Illinois Monarch Project’s Wings of Dreams BioBlitz

6 20 Butterflies
(Photo by Gretchen Steele)

This year, the Illinois Monarch Project (IMP) joins Brookfield Zoo’s Communities & Nature program to present the Wings of Dreams BioBlitz.

I realize that I am one of those who do everything I can to get folks to decrease their screen time and turn it into green time. But, those same devices in our pockets and on our desks can be helpful outdoor tools and can be used positively with our youngsters.

The IMP Wings of Dreams is a great way to combine technology, citizen science, and some fun for the whole family during the week of June 20 to June 27 this year.

This activity allows you to collaborate with  other monarch conservationists, naturalists, and citizen scientists  to learn more about the species that inhabit your neighborhood or favorite outdoor destination

The Wings of Dreams BioBlitz is a competitive species count between participating individuals, families, and organizations across Illinois. June 20 through 26th, individuals, families, and organizations enter observations by posting directly to the IMP Bioblitz 2022 iNaturalist page through the Seek app.

If this sounds intriguing and like a fun activity for your family, it’s a simple process to get started.
1. Head to the Illinois Monarch Project Page
2. Click on What’s New
3. Sign up for the Wings of Dreams Bio Blitz

It’s that simple. Participants will register need to register on the iNaturalist Wings of Dreams Bioblitz page and decide if they want to form a team or do it solo. Additionally, participants will need to download the iNaturalist and SEEK apps for their smartphones/tablets or access them via computer.

Taking part in a BioBlitz is a fun family activity for an after-supper walk or a lap through your favorite outdoor haunt. Whether you just utilize your back yard and immediate neighborhood or visit one of Illinois’ many public lands, it’s a great way to learn about the biodiversity in our state.

All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of 3 coveted awards, including most observations, most species, and most observed species. Additionally, you can create your own contests within your family or circle of friends just for bragging rights.

This type of BioBlitz is a valuable tool for understanding populations, rare species, and species diversity in Illinois. It’s not just a fun activity, and it’s a way to benefit biologists worldwide with your first-hand observed data.

Be sure to check my column in the June 17 print issue of Illinois Outdoor News for more about the importance of “Citizen Scientists” and some other fun projects going on out there for aspiring citizen scientists!

Categories: — — Illinois – Gretchen Steele

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