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Please note: On Wednesday April 24 at Franklin Park Zoo and Thursday, April 25 at Stone Zoo, volunteers, zoo employees and local emergency responders will take part in routine animal escape exercises. While the exercise is occurring, guests have the opportunity to participate in the evacuation portion, and may be asked to move to certain areas within the Zoo for a brief period of time (not to exceed 10 minutes). These exercises are an important part of our preparedness training, and we appreciate your participation and understanding. If you have any questions about what to expect, please don't hesitate to contact us at 617-989-2000 or info@zoonewengland.org.

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Boston Area City Nature Challenge needs YOU!

This spring, people of all ages are invited to join the Boston Area City Nature Challenge in an effort to not only get immersed in nature right in their own communities, but to record the most plants and wildlife in this 7th annual worldwide effort to document the incredible biodiversity of our planet.

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an international cooperative science project with cities worldwide committed to exploring and recording various plants, animals, fungi and even microorganisms in their area using the free iNaturalist app. From Friday, April 29 to Monday, May 2, participants can upload their observations to the app, with identifications happening from Tuesday, May 3 to Sunday, May 8. Final results will be announced on Monday, May 9.

This year’s event will not be focused on competition, but rather global collaboration as more than 52,000 people around the world are estimated to participate however they can.​

The Boston Area CNC is open to anyone who would like to participate, and is an opportunity for the community to collaborate with one another, scientists, and conservation organizations through observations recorded right in their own backyards and towns – all with just a few simple taps on their smartphone. All of the species recorded in the Boston Area CNC will help create a more accurate picture of the variety of wildlife in greater Boston, focusing within the I-495 corridor and out to Stellwagen Bank. Any observation in the greater Boston area made between April 29 and May 2 will count for the challenge. Whether an observer has five minutes or several hours to spare, every bit makes a difference.

“It’s fun to look carefully and to discover new species in our own neighborhoods. Anyone can do that, and Zoo New England encourages people to join us in the City Nature Challenge as one way to get started,” said John C. Anderson, Zoo New England Director of Education.

The Boston Area CNC is being organized by a steering committee comprised of Brandeis University, Earthwise Aware, MassBays National Estuary Partnership, National Park Service, Suffolk University, University of Massachusetts Boston and Zoo New England.

In addition to the steering committee, there are numerous partner organizations in the Boston area. To get involved and learn more about this collaborative effort, visit the Boston Area CNC webpage.