The 2019 City Nature Challenge presented by American Spring LIVE will kick off at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday. The Zoo has partnered with the Omaha STEM Ecosystem and 16 other community businesses and organizations to compete against more than 140 cities across the globe for the title of “World’s Most Biodiverse City.” The challenge will take place April 26-29.
The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. Cities compete against each other to see who has the most observations of nature, the most different species and who can engage the most people in their community.
Taking part in the 2019 City Nature Challenge is free and easy. Anyone and everyone is welcome to get involved in the event. Participants will need to do the following:
· Download National Geographic’s free iNaturalist app, available on Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android. Once downloaded, select the project titled “City Nature Challenge 2019: Omaha Metro.”
· Find wildlife around the community. This can include any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold or other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, shells and carcasses. Wildlife must be native to the participating city. Zoo animals will be excluded from the challenge and do not count as observations.
· Take a picture of what is discovered and take note of its location.
· Report the findings on the iNaturalist app.
For this year’s challenge, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has partnered with Heron Haven, Joslyn Castle, Mulhall’s, OPPD, Fontenelle Forest, Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Omaha Public Libraries, and City Sprouts to host events throughout the community. Additional partners include the City of Omaha, Civic Nebraska, Commerce Village, FBG Service Corporation, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, Omaha Green Coalition, Watchable Wildlife, Inc and Papio Missouri River NRD.
By taking part in the City Nature Challenge and identifying which species are living in our city and where they are located, participants are ultimately helping scientists, land managers and the community better work together to study and protect Omaha’s wildlife.
In 2016, the City Nature Challenge was created by citizen science staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences. The challenge was originally a competition between only Los Angeles and San Francisco for its first year. In 2017, the City Nature Challenge went national, and in 2018 the challenge became an international event.
For more information, including events hosted by the Zoo’s City Nature Challenge partners, visit