City Nature Challenge
Rochester, NY

Help Rochester win this challenge against cities all around the world to make the most observations of nature over a four-day period!

The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities compete against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.

There is nature all around us, even in our cities! Knowing what species are in our city and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the ONLY way to do that is by all of us – scientists, land managers, and the community – working together to find and document the nature in our area. By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but you can also make your city a better place – for you and other species!

The City Nature Challenge is organized by the citizen science teams at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.

The City Nature Challenge will take place in two parts:

1. Taking pictures of wild plants and animals: April 26th-29th

2. Identify what was found: April 30th-May 5th

*Results of the event will be posted on the official CNC website on May 6th*

Help Rochester compete with cities all around the world to make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people over a four-day period! Take photos in your backyard, on a hike, or around town! April 26th-May 5th all you have to do is:

1. Download the iNaturalist app on your phone and make an account.

2. Take photos of wild animals and plants in our area.

3. Upload the photos to iNaturalist (be sure the photos are geo-tagged and uploaded before April 29th!).

4. Help others in the community identify their photos & learn about new species as your finds get identified.

Zones included in the SPZ project for the CNC: Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, Yates

BioBlitz hike: Join two Naturalist for our CNC BioBlitz events in some of Rochester’s beautiful parks. The goal of these Bioblitz’s is to document the variety of plant, animal, and fungal species that exist in and around the City of Rochester. We will hike through these parks and stop to document the organisms we find on the iNaturalist APP. Throughout the hike we will give you opportunities to go out and explore areas on your own to see what you are able find.

Schedule of hikes:

How do I upload and take photos on the iNaturalist APP?

1. Login to the APP on your mobile device.

2. Go to the “observe” tab at the bottom of the page. From here you can select to use the camera, go to your photo library, or take a sound recording.

3. Once you select use photo at the bottom of the screen you will be brought to the “Details” page.

  •  By selecting the plus box next to your photo you can add more media to better ID the species
  • Select “what did you see?” and the app will recommend you some possible species. Select the option that best matches the photo you took.
  • Make sure the date, time, and location accurately match when and where you took the photo.
  • Also note if the species in the photo was captive/cultivated. For the CNC we want to avoid species that are not naturally occurring (Examples: planted tulips or a dog walking with its owner).

4. Once you have all this information put in, select “share” at the bottom of the screen. Make sure the photo is fully uploaded before closing the APP.

How to join the Seneca Park Zoo’s project for the City Nature Challenge:

Using the iNaturalist APP:

  • Make/login to your iNaturalist account.
  • Go to the project tab at bottom of the screen.
  • In search bar type: City Nature Challenge 2024: Rochester, NY (A project with the zoo logo should pop up.)
  • Select “JOIN” at the top of the page.

Using the iNaturalist Webpage:

  • Make/login to your iNaturalist account.
  • Go to the community tab at the top of the page. Select “projects” in the scroll down.
  • In the search bar type: City Nature Challenge 2024: Rochester, NY. A project with the Zoo logo should pop up.
  • Select “JOIN” at the top of the page.

Learn More

Link to Seneca Park Zoos iNaturalist CNC project page:

Learn more about the City Nature Challenge on the official CNC website:


Reach out to the Seneca Park Zoo Community Science Coordinator, Laura Gaenzler, for any further questions about this event: [email protected]