Join the 2023 City Nature Challenge


You can be part of a challenge to identify all of the plants and critters in the greater Baltimore/Washington area. Join in the City Nature Challenge by making observations of as many species as possible between April 28-May 1, 2023. 

The City Nature Challenge will help us find out what species are living in cities around the world. Volunteers from all over are being asked to explore nature around them and document the species they find using the iNaturalist app. Biodiversity is essential to a healthy environment and scientists need help gathering data. That’s what this Citizen Science project will do between April 28-May 1.

All you need to do is go outside and take pictures using the app iNaturalist. After May 1 all of the species captured in the photos will be identified and categorized to discover how many unique species are living in our area. 

City Nature Challenge Spa Creek, Annapolis

You can do the City Nature Challenge on your own, or join a planned event with a group that will explore a specific area. All you need is a phone loaded with the iNaturalist app and the willingness to hunt and photograph different species. Or join an event to catalogue the wildlife in Spa Creek.

The following events are open to everyone. You must be able to walk at least a mile. Wear sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Make sure your group has a phone or tablet loaded with the iNaturalist app

Friday, April 28 at 4pm.  We will walk to the footbridge near the Chesapeake Children’s Museum making observations as we go, and then explore the area adjacent to the creek. Meet at the parking lot for Weems-Whalen Field. 935 Spa Road, Annapolis. This is the parking lot next to the running track.

Sunday, April 30 at 1pm. We’ll explore the marshy headwaters behind the Boys & Girls Club. This will involve some rough, wet terrain. Wear sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Boots would be a good idea. In the past we have seen beavers, ducks, turtles, frogs and lots of vegetation. Meet at the parking lot for Weems-Whalen Field. 935 Spa Road, Annapolis. This is the parking lot next to the running track.

Pre-register for the City Nature Challenge on Spa Creek here.

Remember, the CNC is happening between April 28th and May 1st, 2023. During that 4-day window, go out and make as many observations as you can! You don’t have to be part of a group, you can make observations on your own. It doesn’t matter where you are in the DMV. Your observation locations are automatically recorded in iNaturalist. Scientists will use those locations to count observations in each city. 

How to participate:

  • Make sure you have the iNaturalist app on your phone or tablet
  • Join an event, or go out into nature
  • Make observations between 12am April 28th and 12pm, May 1 using the iNaturalist app

Observation events will be listed on

More Information 

If you are in the Balitmore area, the Baltimore area challenge is sponsored by the National Aquarium.
For those closer to Washington D.C., you can find more information at the Washington DC City Nature Challenge page.