MDC ready for free Nature Challenge Kickoff April 28-29 in Kansas City

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) staff at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will be ready to help people in the Kansas City area participating in the free City Nature Challenge from April 28 through May 1. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, MDC staff will be helping people get started in the challenge.

The challenge, a national and international program, is a friendly competition between cities to see which community’s residents can find the most plant and animal species in backyards and parks.  The overriding goals are connecting people with nature and showcasing biodiversity in communities. Citizens take photos of plants and animals and upload their observations using the free mobile iNaturalist app. The information goes into a database that scientists can use.

“We can help them learn how to use the iNaturalist app, and we can help them find species to photograph in the Discovery Center’s outdoor garden,” said Susie Harris, MDC naturalist.

MDC’s Gorman Discovery Center makes a good starting place for adding species to a count. The center has a large outdoor garden with a wide variety of plants, trees, and shrubs. Birds, butterflies, and other wildlife are attracted to the garden. The Discovery Center building is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but the public is invited to walk the trails in the outdoor garden and record observations on both days.

The city of Kansas City is hosting the event for the metro area participants and conservation partners. Participants should go to the following link for more information and to get started, City Nature Challenge | - City of Kansas City, MO.

“Discovery Center invites people to join in,” Harris said. “They can become citizen scientists, and they might be surprised at what plants, birds, and animals they find in their own backyard.”

For more information on MDC’s Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., visit