March 31, 2020


City Nature Challenge 2020: Calgary Metropolitan Region

April 24 – 27 Observation Period and Events
April 24 – May 3 Observation Uploads and Identifications

City Nature Challenge Calgary is happening April 24-27, 2020! Join the challenge to see how Calgary’s urban biodiversity stacks up to cities around the world. Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, and Okotoks will be under a total bioblitz and collaborate with cities 200+ other cities around the world to document urban biodiversity. Our local goal is to gather 10 000 observations of everything that lives in Calgary’s regional ecosystem.

This year we have expanded the CNC YYC boundaries to include Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, and Chestermere. Any photos taken April 24-27 and uploaded to before May 3 (midnight) will automatically count towards the Calgary Region’s entry in City Nature Challenge 2020. The winning cities will be announced May 4!

COVID-19 Update: City Nature Challenge 2020 is still going on!

However, due to threat of COVID-19, we have had to modify CNC this year. Learn more under the COVID19 FAQ page.

In keeping with public health recommendations we have cancelled our community events for CNC 2020. As CNC YYC is a decentralized event, there are still ways to participate independently and here’s how:

How can I still participate in Calgary?

  • Document species in and outside of your home. You can test out iNaturalist by adding all of your house plants. Make sure to mark them as “Captive/cultivated” and mark your location privacy as “obscured” when you post.
  • Conduct a Backyard bioblitz by documenting every species living on your property. How many do you have? Investigate your gardens, document birds at the feeders, capture critters using your yard, look in the compost, or even leave a light on in the evening to attract some insects!
  • Walk With a Purpose through your neighborhood and document the types of plants and animals live there!
  • Explore a nearby stand of trees or area you’ve always seen but never visited
  • Visit your favorite park and document as many species as possible.
  • Complete as many City-Wide Challenges as you can.
  • Check Out the iNaturalist project page and help to identify other’s observations

If you intend to participate, these are the precautionary measures that MUST be taken:

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell or are under mandatory quarantine!
  • Wash your hands before, during, and after adventuring!! Bring sanitizer!
  • Practice Physical Separation and do not cluster! Always exercise a minimum of 2 meters from others (you’ll also be able to cover more ground!)
  • Do not share: binoculars, scopes, guidebooks, magnifying glasses, cameras, and especially phones.
  • BE SAFE and WATCH OUT: for other people on foot, bikes, scooters, and in vehicles. Take precaution and avoid areas that seem unsafe.
  • Air-cheers binoculars or air high-fives for cool sightings and greetings!
  • Remember, Parks are for everyone’s enjoyment. Use only the designated pathways and trails. Please take pictures, not plants or animals. Respect wildlife and keep your distance. Pack out what you pack in and use designated garbage bins. Keep your dogs on a leash and pick up after them. Respect the tranquility of other visitors by keeping conversation and music quiet.

Get Outside and Discover Urban Nature!

Nature is everywhere in the city. Be curious about what local biodiversity means. By mapping where nature is in the Calgary region we can begin to understand why, how, and where flora and fauna exist in Calgary. There is plenty to learn just through observing nature in your garden, your alleyways, visiting your local parks, and exploring areas of the city you’ve never been to!

Document Everything Wild!

Take photographs and make audio recordings using your phone, tablets, and cameras. Take as much information as you need so that it can be identified. For example: Take multiple photos of plants (habitat, leaves, flowers, fruit, etc.).

Share Your Observations!

Post your observations to using the app on your phone or online. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s educational, and helps scientists around the world study biodiversity. This is how we begin to understand the patterns and trends of urban nature!

City Nature Challenge 2020 Global Cities:

Click to find a participating city anywhere in the world and visit their projects to learn more. (Note: Participating cities are subject to change due to COVID-19.)

Join the CNC 2020: Calgary Metropolitan Project Page and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date on news and events!