Mansfield Living

City counts on volunteers to count species

Sam Kieschnick needs some curious outdoorsy types to count bugs, fungus, animals and trees this weekend.

Kieschnick, the city’s naturalist, hopes to have a host of willing folks show up from 9-11 a.m. Saturday for Bioblitz and help document the flora and fauna at Oliver Nature Park. Volunteers don’t even have to know what they’re looking at, he said.

“They take a picture of it and people from around the world will identify it,” Kieschnick said. “This documents that they saw it at this time and place. Other people will help you with what it is. We’re getting a lot of useful data about what is there and things that are no longer there.

“If we get a lot of eyes, we can see a lot of new stuff,” he said.

Volunteers need to bring their curiosity and a camera or smart phone, he said. Their photos will be uploaded to the website, iNaturalist.com, where scientists and naturalists will identify the specimens.

Kieschnick hosted the first Bioblitz in May, when 30 hardy volunteers showed up despite a rainy day. He’s hoping for more Saturday.

The city has already documented 400 species, but Kieschnick knows there are so many more.

“There’s a lot we haven’t documented yet,” Kieschnick said. “It’s an ongoing project at the park. Flooding could have brought in new things.”

The free event is family friendly, and all ages are welcome (with adult supervision).

Bioblitz

9-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10

Oliver Nature Park

1650 Matlock Road

Free

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