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Hike for Fun and Science

April 30, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Part of City Nature Challenge Rock River Valley

Take a hike for fun and to support science in the Rock River Valley region as part of the City Nature Challenge. People around the world are taking pictures of nature in their backyard and uploading it to a free and fun app called iNaturalist. The city with the most posts win! Are you up for the challenge?

We’re inviting you to join NLI at Nygren Wetland Preserve to take photos of any kind of nature you can find during your hike and upload the photos to iNaturalist.

NLI staff or volunteer will help show you how to download the app if needed and give instructions on how to take a photo and upload it to the app.

This will be a casual hour long walk on the trail to look for plants, animals or animal signs, moss, fungi or lichen, and any other organisms you can find to photograph and upload. How many photos can you take in an hour?

The hike will start at the Wildlife Overlook, 3714 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, Illinois 61072. We’ll leave from the overlook by 11:15 a.m. to start walking east on the Dianne Nora Nature Trail.

Please register for this free hike by Friday, April 29, 2022 by sending an email to Kim Johnsen at kjohnsen@naturalland.org.

Prairie smoke in the prairie at Nygren Wetland Preserve

City Nature Challenge Unites Rockford Area with Global Efforts

Rockford is joining more than 400 cities around the world in the City Nature Challenge, a global science event from April 29th to May 2nd, that encourages people to get outside and document the nature around them with the free app iNaturalist. It’s an opportunity for local residents of all ages and backgrounds to participate in community science and help scientists track biodiversity data, all while experiencing the benefits of being outside. This year, 14 events are scheduled between the 14 partner organizations.

Participation is easy! Anyone in Winnebago, Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, and Stephenson counties can participate in the Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge. First, locals must make an iNaturalist account on the website or the free app available for all phone types. After creating an account, locals can  head outside and start taking pictures of plant and animal observations between April 29-May 2. Anyone who participates in the Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge is automatically entered to win a prize basket! From May 3-8, the observations will be identified.

City Nature Challenge began in 2016 as a friendly competition between San Francisco and L.A. and quickly grew to 159 cities across 6 continents in 2019. Last year alone, City Nature Challenge had 35,000 participants that made nearly 1 million wildlife observations and documented over 1,000 rare, threatened, and endangered species. It is organized by California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum Los Angeles County. This year, Severson Dells Nature Center organized a coalition of several local organizations to participate in the Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge.

“The City Nature Challenge empowers anyone to become part of a global effort to document biodiversity, which is more important now than ever,” explains Andrea Wallace Noble, coordinator of the Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge and Naturalist at Severson Dells Nature Center.

To learn more about the Rock River Valley City Nature Challenge, and register for one or more of the events scheduled, please visit https://www.seversondells.com/city-nature-challenge




April 30, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Natural Land Institute
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Nygren Wetland Wildlife Overlook
3714 W. Rockton Rd.
Rockton, IL 61072
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