September 18, 2020

COVID-19

NOTE: We urge all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by your local governments, as they are changing in real-time. Individual safety and public health are our utmost priority.

Is the City Nature Challenge still happening? Why or why not?
After careful consideration, we have decided to proceed with the City Nature Challenge (CNC) as scheduled, with observations being made and shared April 24 – 27, and observations being uploaded and identified April 24 – May 3. Collective results from around the world will still be announced May 4. With a few modifications, CNC can still offer people around the world a way to safely connect with nature and each other during these difficult times. Events for the Calgary region have been cancelled but we still encourage people to document their nearby natural surroundings in a safe and cautious manner.

What changes are being made to the City Nature Challenge?
To ensure the safety and health of all participants, this year’s global CNC is no longer a competition. Instead, we want to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community, and celebrate the healing power of nature as people document their local biodiversity to the best of their ability. We want citizen/community scientists around the world to have the opportunity to participate, while still following all federal and local recommendations to keep communities safe. Please stay informed about Public Health Notices in the Calgary Region.

How can the City Nature Challenge help build community and connection during these uncertain times?
City Nature Challenge is—and always has been—about connecting people and communities with nature. In these challenging times, being outdoors and connecting with nature is a safe and responsible way to cope with stress, while maintaining the health of ourselves and our communities. Moreover, CNC allows us to come together, unite, and collaborate with citizen and community scientists around the world, participating in whatever ways they can, to document the biodiversity of our planet. During such uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to foster a sense of community, and the City Nature Challenge allows us to do just that.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly evolving. Here are some links and resources to help you stay informed:

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.