City Nature Challenge 2019: Chicago Wilderness Region's Journal

November 07, 2019

Mark Your Calendars for the 2020 City Nature Challenge!

First off, I want to apologize for making the project area smaller this year (just Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, and Will counties). There is another CNC being run in Rockford and there was some confusion with the boundaries. We also would have had one of the largest areas out of over 200 participating cities, and it's a much more manageable size now.

Anyway, the dates this year are April 24-27, be sure to follow the new project for regular updates at

We plan to have a lot going on for the CNC this year; guided walks, iNaturalist workshops, and intense BioBlitzs (more like a big day for those into birds), are just a few examples, if you want to run an event for us, please contact Oliver Burrus at

Posted on November 07, 2019 01:10 by whimbrelbirder whimbrelbirder | 2 comments | Leave a comment

May 02, 2019

Can you ID Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii)? Know your Fraxinus spp?

As of Wednesday night, there have been a whopping 10,900 identifications for City Nature Challenge 2019: Chicago Wilderness Regions! Thanks to all of you extraordinary identifiers out there @evan8 @eriko @mcaple @prairiehobbit who have each made over 400 species IDs since Friday.

THREATENED: There are currently 61 T/E observations that are awaiting identification. Can you ID any of these imperiled species?

Plants make up 61% of our observations. The categories below are non-plant categories that can bump up our species count if we can get confirmations.

FUNGI: There are 234 fungi observations awaiting identification. If 'shrooms are your jam, can you help us out of one?

INSECTS: Chicago Wilderness needs your insect expertise, there are 156 that have been hanging out in the "Needs ID" category. Know anyone that can help with these beautiful moths?

ARACHNIDS: There are some beautiful images of Weaver and Wolf spiders that haven't been confirmed yet.

REPTILES: Do you know snakes and turtles? See if you can ID any of these.

There are four more days to upload and identify observations to be counted as part of City Nature Challenge (ends May 5th at 11:5p pm CT.) Thanks, everyone. Nature appreciates it!

Posted on May 02, 2019 01:09 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2019

Species that still need ID, observations deadline

City Nature Challenge is winding down after a whirlwind of botanizing, birding, log flipping and walking. But it's not over yet! Your observations made between April 26-April 29th can be added up until May 5th to be counted in CNC.

The next step is to start making IDs on Chicago Wilderness observations that are still awaiting verification. If you are confident in your ID skills, please help us out by confirming these IDs by May 5th.

A different view of the same Needs ID list:

Fun fact: As of Monday night at 9 pm CT, the global City Nature Challenge project has logged over 724,000 citizen science observations and confirmed over 25,400 species in four days. Hooray for all you citizen scientists!

Posted on April 30, 2019 02:06 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2019

Plant species to look out for today: VA Wildrye, Bottlebrush Grass, Catalpa

Posted on April 28, 2019 14:07 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Saturday Night- Successful Stats and citizen-science champs!

Snow, SHMOW, we embrace you, frozen precipitation! Thank you to everyone who stayed out and hosted CNC events despite the weather.

Chicago Wilderness stats as of Saturday at 8pm:

@evan8 with 158 identifications, followed closely by @sam727 with 150
@slucci leads with 87 species, followed by @janebaldwin and @susankirt with 71
@whimbrelbirder leads with 238 observations, followed by @penelopeburrus with 200 (dynamic duo!)

Prairie Trillium is the leading species with 48 observations followed by Mayapple, Virginia Bluebells, Garlic Mustard and Cut-leaved Toothwort

70% of all observations are plants
29% of all observations are already to research grade
63 out of 685 species are threatened or endangered (we see you @psweet)
30 T/E species are already identified to research grade

Also, we have pulled ahead of Minneapolis and Halifax, NS. You are doing important work, snow people. Way to go!

Mammals to keep an eye out for tomorrow:

Birds to keep an eye out for tomorrow:

Posted on April 28, 2019 01:44 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 2 comments | Leave a comment

April 27, 2019

First threatened or endangered species (location obscured)

@rensweiler submitted Canadian Burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis), the first threatened or endangered species observed in the 2019 Chicago Wilderness City Nature Challenge! Citizen scientists assisting researchers to map the abundance and distribution of our T/E species is an essential tool for making decisions about land management, biodiversity, additional protections and planning to adapt to a changing climate. Yay for all you citizen-scientist naturalists!

Posted on April 27, 2019 03:21 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

What's that you say? It's going to snow tomorrow?

Happy April, Chicago Wilderness crew! Sunny and a high of 62 one day, winter storm watch the next. We're unphased by you slushy snow... there are unrecorded species out there! If the cool, wet spring climate has got you down, you're not alone. This project is tracking all the North American chilly, continental cities participating in the City Nature Challenge. Check us out with over 1,500 observations!

Posted on April 27, 2019 02:17 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2019

First herp of CNC is in the books!

At 10:45am, @benb 's turtle in Cary, IL, is the first herp observed in the Chicago Wilderness City Nature Challenge. Way to go Ben!

Posted on April 26, 2019 16:23 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 25, 2019

City Nature Challenge starts Friday night at 12:01 am CT!

That's right! It's almost time to hit the trails and start observing species across the Chicago Wilderness Region! Despite a wet and chilly forecast (oh, hi April) the die-hards and new nature fans will be out snapping pictures of wild plants and animals. Let's see how many species we can capture for scientists, land managers, naturalists and future generations!
There are 22 organized events over four days (April 26-29) or head out on your own. Happy City Nature Challenge, everyone!
Even list:
More CNC info:

Posted on April 25, 2019 15:42 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 31, 2019

Over 20 events scheduled for the City Nature Challenge: Chicago Wilderness Region

From Lake Co, IL to Berrien Co, MI, nature centers, schools, citizen scientists and forest preserves have scheduled 20+ events between Friday, April 26 to Monday, April 29th across the Chicago Wilderness Region. And they are all free!

There are spring migratory bird walks, family-friendly nature center programs, large-scale bioblitzes, and long and winding trails for hikers. Find one that excites you! Then have family and friends join you to explore one of these beautiful natural areas:
Check back often, there's more to come! Have an event to add to the City Nature Challenge calendar? Email

Posted on March 31, 2019 05:32 by kennedy9094 kennedy9094 | 0 comments | Leave a comment