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Spring is Here and So is the City Nature Challenge 

Spring is Here and So is the City Nature Challenge 

City dwellers have many opportunities to explore their natural surroundings with the annual City Nature Challenge (CNC). The Challenge is a competition to see who can submit the most observations about nature. Local groups are offering several programs on land and sea on Mustang Island to participate in the Challenge. Mustang Island CNC includes observations made on Mustang Island and nearby waters.

This year there are four special programs to help submit nature observations:

  • Friday, April 29th at 4 p.m. - Wetland Walk at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (855 East Cotter Ave., Port Aransas TX 78373). No registration is required.
  • Saturday, April 30th at 8 a.m. - Nature Walk at the Port Aransas Community Park (700 Clark Parkway, Port Aransas TX 78373). Registration is available at PORTA.RECDESK.COM
  • Saturday, April 30th at 9 a.m. - Paddle the Gulf at Mustang Island State Park (Wilson’s Cut; across from the Sea Gull Condominiums). Registration is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. More information is available at https://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/mustang-island/city-nature-challenge-inaturalist-kayak-tour
  • Saturday, April 30th at 8 p.m. - Moth Lighting Program at Charlie’s Pasture (End of Port Street, Port Aransas TX 78373). Registration is available at PORTA.RECDESK.COM

This is the sixth annual City Nature Challenge, and last year 244 cities across six continents made over 1.2 million observations, and over 45,000 species were found. Kicking off April 29 at 12:01 am in each time zone, the Challenge runs through May 2, 11:59 pm. The global event calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and educational backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist. 

The goal is to see what city can record the most wildlife. Anyone with a smartphone or digital camera and computer can play! Identification of photographed species will be crowdsourced through the online community. Challenge results will be announced on May 9th. 

Nature exists in every city, and one of the best ways to study it is by connecting scientists and the community through citizen science. As global human populations become increasingly concentrated in cities, it’s more important than ever to document urban biodiversity and help ensure the future of plants and wildlife. Large pools of data built through iNaturalist, natural history museums, and science organizations help authorities make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighborhoods.

By participating you can help collect data for scientists on the biodiversity of the Island. It’s a great opportunity to get with others who love the outdoors and see get outdoors. For both budding and veteran citizen scientists, participating is easy and you can come to a program or do it on your own: 

1. Find wildlife. It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your participating city.

2. Take pictures of what you find using iNaturalist or your city’s chosen platform.

3. Learn more as your observations get identified!

Learn more at citynaturechallenge.org

2022 City Nature Challenge


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