Colorado Springs Nature Challenge 2019

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City Nature Challenge Promo

Colorado Springs has joined the global event called City Nature Challenge! More than 160 cities will participate April 26-29.

Participating is easy:

  1. Find wildlife (plant, animal, fungi, or any evidence of life such as scat, fur or tracks)
  2. Take a picture of what you find and note the location of the critter or plant
  3. Share your observation by uploading your findings through the free iNaturalist app 

Scientists can use the collected pools of data to understand and conserve urban wildlife.

You can take photos on your own, or join one of our many FREE group events below.  Register today!

You'll need to register for these FREE events. Registration starts April 8, 2019. Please register at ActiveNet using the activity numbers listed for each activity.

Learn More about the Challenge

Select an event to see more information.

My little house on the Prairie! Friday, April 26

This program will focus on animal dwellings at Bluestem Prairie, from animals like the Pronghorn who sleep where they plop down, to the different kinds of bird nests and homes, to the interwoven towns of the prairie dogs. This program should relate to all visitors need for shelter and homes of their own.

Date: Friday, April 26

Time: 10-11 a.m., 1-2 p.m.

Location: Bluestem Prairie Open Space, Trailhead parking lot

Participants: All Ages; 15 participant max

Required: long pants and closed toed shoes; water

Register:  Activity # 11944 (10 a.m.)  Activity # 11945 (1 p.m.)

Night Time is our Time! Friday, April 26

This night hike will focus on the different adaptations nocturnal animals have developed to survive at night.  

Date: Friday, April 26

Time: 8-9 p.m.

Location: Red Rock Canyon, Picnic Parking Lot Red Rock Canyon Main Entrance

Participants: All Ages; 25 participant max

Required: flashlights, warm clothing, closed toed shoes, water

Register: Activity # 11956

Early Hiker Sees the Bird, Saturday, April 27

Join park rangers for an eye-opening early morning birding hike! Interested in participating in the City Nature Challenge? Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone prior to this event. Make sure to bring water and snacks, wear appropriate footwear and headwear, and dress in layers for this moderate, ~2 mile hike. Limited pairs of binoculars will be available; please bring your own if you have a pair. Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 7- 9 a.m.

Meeting Location: Stratton Open Space, La Veta Entrance (Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.)

Participants: All Ages; 30 participant max

Register: Activity # 11946

How to be a Naturalist, April 27

Join park staff as we prepare citizen scientist, park friends, outdoorsy people, and young adventure seekers on the basics
of a BioBlitz. Staff can demonstrate how to find and identify wild plants and animals while we stroll along the new Starsmore
Nature Trail. Then take those fundamentals and join in the City Nature Challenge. Download the FREE iNaturalist app to take
and post your findings. Smart phones, cameras and binoculars welcome.

For: All Ages
Time: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Location: Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
Required: Dress for the weather with hiking shoes, and bring a hat, water and sunscreen.

Stratton Exploration Hike, Saturday, April 27

Join park rangers for a moderate hike around Stratton Open Space to discover its flora, fauna, and history. Interested in participating in the City Nature Challenge? Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone prior to this event. Make sure to bring water and snacks, wear appropriate footwear and headwear, and dress in layers for this moderate, ~2 mile hike. Limited pairs of binoculars will be available; please bring your own if you have a pair. Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 10 a.m.- 12 p.m.

Meeting Location: Stratton Open Space, La Veta Entrance (Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.)

Participants: All Ages; 30 participant max

Register: Activity # 11947

Oak Trees and Yucca and Thistle, Oh My! Saturday, April 27

Plant the seed of knowledge on this botany-based hike around Stratton Open Space. Interested in participating in the City Nature Challenge? Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone prior to this event. Make sure to bring water and snacks, wear appropriate footwear and headwear, and dress in layers for this moderate, ~2 mile hike. Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 2-4 p.m.

Meeting Location: Stratton Open Space, La Veta Entrance (Due to limited parking at the trailhead, please park in the lower lot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.)

Participants: All Ages; 30 participant max

Register: Activity # 11948

Arboreal Abodes, Saturday, April 27

Join a Park Ranger as we learn about how trees shape local ecosystems, and provide for other living things in our parks and open space.

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 8 a.m. and noon

Meeting Location: Austin Bluffs Open Space.  Meeting location TBD (All hikes either one or two miles, depending on parking (Heller=1mi, 4 diamonds=2 mi). All hikes easy difficulty.)

Participants: All Ages; 15 participant max

Registration:  Activity # 11949 (8 a.m) and  Activity # 11952 (noon)

Reptilian Residents, Saturday, April 27

Join a Park Ranger to learn about our scaly neighbors found throughout the city. We will try to find and identify local reptiles, and discuss their unique adaptations.

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: Austin Bluffs Open Space.  Meeting location TBD (All hikes either one or two miles, depending on parking (Heller=1mi, 4 diamonds=2 mi). All hikes easy difficulty.)

Participants: All Ages; 15 participant max

Register: Activity # 11950

Bathing Bugs, Saturday, April 27

Join a Park Ranger as we learn about macroinvertebrates! On this hike, we will sample water to find and identify these tiny animals that live right under our noses!

Date: Saturday, April 27

Time: 2 p.m.

Meeting Location: Austin Bluffs Open Space.  Meeting location TBD (All hikes either one or two miles, depending on parking (Heller=1mi, 4 diamonds=2 mi). All hikes easy difficulty.)

Participants: All Ages; 15 participant max

Register: Activity # 11951

Your Own Backyard: A World of Diversity, Monday, April 28

This is a great learning opportunity for students and for the general public to get a chance to explore Rampart Park as we dive into the City Nature Challenge together. This guided hike will allow participants to identify the diverse species of plants and animals that reside in Rampart Park through the iNaturalist app, which is a fun and easy way to learn about and connect with the biodiversity found in our very own backyard.  This 1-hour hike will be an engaging, interactive exploration around the park with frequent stops for plant and animal identifications.

Date: Monday, April 28

Time: Student Hike Times: 9-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-12 p.m. (noon) | Public Hike: 1-2 p.m. (Level of difficulty: Easy, paved trails)

Meeting Location: Rampart Park, Main Parking Lot

Participants: All Ages; 20 participant max/time

More Than Meets the Eye: Urban Waterways, Monday, April 28

Urban waterways provide a unique and valuable habitat for many flora and fauna in an ever expanding urban landscape; in addition to providing habitat, urban waterways provide safe movement corridors for wildlife moving through the urban landscape. This program will consist of an hour talk during a short walk along the Pikes Peak greenway where the topic will focus on the importance of urban riparian areas as habitat for a large variety of flora and fauna. The short walk will also serve to teach participants how to submit observations of flora and fauna with the iNaturalist app, while also focusing on some of the lesser known flora and fauna that call our urban waterways home.

Date: Monday, April 28

Time: 8-9 a.m., 12 (noon)-1 p.m. ( Easy, paved trails, <1 mile.)

Location: Legacy Loop Parking Lot on Recreation Way

Participants: All Ages; 40 participant max/time

Register:  Activity # 11954 (8 a.m) and  Activity # 11955 (12 p.m)

Tabling and iNaturalist Instruction Monday, April 28

Tabling will include activities aimed to show the importance of urban riparian habitats. Also samples will be collected from the creek for people to try and identify the many invertebrates that may call monument creek home. Handouts on the importance of protecting our watersheds and urban waterways will be available. Tutorials on the city nature challenge and iNaturalist will be available for interested participants.

Date: Monday, April 28

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Legacy Loop Parking Lot on Recreation Way

Participants: All Ages; Unlimited

Registration: No registration required.

 

These events are made possible by the TOPS staff of Regional Parks, Trails and Open Space.

Event dates

Location Date/Time Friday, April 26, 2019 - 12:00am to Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 9:00pm