Jan 29 Interest call for April/May 2021 DC area City Nature Challenge

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Carrie Seltzer

Jan 22, 2021, 9:00:11 AMJan 22
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Note: Please share this invitation with anyone you know who may be interested to find out more about the City Nature Challenge.

The City Nature Challenge is a friendly, annual, global event to record biodiversity. From April 30-May 3, 2021, participants will document wild plants, animals, and fungi using the iNaturalist mobile app and website. The Washington DC area is participating! Following the observation period, we'll all pitch in, with the help of experts, to identify what we’ve seen in our region through May 9. Regional and global results will be announced on May 10. It's a collective effort where you can participate from anywhere in the region.

Do you know an organization in the broader DC metro area that cares about nature? Please join an introductory call on Friday, January 29, 11 am - 12 pm to learn more about the City Nature Challenge and/or join our Google Group to stay in the loop. 

The Washington Metropolitan Area has participated annually since 2017. Dozens of environmental organizations, parks, libraries, nature centers, and other local groups help spread the word. There are many ways to be involved and collaborate with other organizations.

Examples of organizer participation include:

  • Encouraging your audience via email or social media to get outside and make observations during April 30 - May 3

  • Incorporating the City Nature Challenge into existing programming or events

  • Posting signage at notice boards or trailheads

  • Helping organize a virtual event

  • Recruiting and supporting expert naturalists to make and identify observations

We encourage everyone to think about ways to broaden participation for underrepresented groups. We have outreach materials in Spanish and encourage bilingual events.

Think you're too far from DC to be included? Check! Beyond Washington, DC, the following counties in VA, MD, and WV are in range. Bold counties indicate places with relatively less past participation so we are especially interested to have groups from those areas, but organizations from any area are welcome to join.


  • Alexandria

  • Arlington County

  • Clarke County

  • Culpeper County

  • Fairfax County

  • Fairfax

  • Falls Church

  • Fauquier County

  • Fredericksburg

  • Loudoun County

  • Manassas

  • Manassas Park

  • Prince William County

  • Rappahannock County

  • Spotsylvania County

  • Stafford County

  • Warren County


  • Calvert County

  • Charles County

  • Frederick County

  • Montgomery County

  • Prince George's County

  • (Baltimore & surrounding counties organize separately--contact Maura Duffy at MDu...@aqua.org)

West Virginia

  • Jefferson County

You can see on iNaturalist what has been recorded each year in the City Nature Challenge and how participation has grown. 

2017 >900 species and 200 people

2018 >1700 species and 900 people

2019 >2100 species and 1300 people

2020 >2300 species and 1600 people

We hope you’ll join this exciting collective effort in 2021, and we look forward to connecting with new groups across the region!

Carrie Seltzer (iNaturalist)

Stella Tarnay (Capital Nature)

Deborah Barber (The Nature Conservancy)

DC area CNC co-organizers

Carrie Seltzer

Jan 28, 2021, 4:14:53 PMJan 28
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Hi everyone,

Welcome to the new people who recently joined this group! I look forward to meeting many of you on Zoom tomorrow during the interest call. As a reminder, you can view the call details and agenda here.

If you know anyone else who may be interested, this is one last reminder before tomorrow to pass on the email below. We will also record tomorrow's Zoom for any interested folks who aren't able to make it.

Thanks for all you do to connect people in our region to biodiversity!

Carrie E. Seltzer, Ph.D.

Carrie Seltzer

Jan 29, 2021, 5:50:25 PMJan 29
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For anyone who missed today's meeting but wants to catch up, here's the recording link and passcode: Sb1LTP?8

If you want to skip most of the introductions, you can jump to 24:25 for the main content. As a reminder, the agenda and notes are here.

It was great to connect with so many different people (43+!) from across the region today. I hope everyone gets to spend some time with nature this weekend. Happy Friday!

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