#bioPGH Blog: Join us for the BioBlitz!
A resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer.
What are you doing on Sunday, June 11? Well, we hope you’ll attend our second annual BioBlitz and Biodiversity Festival! This is an event that joins scientists and community members in an effort to identify every kind of living organism (from vultures to voles to violets!) within a given area in a set time frame. At our Phipps bioblitz we will inventory the biodiversity of our own Schenley Park, and we need your help!
This fun-filled day of nature exploration is completely free to the public and will be an exciting opportunity to go on expert-guided tours and try out outdoor activities and games from community organizations and state agencies on the front lawn of Phipps. So bring your families, friends, and your sense of adventure—this is a day you don’t want to miss!
Activities Throughout the Day
Guided Tours of Schenley Park
Embark on a guided walking tour of Schenley Park with a local naturalist. Learn about this unique Pittsburgh greenspace and the plants and animals that call it home. Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready to document living organisms in the park. Tours will last approximately 45 minutes and will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m; they all will leave from the research base tent. The following tour themes will be offered:
- Birding with Kate St. John, author of the Outside My Window blog (8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.)
- Nature Photography with Joanne Schreiber, Phipps docent (9 a.m.)
- Native and Invasive Plants with Dr. Kyle Selcer, Duquesne University (9 a.m.)
- Native Fish with Dr. Brady Porter, Duquesne University (10 a.m.)
- Spiders with Sebastian Echeverri, University of Pittsburgh (10 a.m.)
- Mushrooms with Western PA Mushroom Club (11 a.m., 3 p.m.)
- Trees with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (11 a.m.)
- Aquatic Organisms with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (1 p.m.)
- Native Plants with Roxanne Swann, Beechwood Nature Preserve (1 p.m.)
- Mollusks with Dr. Tim Pearce, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (2 p.m.)
- Bees and Other Pollinators with Christina Neumann, Apoidea Apiary (3 p.m.)
Be a Botanical Illustrator
Partner with local artist and Phipps instructor Robin Menard to create nature-themed botanical art pieces. All materials will be provided, and there is a limit of 30 people per class. Meet by the Research Base tent at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for either class!
Scientific Story Time
Join us for family-friendly stories focused on science and nature. Story time will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the front lawn under a large shady tree by the outdoor Aquatic Garden.
Following the lead of state and national parks, Phipps will be using the iNaturalist app to track observations of plants, animals, fungi, and everything in between during Bioblitz. iNaturalist provides a free, easy-to-use method for recording your encounters with other organisms and sharing them with others. Download it today to see firsthand how it works; you'll find "Phipps Conservatory Bioblitz" as a listed project. If you’d rather not use the app, be sure to post your pictures of plant and wildlife to social media using the hashtag #bioPGH! We’d love to keep track of what you’ve found.
We hope that you will come out to join us! The BioBlitz will be held rain or shine, and exhibitors and scientists will be on the front lawn from 9 am to 4:30, with a final species count announcement at 4:15. The data from this day will be an important part of monitoring our city parks, and we hope to keep track for years to come!