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Thanks to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, Waynesboro Parks and Recreation is hosting a BioBlitz this September in support of the Parks for Pollinators campaign.
What's a BioBlitz? The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is an event where community members work with park staff to create a snapshot of the variety of wildlife that can be found in a particular location. Our BioBlitz will focus on Coyner Springs Park on September 25 during the Coyner Springs Kite Fly. If you can't make it to the event or want to get started right away, you can! All you need is the iNaturalist app. You will use the app to take pictures of plants, insects, and animals to see what wildlife is present in the park and provide us with more information about pollinators and their ecosystem. We'll use this information to guide our management of the park and protect pollinators and other important wildlife found within the park's borders.
Coyner Springs Park has three distinct ecosystems: meadow, woodland, and wetland. Don't be afraid to explore each one. And, don't worry if you see a similar image under the Coyner Springs Park for Pollinators project. Every observation is geocoded so each observation is unique and will help paint a picture of the park. Every observation is vital. Locally, we will use this information to shape the management of the property. Nationally, NRPA will combine Coyner Springs information with parks across the country and a different picture will be painted showing the impacts parks have on conservation of our natural resources.
So get out there and get BioBlitzing!
The first thing you'll need to do to participate is download the iNaturalist app to your phone by going to Google Play (Android) or the AppStore (Apple). All you'll need to do is enter a name, email, and create a password and you'll be all set. Be sure to find and join the Coyner Springs Park for Pollinator project so all of your identification will be uploaded automatically.
Now that you've got the app, let's learn how to use it.
Open iNaturalist app and three lines to the left of My Obervations.
Select the Projects tab.
Use the search button to search for Coyner Springs Park for Pollinators. It should show as an option you can select to autofill.
Select the Join button under the project name. The project will now show up under the Joined in the Project page.
Open iNaturalist app. It should open to My Observations. If you're just starting, your page will be empty. Hit the green + button in the lower right-hand corner to add an observation.
Select the Take Photo camera icon to capture a photo of the plant, insect, or animal you're looking at.
Take a clear, close picture. Once satisfied select OK to save it.
Press the 'What did you see?' button just below the picture to determine the name of the plant, insect, or animal you photographed.
Look through the suggestions to see if you can determine the specific type of plant you saw. The general family of the plant is normally the first option. If you can't determine the specific type from the options below then the family option is the safest choice.
To look through the options just click on the different plant names. It will show photos and give specific information about that particular type of plant. Click the 'Select' button once you have made your choice.
At this point, you're almost done! The date and time will be filled in automatically. The same is true for the location but if it is not, just select that row and use the locate button to move the target to your location. For a general observation, just select the green checkmark in the bottom, middle of your screen.
You've made an observation! You can see it on the My Observations page. In order to make observations as part of the BioBlitz, you want to make sure you have joined the Coyner Springs Park for Pollinators project.
Make sure your observation appears under the Coyner Springs Park for Pollinators Project by going to the Project page. You can watch the information grow as you and others add observations!