Participate in one of the two citizen science projects we’re working on: The Wayne National Forest BioBlitz using iNaturalist and NestWatch.
The Wayne National Forest BioBlitz using iNaturalist
A BioBlitz is a biological inventory that utilizes community and volunteer involvement to gather data on a specified area. By engaging the public, a BioBlitz allows anyone to help monitor the status and health of natural environments around the world.
The purpose of this BioBlitz is to observe and record as many species as possible within the Athens Unit of the Wayne National Forest. We are using the iNaturalist app so that anyone can be involved by simply taking and uploading pictures!
To make things easier, we have created a guide to help get you started. This guide briefly covers how to use iNaturalist, how to join our project on iNaturalist and some safety concerns.
Please keep in mind that the Proclamation Boundary of Wayne National Forest encompasses both public and private land, so take care not to trespass onto private property in pursuit of documenting biodiversity (though we appreciate that level of enthusiasm). If you happen to live within the Proclamation Boundary, making observations in your backyard qualify as part of the BioBlitz. We also ask that if you happen upon an endangered or threatened species that you do not share the location of that organism on iNaturalist. As you upload the photo of your observation, there is an option to obscure the location to help protect these organisms.
The bioblitz will include public events led by Rural Action and our partners. These events will be led by experts and include things such as bird banding, mammal tracking, vernal pool exploration, guided hikes, and much more! These events are open to the public and listed on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ruralaction
If you are looking for new places to go, there are maps available for free here and at the Ranger Station along State Route 13 (includes waterproof trail maps). We will also post things on the iNaturalist project page letting you know the best places to go to see wildflowers in bloom, migrating birds, and other seasonal occurrences!
Rural Action is building and monitoring nest boxes for prothonotary warblers in wetlands around the Athens region. The goal is to help prothonotary warbler populations grow and thrive, overcoming the loss of good nesting sites to human development. Data is sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch project. Contact Joe Brehm at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.