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Boston Area City Nature Challenge

The 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 and get some exercise. Join us in safely connecting with nature and each other! Make and share observations April 24-27, help with identifications April 28–May 3, and celebrate our collective results on May 4. 

The 2020 City Nature Challenge is still on but modified for its 5th Anniversary. Instead of competing, we'll work with cities around the world to celebrate the biodiversity around us - wherever we might be! We’re embracing the collaborative side: making and sharing observations as a global community, celebrating the healing power of nature, documenting our local nature as best we can. Our goal is to help everyone participate while keeping our communities safe. 

Region for CNC Boston Area Project

Across the Boston area (which this year reaches out to Cape Cod), we encourage documentation of nature in homes, backyards and neighborhoods, individually and as families; and participation online by helping to identify or annotate observations. The CNC will no longer be a competition and we are cancelling all in-person events to ensure greater public health. Instead, we can take full advantage of iNaturalist as a social platform and community to come together online to document biodiversity as we practice social distancing.

To help you explore nature in and around your home, the international CNC organizers have put together a guide with helpful resources. There are even things you can do before the Challenge starts to attract more species to your yard! 

Please participate in whatever way you can to celebrate nature where you are - whether in your home, in your backyard, from your backdoor or front porch -- and stay safe while doing it. The CNC as a celebration of global biodiversity is a great way to show how connected we all are, and how much we depend on one another and on healthy habitats.

The information we collect will help create a more accurate picture of our biodiversity at this time of year. Any observation of plants, animals, fungi, even microbes, in the greater Boston area including Cape Cod and the islands this year that is recorded during these four days will automatically be included. Scroll down for tips and resources on how you can help. ​

The Boston Area City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a collaborative project. Learn more about our effort here or email us at

Get social with the City Nature Challenge! Facebook |Twitter | Instagram

Start now to be ready for the City Nature Challenge!

Step 1. Download the iNaturalist app and create an account.

• Download the app (easiest): Android App (Google Play) iOS App (iTunes), or use iNaturalist online.
iNaturalist "Getting Started" Guide.

Step 2: Record your observation with a photograph and upload the photo to the app.

Step 3: Confirmation

The iNaturalist community discusses and confirms the identity of the observation and lets you know.

Get Involved

CNC 2020

iNaturalist Project Page 

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Online Resources 

CNE Events Calendar

Calendar of Events


Data Quests

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Help Validate Observations

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Educator Resources

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About Us



 CanaturalsciencescncThe City Nature Challenge is being organized on a global scale by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.