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City Nature Challenge

DATES: Friday, April 24, 2020 - Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Natural History Museum is just one of many collaborating organizations across the world that is participating in The City Nature Challenge, an international effort to document nature in cities that will be taking place, April 24-27.

This year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a competition.
Instead, embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the collaborative aspect of the City Nature Challenge. This allows people to safely document biodiversity in whatever way they can, even from the safety of their own homes. All participants are urged to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by local governments, as they are changing in real-time. Individual safety and public health are the utmost priority. Please refer to the City Nature Challenge’s COVID-19 FAQ page for more information.

As a participant, it is up to you how much or how little you take part!
City Nature Challenge is about documenting nature where people live, especially in urban areas. In that spirit, here are some ideas for participation in or near your home.

Explore your home or yard:

  • What can you find in your house?
  • What can you see through your windows?
  • What are the wild plants growing in your backyard? (weeds count!)
  • What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?
  • What observations can you make along the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment complex? (Always be mindful of traffic and safety.)
  • Check out more ideas for exploring nature in and around your home.

Explore your neighborhood:

  • Take a walk and see what other organisms share your neighborhood. Make sure to practice social distancing by keeping space between people of at least 6 feet. Be considerate of others and cross the street, if necessary to maintain distance. (Always be mindful of traffic and safety.)
  • Look up to spot birds sitting in trees or on powerlines and telephone poles.
  • Look down to find insects, crawling on the pavement or underneath leaves.
  • What else might you find?
  • Visit your local park, if it remains open. Check both city and county restrictions on park use as it may vary across jurisdictions. Make sure to practice social distancing by keeping space between people of at least 6 feet. Look in the grass, on plants, under benches and tables, and up in the trees. How many different species will you find?

How to Participate:

Step 1: Download the iNaturalist app from the App Store or Google Play.

Step 2: Find wildlife – in or near your home, April 24-27.

Step 3: Take photos of WILD plants & animals.

Step 4: Share Your observations in the iNaturalist App. If they’re not wild, be sure to mark them as captive/cultivated!

Step 5: Help identify what everyone found from April 28 – May 3.


Friday, April 24, 2020
Sunday, May 3, 2020
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