Harrisonburg City’s Public Works department is hosting “Parks for Pollinators: Harrisonburg VA,” a BioBlitz event all September long.
“In celebration of pollinators, join us all September long to create a snapshot of the variety of local wildlife. Work alongside City staff to advance the health of local pollinators, which are essential to our ecosystem. Participants will use an app called iNaturalist to take pictures of plants, insects and animals; see what wildlife is present all during the month of September, and contribute to a scientific inventory of pollinator species.” – Harrisonburg City Department of Public Works
Headwaters Master Naturalist Trevor Chase, Cohort VII, who is a Harrisonburg High School Environmental Science & Ecology teacher, is helping HMNs participate through a “pop-up” BioBlitz at HHS on Thursday, September 9:
“As part of Harrisonburg City’s bioBlitz month, Harrisonburg High School is hosting a bioBlitz to measure the biodiversity around the school. Science teachers will be bringing their classes out to conduct the bioBlitz, and we could use the help of Master Naturalists to get students logged into iNaturalist, ID unknown organisms and talk about the value of biodiversity and pollinators.”
If you can help, reach out to Trevor at: tchase [at] harrisonburg.k12.va.us.
If you can’t join the pop-up BioBlitz at Harrisonburg High School described above, there are other events in the planning where HMN members are needed to add their expertise, and for which you can earn volunteer hours. These include a chance to work with elementary school students at various Harrisonburg schools, at least one event at JMU and possibly some pop-ups at some city parks. Stay tuned for further details via emails from HMN or check what the city says on their Facebook page.
And whether or not you participate in any of the events, you can still help Harrisonburg’s BioBlitz by being a Citizen Scientist. Load iNaturalist on your smart phone (if not there already) and join Parks for Pollinators 2021: Harrisonburg VA. Then anytime during the month of September take pictures of pollinators in your backyard, at your neighbors, in parks or other green spaces, on your way to the store or anywhere else in the City of Harrisonburg. Your sighting will then be added to Harrisonburg’s database and assist the Greenspace folks in making the city more attractive for pollinators.
– Art Fovargue, Cohort VII
“[How] to join the project. On your smartphone, there is a button in the bottom right of the app that has three dots and says More. If you click on that it will bring up two options. Select Projects. From there you can use the search feature in the upper right corner and type “Parks for Pollinators 2021: Harrisonburg VA” This will bring up our project where you can join it. Once you have joined a project, any observations that you make which satisfy the conditions of the project (in September, in the City, and a pollinator) will automatically be added to the project.” – Keith Thomas, Harrisonburg Public Works
Parks for Pollinators is a national campaign to raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis through local parks and recreation and likeminded organizations. – National Recreation and Park Association
Read about Harrisonburg’s Pollinator Program which began in 2017: The Buzz in the Burg