We made it! The City Nature Challenge began at 12:00 AM April 30 (Friday) and ends at 11:59:59 PM on May 3 (Monday)! Please get outside and take some snaps of wildlife (animals, plants, and fungi)!
If you do come to Mariners’ Park or you’re in the area, you might be wondering what some common critters you might encounter. I would suggest reading a great blog post from Erica, our park department manager, posted last year that talks in detail about the wildlife in the Park (click HERE to read her blog). Erica’s post should give you a good idea of what to see in the Park from trees to mammals to turtles and even dragonflies.
You can also connect to our iNaturalist page to see what other Park visitors have observed in the past (click HERE).
If you want to review our Park page for more general information, please do so HERE.
Here are ideas to remember for the challenge:
To participate, you find wildlife, take a picture, and share it on the iNaturalist app during the four days of the challenge. Note: You will need to signup for a free iNaturalist account before you can enter data for the bioblitz.
You must be somewhere in the seven cities of Hampton Roads for your observations to count during the four days. It could be walking around your neighborhood, looking out your window, or in a park! (Cities include: Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach.)
When iNaturalist identifies your photo, it might be wrong (and that’s okay). A community of people on the app help to assess if the ID is correct or not. When you’re taking the pictures, make sure your image is focused on exactly what you want to ID and it’s clear in the shot. Remember, you can upload your images from another camera to the iNaturalist website as well.
If you come to Mariners’ Park or other natural areas in Hampton Roads, please practice social distancing and leave no trace: take only pictures and leave only footprints. That also means keep your distance from wildlife like raccoons, foxes, deer, and so on. Be aware, there is also poison ivy near some trails. And of course, always do a tick check.
For the challenge, take images of wildlife, not captive or cultivated life. Anything from a zoo, nature center, garden, or your house pets will not count toward our Hampton Roads bioblitz.
Have fun Hampton Roads!!