North Carolina: Join the City Nature Challenge Apr. 30 to May 3

City Nature Challenge 2021 logo. Source: NC Museum of Natural Sciences
City Nature Challenge 2021 logo. Source: NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Be a Citizen Scientist!  Join the City Nature Challenge, North Carolina by stepping outside, taking photos of the nature around you, sharing it via iNaturalist, and helping document biodiversity! Learn and teach others about the wild life near you. Visit

Participating regions in North Carolina:

Each iNaturalist project link above leads to the Project page, which lists applicable counties. Use the links to find your North Carolina county and Join that project — using your iNaturalist account, which is free to set up!

Ed. Note: If you’re not familiar with iNaturalist, check it out! See a plant, insect, or animal you can’t identify? The site has recognition tools to help. You can finally know what that bizarre flower at the edge of your neighborhood is called. Or, identify those insects that buzz around. And, your photographs and sightings information is mapped alongside others in your area, so you may see what else is living in your neighborhood, and what unique species to watch for.


From the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences:

If you walked out your door right now, how many species do you think you could observe? 5? 10? 20? It’s likely far more than you’d expect — and we have a great opportunity that can help you find out!

The City Nature Challenge is an international, biodiversity-focused citizen science event that runs April 30 through May 3, 2021.

Anyone can join the City Nature Challenge! Visit North Carolina’s City Nature Challenge website for information about the five participating regions.

This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been modified from a competition to a collaborative effort in order to help keep organizers and participants safe. Let’s work together virtually with cities around the world to safely document biodiversity in whatever way we can, even at home or in our neighborhoods.

In order to participate, you’ll need to head outdoors to find and photograph as many different wild species as possible in your local area.

You’ll upload your sightings (including photographs) through the iNaturalist app. (Register for a free iNaturalist account here). You may also upload photos to the iNaturalist website.

This event aims to document the incredible biodiversity you can encounter in your everyday life, especially in urban and suburban areas where wild species are often overlooked.

See the North Carolina City Nature Challenge website for more information.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is holding a April 30, 2021, 2pm virtual training program for those interested in participating in the challenge this year.

The 2021 City Nature Challenge has over 400 participating cities and surrounding areas throughout the world! This is the fifth year the Museum has participated in the City Nature Challenge. In 2020, there were over 31,000 observations made in North Carolina. Can you help get us to 35,000 in 2021?

All ages can get involved in this unique project of Citizen Science!

IMPORTANT NOTE about participants under 13 years old: children under 13 are not allowed to create their own iNaturalist accounts, but they can participate by creating an ecoEXPLORE account. Museum staff will host a program oriented for this age group on Saturday, May 1, at 11:00am. Register for the City Nature Challenge Virtual Kickoff for Kids.


Follow current public health guidelines provided by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services.

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