You may have never heard of “BioBlitz,” or, for that matter, a “Parks for Pollinators” campaign – however, this month Guilford County Parks is indeed hosting a BioBlitz for a new Parks for Pollinators program – and all the county’s naturalists who want to participate need is a camera or smartphone and a good helping of curiosity.
According to an announcement this week from the Parks Department, BioBlitz is a “national effort for people to find and document pollinator friendly plants and pollinators.” Organized by the National Recreation and Park Association and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, the BioBlitz is held during the month of September.
If the pollinator in question is a bee, the program participants might wish to approach it with caution – but there’s a reward for the county for getting the best camera shots.” By participating in this campaign, Guilford County Parks will have the chance to win $1,000 to support the creation of a pollinator habitat. The participant can also win some pretty cool prizes.
Adults can participate in the park roaming festivities by downloading the iNaturalist app, and then uploading pictures of pollinators – bees, butterflies, bats, etc. – or pictures of “pollinator-friendly” plants. Scientists will help identify the species.
“Parks are essential to the health of pollinators and we help make a difference in saving these critical species”, said Christopher Horrigan, the director of Guilford County Parks Division said this week. “The BioBlitz is an opportunity for the community to better understand the biodiversity at our parks and the role we can all play in conserving it”.
Kids can participate using ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education). It’s an incentive-based citizen science program for children in grades K-8. Each of the Guilford County Parks now serve as ecoEXPLORE HotSpots.
After signing up online, participants can go to any Guilford County Park to find wildlife species, including plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds. Participants take pictures of their wildlife observation, noting the date, location, time, size and species observed.
Then, Carolina Arboretum staff review the photos and submit them to the iNaturalist Network. Participants earn points as they participate, and those points can be redeemed for prizes like an iPod touch or monocular compound microscope.
If you want to learn more about Parks for Pollinators event, you should visit www.nrpa.org/parks4pollinators.