April was busy with school visits, Maple Festival, community outreach, and the launch of City Nature Challenge.
City Nature Challenge
We were thrilled to be the host organization for the Greater Erie City Nature Challenge, scheduled April 29 through May 2. This international community science event, which the Erie region is joining for the first time this year, challenges us to explore the biodiversity around us.
The City Nature Challenge was started in 2016 by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and has grown into a global event. This is an international community science effort to discover and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. The goal is to promote the use of the iNaturalist app to record and identify as many species of wildlife as possible during this 4-day period.
In addition to Asbury Woods’ trainings and hikes, we had 8 organizations host 6 events that spanned from Tom Ridge Environmental Center to the City of Erie to North East. We surpassed our goals for this year by collecting over 2,000 observations, 500 species, and 100 observations.
“We are excited to bring the City Nature Challenge to Erie to get more people outside to observe nature and to contribute to this global citizen science effort. There are many ways to look for nature right in your backyard. Discover the plants growing on their own and the insects and pollinators that live in and around our homes and yards. You never know what you mind find,” says Jennifer Farrar, Executive Director.
Our annual Maple Festival was hosted on April 2 and 3 and was sold out both days. The event had scheduled tours for participants to learn the history of maple syrup production and self-guided stations to dive deep into the science behind this delicious treat, unique to our region.
We shared details about our homeschool programming series with a local homeschool outreach visit. It was a great way to connect with this audience to promote our programs and gain feedback from homeschool families for future programs. We also participated in the Arbor Day celebration, organized by the City of Erie's Urban Forestry Committee. We had a chance to share information about our summer programming and highlight the importance of trees, including a tree identification program about the maple tree.