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    TNI Earth Day BioBlitz

April 25, 2020 10 am – 2 pm

A BioBlitz is an opportunity to gather as much biological data as possible in a short period of time. Started in 1997, BioBlitzes are held all over the world involving thousands of people every year in citizen science. In  2002, the TNI BioBlitz identified 769 species.  How many will we count this year? 
 
Anyone with an interest in nature can contribute to science by participating in the TNI BioBlitz, no experience is necessary. Prior to the event, download the iNaturalist app on your smartphone, find “Projects” and join “The Nature Institute BioBlitz 2020.” The iNaturalist app can be used anywhere, any time, and is a helpful tool to document and explore biodiversity, download it now and use it on your next walk! There will be iNaturalist demos during the BioBlitz at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 1pm, for those unfamiliar with the app. If you don’t have a smartphone, that’s not a problem, we need as many people as possible outside collecting information to share, so come on out!
 
The BioBlitz Base camp will be housed under a large event tent, comprised of booths, information, and activities like face painting, ‘Ask a Scientist’, and viewing microscopes. Pig On A Wing food truck will be in the parking lot for people to purchase food from 11-1:30. Attendees can choose to sign up for expert-led Explorations, or inventory species on their own using the iNaturalist app. Each Exploration will be focused on a specific subject, such as insects, wildflowers, birds, etc. Exploration hikes will be of varying distances and levels of difficulty, and there is something for everyone.
 

Expert-Led Explorations

 

Time

Theme

Hiking Difficulty

10:30

Upland Birds

Easy (<0.5mi)

10:30

Wildlife

Moderate (>2mi)

10:30

Spring Ephemerals

Moderate (>2mi)

11:30

Macroinvertebrates

Difficult (<3mi)

11:30

Bottomland Birds

Difficult (<3mi)

11:30

Prairie

Easy (<1mi)

12:30

Forest Ecology

Easy (<0.5mi)

12:30

Upland Birds

Easy (<0.5mi)

12:30

Spring Ephemerals

Moderate (>2mi)

REGISTRATION FOR EXPLORATIONS STARTS HERE on April 6, 2020

Upland Birds

Our shortest and least strenuous Exploration and the best suited for younger children. Join veteran birder and educator Brent Schindewolf to watch, listen to, and learn the birds of the bluffs.

Wildlife

Join Illinois DNR wildlife biologist Ben Funk on this moderate hike on our beautiful Mississippi Sanctuary trails.

Spring Ephemerals

April is the perfect time to search the forest for spring wildflowers such as Dutchman’s Breeches, Spring Beauty, and Trillium. Join Christine Favilla of the Sierra Club for a moderate hike on our Mississippi Sanctuary trails.

Forest Ecology

Biologist Megan Cosgriff will lead this survey of the plant, animal, and fungi diversity of our forest. Hiking will be short and low difficulty. 

 

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

Join Alton High School Field Ecology instructor Dan Pettus as he inventories our aquatic macroinvertebates, all the insects, crustaceans, worms and other small creatures that live in our streams. Macroinvertebrates populations are an important indicator of water quality. Note: this is one of the longest and most strenuous Explorations, and will involve being in and around a creek. 

Bottomland Birds

Debbie Newman of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will lead this Exploration to find and document all the bottomland bird species of the Olin Nature Preserve. Note: this will be a long hike with very steep portions of trail. 

Prairie

Join biologist Insiyaah Ahmed for a walk in the prairie to inventory plants and insects. Though this is a low difficulty hike, sun protection is highly recommended.

Food Truck Pig on a Wing will be there from 11 am -1:30 pm!

BioBlitz Base Camp 

  • FACE PAINTING
  • ASK A SCIENTIST
  • MAKE A SEED BOMB
  • VIEWING MICROSCOPES
  • FIELD GUIDES
  • TNI SWAG TABLE  – tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more!