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Jack London State Historic Park presents “Introduction to iNaturalist” nature app

Jack London State Historic  Park presents “Introduction to iNaturalist” nature app
Sarah Reid will introduce hikers to iNaturalist at Jack London State Historic Park on April 9.Source: Jack London State Historic Park


Note that JLHSP canceled this event after this edition of the Kenwood Press went to print. Tickets are not available.

You don’t have to have a degree in botany or be a zoologist to become a citizen scientist. The free smartphone app iNaturalist, a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, allows anyone with a sense of curiosity to participate in observations and identifications in nature and contribute to a worldwide research project.

On Saturday, April 9, iNaturalist expert Sarah Reid will lead “Introduction to iNaturalist,” a mindful hike from the parking lot at Jack London State Historic Park to London Lake and back. She will instruct the group members on how to use iNaturalist and guide them through recording observations. Participants can learn about plants and animals anywhere in the world as they identify and explore through the community of iNaturalists. Participants need to download the iNaturalist app on their smartphone or other device before the event.

This program can be helpful preparation for those interested in participating in the 2022 International City Nature Challenge (CNC), which runs from April 29 through May 2. Run by the Community Science teams at the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the CNC is an annual four-day global bioblitz during which cities participate in a collaborationmeets- friendly-competition to see not only what can be accomplished when we all work toward a common goal, but also which city can gather the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the event. Last year, more than 52,000 people in 419 cities and 44 countries participated.

Reid has been leading outdoor education programs and events in Sonoma County since the late 1970s, and has been a volunteer in local parklands and at Jack London State Historic Park since 2004. She completed the University of California Naturalist certificate program in 2017 and enjoys sharing her passion for local parks and nature. She is an avid hiker and equestrian and a self-professed addict of iNaturalist and nature journaling.

The event begins at 10 a.m. sharp. Participants should bring water and wear sturdy shoes for hiking and layered clothing appropriate for the weather. The program is limited to 10 people, aged 13 and up. Tickets are $10 per person and do not include the parking fee ($10 per car for up to nine passengers). The event will be canceled in the event of rain.

After the program, visitors can enjoy the park’s historic side and learn about the lives of famed author Jack London and his wife, Charmian, who made the place they called “Beauty Ranch” their home.