswale: 4/30/22, 10am-3pm

Experience the beauty of Nicholas Conservatory’s bioswale (right by the parking lot) and learn how to use iNaturalist from one of their guides. Then, explore the outdoor gardens and indoor conservatory, including the Secret Life of Butterflies exhibit! This is an open-house style event, so come by anytime between 10:00am-3:00pm. No registration is required. Address: 1354 N 2nd St, Rockford, IL 61107

Nygren Wetland: 4/30/22, 11am-12pm

Nygren Wetland is known for its spectacular water fowl and dazzling prairie restoration. Join NLI staff and volunteers on a walk through its natural wonder and learn how to use iNaturalist along the way! Meet at the main parking lot. RSVP at www.naturalland.org. Address: 3714 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton

Atwood Nature Center: 4/30/22, 12-3pm

Atwood Park is rich in human and natural history. Experience its beauty with a staff guide and learn how to use iNaturalist along the way! Meet at the Atwood Center building by the flag pole. Please dress for the weather and be prepared to walk some hills! Address: 2685 New Milford School Rd, Rockford, IL 61109

Jarrett Preserve: 4/30/22, 12pm -2pm

Registration: not required. Address: 7993 North River Road Byron, Illinois

Howard Colman Hall Creek Preserve: 4/30/22, 6:30-8pm

Enjoy a sunset hike through rolling, restored prairies and canopy of majestic oaks gathered among the creekside hills. Ephemeral (short-lived) flowers blanket the woodland understory in springtime, and a parade of songbirds can be heard tuning their voices in the branches overhead. You will also see the meander of Hall Creek and the bluffs and exposed dolomite cliffs over the course of time. Registration: not required. Address: 12749 Weldon Rd, Rockford, Illinois

Severson Dells: 4/30/22, 8-9:30pm

Meet at the prairie shelterhouse parking lot, which is straight down from the main entry drive. Be prepared to encounter bats, frogs, and moths on this interactive nocturnal exploration! Registration: Email andrea@seversondells.org or call 815-335-2915. Address: 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, IL, 61102

Tuttle Clarkson Natural Area: 5/1/22, 9-11am

Registration: email office@bccdil.org or call 815-547-7935. Address: 100-114 E Grove St, Poplar Grove, IL 61065

Seward Bluffs Forest Preserve: 5/1/22, 2pm-4pm

Enjoy the beautiful spring ephemeral (short-lived) flowers and calling songbirds at Seward Bluffs Forest Preserve while learning to use iNaturalist from 815 Outside’s AmeriCorps member, Lydia! RSVP at https://815outside.com/event/city-nature-challenge-hike-seward-bluffs-forest-preserve/. Attendees will receive an email with the hike details, including where to park, a day or two before the hike.

Spencer Conservation Area: 5/2/22, 1-2pm

Registration: email office@bccdil.org or call 815-547-7935. Address: 899 Appleton Rd, Belvidere, IL 61008

Harlem Hills Nature Preserve: 5/2/22, 6:30-7:30pm

Harlem Hills is a dazzling remnant prairie that boasts many rare and high-quality plant species, much like Bell Bowl Prairie. Come experience this island of nature in the middle of a cityscape and watch the sun set over the glacial-till hills for a final City Nature Challenge hike. Registration: Email andrea@seversondells.org or call 815-335-2915. Address: 4979 Flora Dr, Loves Park, IL 61111

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