AUSTIN — The City Nature Challenge is back in full force for the eighth year. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), through the Texas Nature Trackers program, invites all Texans to participate Friday, April 28, through Sunday, May 1, in a friendly competition between 15 Texas metropolitan areas. Everyone is invited to explore nature in their immediate surroundings: outside their front doors, in their yard or anywhere nature is found and can be safely and responsibly explored.
Whether joining a group event, exploring nature with your family or venturing out on your own, participants are encouraged to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community and celebrate the healing power of nature safely as they document their local biodiversity.
If you do not live in one of these areas, you can still participate by joining the City Nature Challenge 2023 Global Project and entering your observations of plants, animals and fungi on the free mobile app iNaturalist. You are also invited to join the effort to help identify those plants and animals found during the challenge by helping to identify observations on the app the following week (May 2–7).
This global, community-based, scientific effort is co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Texas Nature Trackers encourages use of the hashtag #CityNatureChallenge on social media or as a tag in iNaturalist.
In 2022, our Texas metropolitan areas joined 419 other cities in a worldwide celebration of the resilience of urban nature that logged more than 1.6 million observations of more than 50,000 species by 67,000 people. In Texas, 93 counties logged more than 148,000 observations, with 7,700 species recorded.
Visit the Texas City Nature Challenge on the TPWD website to find links to Texas projects and learn more about the global project at the City Nature Challenge website. Free online training is available on April 20. Participants can also contact Craig Hensley and Wendy Anderson with the Texas Nature Trackers program at email@example.com.