In accordance with Massachusetts regulations, capacity limits and other restrictions are in effect for in-person campus events. Please see Campus Event Guidance for Spring 2021 for more details.

City Nature Challenge

Event Details

April 30—May 9, 2021


Free admission
Melanie Radik

The City Nature Challenge is a friendly competition* among cities across the globe to see which city can find and document the most plants and wildlife over a four-day period.

In 2021, we urge everyone to follow the health directives of your area, including maintaining social distancing of 6 feet between people, wearing your masks while outside together, and not sharing items like binoculars.  For any observing you want to do in close proximity, please limit to members of your household. 

*In these challenging times the focus of the event has shifted from competition to community building. Let's all get out there and see what we can find!

By making wildlife observations, you are contributing data to scientists and your community, which helps people study and protect local species. Cities that participated in previous years documented species in their areas they didn't know they had, and got thousands of participants to get outside and take a closer look at the nature all around us.

Observations made in the following counties during the City Nature Challenge will count toward totals for the Pioneer Valley area: Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden, MA. In order for observations to count toward the challenge, participants must do the following:

1. Find Wildlife

Find and photograph any WILD plant, animal, or fungus in your backyard, campus, sidewalk cracks, mountain paths, river banks - anywhere in the Pioneer Valley. Please avoid landscaped areas planted by people, pets, zoos, etc.

2. Take a Picture of What You See

Be sure to note where you were when you took the picture. Remember, only observations in the three counties will count!

3. Share Your Observations

Upload your findings through the free iNaturalist app, on your phone, or online.

4. Help ID Observations

Identify the species of observations collected during the first phase of the challenge online at iNaturalist. Try to stick to the ones from the Pioneer Valley!

More information available at:

City Nature Challege LibGuide

City Nature Challenge

Pioneer Valley on iNaturalist

iNaturalist Workshops, part of the Libraries Workshop Series

The UMass Amherst Libraries are coordinating all City Nature Challenge efforts for the Pioneer Valley area. The Libraries are currently looking for partner organizations to promote the challenge, make observations, host community science events, or help identify species during the City Nature Challenge.

Contact Melanie Radik,, to get your organization involved!

Event Category

Special/Other Sustainability