“Parks for Pollinators” BioBlitz set for Sept. 12-20 in DuPage parks

The preservation and expansion of pollinator habitats remain a high priority at the Fox Valley Park District, for the butterflies, bats and bees comprise a vital component of our ecosystem and an essential link to the world’s food supply.

So, naturally, we’ll raise a hand (or wing) when it comes to supporting and promoting any local initiatives.

And, with this one, you get the chance to be involved, too.

The DuPage Forest Preserve District recently announced it’s hosting a “Parks for Pollinators” BioBlitz from Sept. 12-20, in partnership with the DuPage Monarch Project and as part of the National Recreation and Park Association’s campaign to raise public awareness of the importance of pollinators.

To participate in the BioBlitz, DuPage officials are inviting community members to snap photos of pollinators in DuPage County and upload them to iNaturalist, a free app. Ecologists, who are members of the DuPage Monarch Project, will review the images to get a better idea of what’s going on out there in the DuPage wilderness. (Pollinator habitats abound at two of our DuPage County parks – Waubonsie Lake and Spring Lake.)

“The BioBlitz gives us a tool for identifying the pollinator species present in DuPage and the habitat they’re visiting,” said Lonnie Morris, coordinator at the DuPage Monarch Project. “It takes place during the monarch’s migration through the county, so participants will have a front-row seat to one of wildlife’s most spectacular journeys.”

To participate in the BioBlitz:

  • Download the iNaturalist app on your phone or tablet, and create an account. Be sure to allow the app to use your location, so it’ll record where your photos are taken.
  • Between Sept. 12-20, use the iNaturalist app to capture photos of pollinators you see when visiting a park or forest preserve in DuPage County. (You should select “Observe” under the camera icon and take a photo.)
  • Select “Next” then “Share” to automatically upload your pics to the BioBlitz project.

For more information on pollinators, their habitats and how they relate to you and the FVPD, read our stories on a grant we were awarded to support our open-space projects and preserving and expanding pollinator habitats to support our mission.