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Boston Area City Nature Challenge

April 30 - May 9, 2021

Join us for the City Nature Challenge, an international effort to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe! Make your observations from April 30 - May 3, and identifications will take place May 4 - 9.

Join us (find out how below) in our annual effort to document urban biodiversity within the I-495 corridor, out to Stellwagen Bank, including Cape Cod and islands. In this bioblitz-style competition, cities around the globe are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, modifications were made to last year’s challenge to keep participants safe. We instead collaborated with other teams, making and sharing observations as a global community, celebrating the healing power of nature, and documenting our local nature as best we could.

If you haven’t joined us before, it’s simple, it’s fun, and it contributes to scientific data helping to better understand our world and our non-human neighbors.





In 2020, 1,069 volunteer observers recorded 15,347 observations of 1,702 species. For 2021, we'll build on prior success. If you’ve been active before, please encourage someone new to get involved. If you’re new, dive in! You can participate safely, even during this time of pandemic. The effort is local; you can maintain social distance; and it helps to document biodiversity! Go slow and steady to explore in detail the biodiversity near you.

The information volunteers like you collect helps create a more accurate picture of biodiversity at this time of year. Any observation of wild plants, animals, fungi, even microbes, that are recorded with iNaturalist, is automatically included in the data for our collective annual challenge.

Join the 2021 Boston Area 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 


Data Quests

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Educator Resources

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Educator Resources

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About Us

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

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

 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.