A group at the University of Notre Dame is bringing a global nature observation challenge to Michiana starting this year.
The City Nature Challenge is usually a competition for people around the world to find and identify as many plants, animals and insects as possible this Friday through Monday.
This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not a competition. It is a chance for local people to get outside, even if it’s just to a balcony or back yard, and observe nature. The cataloged species data are available for scientific research.
Robert Stanley is a graduate student at Notre Dame and one of the organizers for the challenge.
“Nature that’s around us is incredible. We don’t normally take the time to appreciate it and there’s so much more there that we think is ordinary that if we take the time to look at it, it is incredibly amazing.”
Stanley says his group wanted to bring this global event to Michiana. It’s just St. Joseph County this year, but they plan to expand it to the whole area next year.
Whether your home is included in the challenge area or not you can use it’s app, iNaturalist, to take photos and identify species any time.
If you would like to participate in this year's City Nature Challenge, you can sign up and get more information on events like the 15 minute back yeard field trip and dusk moth observations at the Michiana page here.