City Nature Challenge returns to Texas for the 90th year

AUSTIN Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), through the Texas Nature Trackers program, invites all Texans to participate April 26-29 in a friendly competition between 15 Texas metropolitan areas for the ninth year of City Nature Challenge.

The event allows participants to explore nature in their immediate surroundings: outside their front doors, in their yard or anywhere nature is found and can be safely and responsibly explored.

Whether joining a group event, exploring nature with your family or venturing out on your own, participants are encouraged to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community as they document their local biodiversity.

If you do not live in one of these areas, you can still participate by joining the City Nature Challenge 2024 Global Project and entering your observations of plants, animals and fungi on the free mobile app, iNaturalist. You are also invited to join the effort to help identify those plants and animals found during the challenge by helping to identify observations on the app the following week (April 30- May 5).

This global, community-based, scientific effort is co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Texas Nature Trackers encourages use of the hashtag #CityNatureChallenge on social media or as a tag in iNaturalist.

In 2023, Texas metropolitan areas joined more than 400 other cities in a worldwide celebration of the resilience of urban nature that logged more than 1.8 million observations of more than 58,000 species by nearly 70,000 people. In Texas, 93 counties logged more than 174,000 observations, with 7,500 species recorded by more than 6,000 observers.

Visit the City Nature Challenge online to find links to Texas projects and learn more about the global project on the website. Free training can be viewed online. Participants can also contact TNT Biologists Craig Hensley and Wendy Anderson with the Texas Nature Trackers program at [email protected].