RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina, and even here in Raleigh, is full of diverse plants and insects, and if you’ve ever wanted to know just a little bit more about them, this weekend you can, and all it takes is your phone.
Starting Friday, Raleigh, and cities across the world will take part in the City Nature Challenge, a project to help document living things like plants, animals, and insects, by simply taking pictures.
“It’s really intended to help us see that there really are things living in cities, and help us document how many of those things are actually out there,” explains Chris Goforth, the Head of Citizen Science at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.
Taking part in the City Nature Challenge is simple: take pictures between Friday and Monday then upload them to the iNaturalist app:
- Apple: iNaturalist on the App Store (apple.com);
- Android iNaturalist – Apps on Google Play) or website;
- A Community for Naturalists · iNaturalist.
And even if you don’t know what you’re taking a picture of, the app can show and teach you about what you might be seeing.
Raleigh has participated in the City Nature Challenge since 2017, and Goforth said it not only helps us learn more about our home, but it allows everyday people to teach others about it as well.
“We have a lot of things that live in Raleigh and people don’t actually realize how much is out there,” she said. “This is a way to get them involved, help them learn, but also help them share what they see with this international community.”
Sometimes, people even come across hidden gems.
A woman in 2019 took a picture of a plant that hadn’t been seen in Wake County since the 1960s.
“They’re trying to give it a chance to grow back and are definitely looking for it now in more places, because someone took some random, throw away photo during the city nature challenge.”
So what will you find? Grab your phone, and find out.
If you want to participate, here is a video tutorial on how uploading photos to the app works.