Become a Volunteer Naturalist with Backyard BioBlitz

Have you ever seen a bird in the Park you wished you could identify? Maybe you’ve wondered about the species of an intriguing bug, a striking flower or an unfamiliar fish on someone’s line. Your answer may be as simple as taking a picture!

A front angle of an orange and black monarch butterfly with its wings stretched out

This summer, HRPK’s River Project invites you to be a volunteer naturalist using the free iNaturalist app to help catalog wildlife in the Park. Wednesday, July 8th we kicked off our first Backyard BioBlitz, a weeklong competition to capture pictures of wildlife throughout the Park’s four+ mile footprint — the first of four BioBlitzes that will continue into the fall!

Want to get involved? Download the free iNaturalist app, where you can upload images of any living thing and have your observation identified. Even if you aren’t sure what type of bird you are seeing, iNaturalist will suggest its species, and then community science members will confirm! This dedicated community of nature lovers has made iNaturalist one of the most popular nature apps around the globe, and we’re excited to see what you find in our west side backyard.

To participate, simply take pictures of what you observe and upload. iNaturalist will take care of the rest! Any observation you make will be automatically logged in our ongoing Biodiversity in Hudson River Park project. Here you can see every observation ever made in the Park using the platform, and filter by species, taxa, and observers.A mushroom sits on the Habitat Garden path

This effort helps us to track migratory and invasive species as well as gather continuous information on the presence and location of year-round organisms. With your help, we can learn more about how over 450 species of plants and animals utilize the Park as habitat!

Then, make sure you tune in next Wednesday July 15th at 2pm on HRPK’s Facebook Live for our Diversity Digest! We’ll sum up everyone’s findings during the July Backyard BioBlitz, discuss key species, highlight photos from volunteer naturalists like you and congratulate users who made the most observations.

This is a perfect activity to do by yourself or with your family to enjoy summer in the Park — just remember to observe six feet of social distance from fellow visitors when observing wildlife in the Park. All you need is a smartphone or a home computer! For details on how to get started, visit Hudson River Park’s webpage.

Sign up to participate in our July Backyard BioBlitz!