(ROCKWALL, TX – Sept. 22, 2017) Are your children curious about all the different birds, plants, bugs and animals they find while playing outside? Do you enjoy bird watching, native plants and wildlife watching? Would your students benefit from a hands-on species identification project and learning from an Urban Biologist and Master Naturalists? The Rockwall County Open Space Alliance (RCOSA) is hosting a unique family-friendly event for you!
In partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, RCOSA invites you to the first Rockwall County BioBlitz at Harry Myers Park on Saturday, November 4th, 2017. We will gather at the Harry Myers Park Community Center located at 815 E. Washington St., Rockwall, TX 75087 at 9:00 a.m. No experience necessary and admission is free!
What is a BioBlitz? A BioBlitz is a community event for all ages designed to find and record as many species as possible within a designated area. Sam Kieschnick, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Biologist will give a presentation on conservation, residents will learn how to use the iNaturalist application, and then everyone will go outside to be a part of creating a public inventory of Rockwall County’s living organisms (wildlife, bugs, plants, birds, fish, etc.). We will roam the park making observations and taking pictures. Master Naturalists will be present to help with IDs and to assist.
Harry Myers Park is the perfect setting for our first BioBlitz. The park is big enough to be home to a wide variety of wildlife but small enough for a few hours of data gathering. It has a trail system, rolling meadows, a pond, and a stream. Our first BioBlitz will give you a hands-on experience in identifying and recording the biodiversity that the park has to offer.
Activities will begin at 9:00am inside the Harry Myers Park Community Center and will last until 11:00. Of course, if you would like to stay longer in the park you are more than welcome to.
What to Bring and How to Participate
- Bring your cameras or your mobile phone to snap pictures of the species you find. We encourage participants to install and explore the free iNaturalist app on your smartphone or tablet, in advance of the event. Please visit: http://www.inaturalist.org/. We will provide instructions on how to use the iNaturalist application before we begin.
- Bring snacks and water if you wish.
- Dress for being outside and wear closed toe shoes.
- Wear/bring sunscreen.
RSVP on our Facebook Event Page: RCOSA BioBlitz at Harry Myers Park
After the event, we will post and compile everyone’s findings on a iNaturalist website for you to view. The data on the species can be used to guide management in our natural open space areas and parks. It helps cities to know where to put trails, target any removal of an invasive species, and ensure Rockwall County’s natural open space habitats are good for birds, plants, mammals, and all other organisms. RCOSA also would like to increase the public’s awareness of the wide variety of life in Rockwall County and popularize science and inspire naturalists of all ages. Go wild for Rockwall County in our first BioBlitz! #RCOSABioBlitz2017 #iNaturalistRockwall
Submitted by Donna Dorman, Events Chair, Rockwall County Open Space Alliance
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