What’s a BioBlitz?
The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is an event where community members work with park staff to create a snapshot of the variety of wildlife that can be found in local parks. To participate, community members will use an app to take pictures of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in the park on the day of the event and provide the park system with more information about local pollinators, which are essential to our ecosystem.
During our fourth annual Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz in September 2022, more than 170 individuals pledged to help pollinators and learn how to host a BioBlitz. Events were organized from coast to coast, with 24 states represented from Washington to Florida, and a total of 77 park and recreation agencies participated by promoting the importance of pollinators and habitat to their communities. These groups recorded nearly 34,000 observations, documenting thousands of species of both pollinators and pollinator-supporting plants. Nearly 4,000 people participated in the national BioBlitz to record these findings, and nearly 2,000 experts helped identify the findings using iNaturalist. You can check out the results here — you can even see what pollinators were found near you in our regional iNaturalist pages!
Why Host an Event?
Hosting a Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz event allows your community to explore your parks, to engage in environmental issues, and to see how many pollinators and pollinator-friendly plants they can find. You can even make a competition out of it to see who can find the most species. Your BioBlitz will produce data specific to your parks and community. The results of all the local BioBlitz events will be incorporated into the national campaign to show how parks across the country are supporting pollinators in their local spaces.
Your agency can use that data from the event to create an inventory of the species (pollinators and plants) found in your local parks. This can be a valuable tool to better manage your open spaces and help you create your future management and sustainability plans. You can also grow your environmental education and engage a whole new group of volunteers and future park ambassadors! Read about the possibilities here
According to agencies who have participated in our BioBlitz:
- Eighty-five percent were hosting a BioBlitz event for the first time.
- Three-quarters of agencies held virtual events, and many held both in-person and virtual events; this program is flexible.
- Most found NRPA’s resources and assistance extremely helpful for creating and hosting a BioBlitz
- The majority continue to host their own BioBlitz events and to participate in the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz in subsequent years.
Agencies use what they learned to:
- Bolster their environmental education.
- Grow their volunteers and support from the community.
- Plan, restore and manage their parks to be more habitat and pollinator-friendly.
- Influence and engage others such as elected officials, leadership, planners, maintenance staff, partners.
- Start an annual collection project to assess biodiversity for their parks’ species inventories.
This is a great opportunity to engage your community members in a community science event while promoting pollinator awareness and education.
How Does it Work?
The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is hosted on iNaturalist. Park and recreation agencies who participate will create a local campaign under NRPA’s national Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz campaign. Instructions for how to do this are included in the BioBlitz toolkit you will receive after signing up.|