Join the Eugene-Springfield City Nature Challenge 2021

Join your friends and neighbors in documenting local plants and animals during the Eugene-Springfield 2021 City Nature Challenge!

This year, organizations across the region invite you to get outdoors and explore the world just outside of your backyard. 

Through an easy, online/phone application, you’ll learn about the plants and animals around you, all while contributing to a growing body of urban habitat science.

The City Nature Challenge is a community science bioblitz with the goal of observing and identifying as many species as possible in urban communities. Participants from more than 200 cities worldwide will contribute and so can you!

2021 City Nature Challenge Project Partners

How It Works

Step-by-step Instructions

 Step 1: Sign Up for iNaturalist

  • Sign up. Download the free iNaturalist mobile app for iOS or Android from the AppStore or Google Play. You can also use the website.
  • Create an iNaturalist account using an email address, a unique user name, and a password. (If you are working as a family, you may want to create a user name for your group, for example, TeamGarcia or NearbyNatureJones or something even more fun!)
  • Note: If you check “Yes, license my photos, sounds, and observations so scientists can use my data” this will allow scientists to use your photos for their research.

Step 2: Join The Eugene-Springfield City Nature Challenge Project

If you can’t get outside, you can still participate! Join this project, specifically designed for species you may find inside your home:  

Never Home Alone: The Wild Life of Homes


  • Click the More icon at the bottom of your screen and then click Projects. Use the Search icon to find even more projects near you!
  • Now you are ready to post your own photo observations, as well as see what other people in the community are finding in their neighborhoods!

Step 3: Take Photos for iNaturalist

  • The easiest way to connect photos to location is to turn ON the GPS (or Location) function on your phone or other digital camera before you start taking photos (you can always turn it back off afterward).
  • Go out in your yard or close neighborhood and take pictures of as many wild living things as you can find. Your discoveries don’t have to be rare wildflowers or exotic bugs; but try to focus on wild rather than garden plants and skip taking pictures of pets. Try to take two or more photos of each thing you find to upload – this helps those who assist with ID’ing pictures or those using information for science

Step 4: Post Your Photos on iNaturalist

  • Open the iNaturalist app on your smartphone or device. (Do this when you have Wi-Fi and you won’t use data.)
  • Once you’re in the app, click Observe. Choose a picture on your phone and upload it to iNaturalist. To add additional photos to an observation, touch the + next to your first image. 
  • You can also upload photos through your home computer to report observations.
  • View the suggestions for what your photo might be by clicking “What did you see?” Click one if you agree, then click Share. It’s okay if you don’t know the name of what you found or if you just list “plant” or “bird” or “insect”. Other iNaturalist users can now see your photo and add an identification if one has not been made yet, or additional confirmations for photos you did identify (this is why it is very important to use the captive/cultivated option for planted yards *even if those plants are native).
  • Notice that you can see how many total photos you or your family group have added over time!
  • By visiting the project often, you will notice when other people identify your mystery photos and also what other folks have found in your neighborhood. Fun!
  • Note — If you don’t want the exact location of your photo to be visible to others (for example if your photo is in your back yard), click Edit when your photo is open, scroll to Geoprivacy (iOS) or Location Visibility (Android) under the photo, and chose Obscured. This will locate your photo within a general rather than a specific area.

Video Tutorial by the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council