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City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge is a global event to find, document and protect urban wildlife. Find an event near you!

Join the City Nature Challenge

Log your observations of plants, fish, wildlife, fungi and more during the one-week global City Nature Challenge, an effort to find and document urban wildlife. Join one of the Nebraska projects or the statewide effort.

April 28 – May 1, 2023: Upload wildlife observations to iNaturalist
May 2- May 7, 2023: Help identify observations via iNaturalist
May 8, 2023: Results announced

Visit the Nebraska Wildlife Education Facebook page for details on virtual and in-person events and links to register.

Nebraska projects

If you don’t live in a participating location, you can join the City Nature Challenge 2023: Global Project on iNaturalist to make your observations count!

Log in to iNaturalist May 2-7 to help identify wildlife observations made in Nebraska made between April 28-May 1. To help, Nebraska Game and Parks is hosting four lunchtime identification parties. Join content experts who can help answer all of your identification questions in the free, virtual events:

  • CNC ID Party: Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians & Fish, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 2
  • CNC ID Party: Plants & Fungi, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 3
  • CNC ID Party: Insects, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 4
  • CNC ID Party: Birds, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 5

Steps to get started

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone. (Download for Android. Download for Apple.)
  2. Find wildlife! It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur or tracks, found in your neighborhood, home or yard. You can even document it while indoors and observing through your window. You might be surprised by how many insects thrive in the nooks and crannies around you.
  3. Take pictures of what you find and upload to iNaturalist. Watch this video to learn how to use the app.
  4. Learn more as your observations are identified, and help others identify their observations. Nobody knows everything, but we all know something! Helping others identify their observations is a great way to provide support.

How are observations counted?

All observations made in a participating city and uploaded to iNaturalist during the observation period of the challenge will automatically be counted toward that city’s total. You do not have to join the project for your observations to count, as long as you are within a participating city’s boundaries.

If you don’t live in a participating city, you can join the Global City Nature Challenge Project on iNaturalist. This project allows anyone, from anywhere, to participate in the event. Global participants have to join the project for observations to count.

Cell phone in nature

Why participate?

There is nature all around us, even in our cities. Knowing what species are in our urban areas and where they are located helps us study and protect them. But, the ONLY way to achieve this is by all of us — scientists, land managers and the community — working together to find and document nature in our areas. By participating in the CNC, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but you can also make your city a better place for you and your wild neighbors!

History of the City Nature Challenge

The CNC was started in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences. The first CNC was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors to document nature in order to better understand urban biodiversity. In 2017, the CNC went national, and in 2018, the CNC became an international event. The event has continued to grow each year. In 2021, more than 400 cities across 44 countries participated, contributing over 1 million observations to iNaturalist!

Thank you to our event sponsors

The City Nature Challenge across Nebraska wouldn’t be possible without our partners in conservation.


  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Heron Haven Wetland Sanctuary
  • Omaha Public Library
  • City of Omaha Parks, Recreation, and Public Property
  • Community Scientists of Nebraska Network
  • Omaha STEM Ecosystem
  • Keep Omaha Beautiful
  • Mulhall’s
  • Nebraska Wildlife Rehab
  • Fontenelle Forest


  • Lower Elkhorn NRD
  • Norfolk Visitors Bureau

North Platte

  • North Platte Visitors Center
  • Mid-Plains Community College
  • North Platte Public Library

Scotts Bluff

  • City of Scottsbluff
  • City of Gering


  • Pioneers Park Nature Center
  • Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
  • Lincoln Parks and Recreation
  • UNL Department of Entomology
  • Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County
  • Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
  • Nebraska Forest Service
  • Lincoln Community Learning Centers
  • Friends of Wilderness Park
  • The Xerces Society
  • Lincoln City Libraries
  • University of Nebraska State Museum- Morrill Hall
  • Wachiska Audubon Society
  • Community Scientists of Nebraska Network
  • Nebraska Pollinator Monarch Initiative


  • Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust
  • Natural Legacy Project

Contact Us

Have questions about the City Nature Challenge? Reach out to Alie Mayes.

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