NATURE -- Nature lovers can sign up for National Geographic Society BioBlitz events scheduled on the Colville National Forest on May 21.
BioBlitzes, which are happening across the country this year in partnership with national forests and parks, are outdoor citizen science activities. Teams of scientists, students, teachers and community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals and other organisms as possible.
The Upper Columbia Children’s Forest -- a partnership between the Colville National Forest and the Stevens County Conservation District -- is organizing the two May 21 events based out of Colville:
The morning BioBlitz is on Colville Mountain. Meet at 9 a.m. a half mile up May Road beyond the end of the pavement on the west side of Colville Mountain. Leaders will guide groups up the dirt road on the west and south-facing side of the mountain tallying and snapping photos of all plants, animals, birds, and insects that they see. The steep 800-foot one-way hike is about 3 miles roundtrip. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing, and bring water and snacks or lunch.
The second BioBlitz starts at 1 p.m. from the junction of Hawthorne and Evergreen streets. It’s at the “top” or east end of Hawthorne Street. This BioBlitz will include the flat 2.3-mile loop of the Rotary Trail and 1-mile Graham Hill Trail loop with a 50-foot climb. Participants will explore what’s living in the ponds, creeks and forests along the way. Bring something to drink and dress for the weather.
Observations of plants, animals, birds, and insects from the BioBlitzes will be documented in the free citizen science web application iNaturalist via cell phones or camera uploads. Come for the hikes or if you want to participate in citizen science, check out the iNaturalist website, www.iNaturalist.org
, and bring a cell phone or camera.
Participants will compile an online record of all that has been documented during the day.
Info: Dana Bowers, Upper Columbia Children’s Forest coordinator, (509) 685-0937, ext. 101.