Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora project is seeking partners and participants for its City Nature Challenge (CNC), an international effort to document urban biodiversity. Selby Gardens is partnering with The Nature Conservancy in Orlando to host a friendly competition among several Florida communities, including Alachua County, Boca Raton, the Orlando metro area, Sarasota and Manatee counties, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward counties, and St. John County. The CNC observation period will take place April 30 through May 3, 2021. The results will be announced on May 10, 2021.
The CNC is an international effort to get people into nature and to document their local biodiversity—nature and animals found in their community. During the course of four days, community members acting as citizen scientists around the world will log as many observations of the natural world as they can into a program called iNaturalist, a free downloadable smartphone app. Next, experts will help to identify the observations to see how many different species were documented. Partners in more than 40 countries around the world will participate. These observations will help to connect people with nature and provide valuable data for researchers, while promoting education and conservation of natural resources.
Selby Gardens and its partners will host opportunities for community members to come together and document nature. These gatherings, or "bioblitzes," will be held at Phillippi Estate Park on Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m.-noon; South Lido Beach on Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m.-noon; Potter Park Bioblitz on Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m.-noon; Johnson Preserve on Monday, May 1, from 9-11 a.m.; and Rye Preserve on Monday, May 3, from 9 a.m.-noon. To sign up and learn more, click here.