Have you ever been hiking at your favorite conservation area and come across a striking wildflower that you’ve never seen before? An otherworldly species of moss? Or a salamander that you can’t quite identify? There’s an app for that.
UVLT staff have implemented iNaturalist in our field work, an app that allows you to quickly upload photos from the field and receive identification help and comments from other nature enthusiasts. In addition to helping you improve your plant identification skills, iNaturalist can also group these photos in “projects,” allowing a user to see all of the common, rare, or exciting species that have been recorded at a given property.
Now more than ever people are getting outside on our trails and at our conservation areas. Do you want to hike with a purpose and help UVLT with a citizen scientist project? iNaturalist is for you! By collecting data on our properties and uploading your observations to iNaturalist you can help us to learn more about our properties so we can steward them well.
To add your findings to one of our conservation area projects, open the app and click on “More” in the bottom right corner. Click on “Projects,” move the slider on the top of the screen to “Nearby,” and search the conservation area you are at or plan to visit (for example: Smith Pond Shaker Forest). Click into the project once it comes up in your search results and hit “JOIN” on the top of the screen. Then you will be ready to add photos to that Project next time you are enjoying that conservation area!
We would like to encourage you to download iNaturalist and upload your photos of unique finds the next time you visit one of our public conservation areas. This creates a crowd-sourced list of species present at the land that we manage and allows us to promote our conservation efforts as essential to protecting fragile ecosystems.
Using iNaturalist is a great way to improve your ecological consciousness while also helping the Upper Valley Land Trust. Do you already use iNaturalist? Tell us about your experience and send us some of your exciting finds. You may be featured on our social media!