By Rich Niccum, Education Services Manager
It’s Bioblitz time! And staff and volunteers at Preservation Parks are excited and gearing up for this annual natural history event. This year the Park District’s 2019 BioBlitz will be held on Saturday, September 7 at Gallant Woods Park. We will be starting bright and early at 7 a.m., not just to get the worms but also to mist net birds and so much more. Not only are we early birds but we will be night owls as well, with the event going until 10:30 p.m. that evening. You can join us for plenty of opportunities to join us throughout the day. A complete schedule of the day’s activities can be found here.
What is a bioblitz exactly? A bioblitz is an event that documents as many species of living things in a park or other natural area in a specific time period, usually a 12 – 24-hour period. Bioblitzes are important because they can help determine the level of biodiversity, and the richness of an area. It may also identify rare or uncommon species that may need further protection. For Preservation Parks, our bioblitzes and other bio surveys help us with master species lists and master planning so we know where infrastructure such trails, roads, shelters, playground areas may be built within a park to protect sensitive species of plants and animals. A bioblitz helps us determine what natural resource management practices we should institute and what habitat restoration projects we should undertake. It can also help us determine the success of previous restoration projects.
Our bioblitzes provide an educational opportunity for park patrons. Visitors can get involved in the bioblitz and tag along with experts in botany, mammalogy, ornithology, mycology, and more, asking questions, learning cool new facts and learning how to identify species of flora and fauna. It is our hope that with the new-found knowledge visitors gain from a bioblitz they will be inspired to help us protect and conserve natural areas throughout Delaware County.
Whether you have several hours or only one hour, take some time out of your Saturday and get outdoors to learn more about the natural world around all of us. See you Saturday, September 7 at Gallant Woods Park!