Do It At Home: Backyard BioBlitz | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Do It At Home: Backyard BioBlitz 

click to enlarge COURTESY OF NORTH BRANCH NATURE CENTER
  • Courtesy of North Branch Nature Center
As the weather warms, kids and adults may be looking to explore the outdoors for signs of spring.

A simple and engaging way to weave learning into outdoor wandering — while also maintaining distance from others — is to sign up for the Vermont Spring Backyard BioBlitz. This new project, sponsored by the North Branch Nature Center, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the Vermont Alliance for Half-Earth, was created to meet the requests of local teachers looking for creative ways to engage students in science right outside their homes.

From April 20 to May 20, project participants can submit photos of any wild organism — no pets or garden plants — along with information about where and when they saw it, to the BioBlitz. This month, the project aims to collect observations of Vermont’s springtime biodiversity.

To submit information, participants must create an account through the free app, iNaturalist. The app — a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society — encourages participants to share information, connect with experts who can help identify organism and learn about nature from other people’s observations. It also generates data about the natural world to aid in conservation efforts.

Visit North Branch Nature Center’s website for step-by-step instructions for how to sign up for the project, along with a detailed video tutorial.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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