Colorado Springs, CO

Bioblitz, Exploring and Learning Flora, Fauna and Fungi at the Stratton Open Space

Grant Underwood
Jesse Dodds/Unsplash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A bio blitz is being held in Stratton Open Space by the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department on Friday-Sunday, August 27-29.

The program, which is free and accessible to the public, aims to find as many species as possible in order to compile a biological census of the area. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be guided hikes and family-friendly activity areas.

The participants can learn more about the local scientific community, as well as wildlife and flora in the Pikes Peak region, on Saturday and Sunday in the Ridgeway Trailhead parking lot.

Park ranger supervisor, Gillian Rossi said that the true beauty of a bioblitz is that it allows everyone in the community to become engaged with research while also giving them a new perspective on a park or open area.

The Ridgeway Trailhead parking lot will be closed for the event on Saturday and Sunday. The Ridgeway Trailhead will be shuttled to and from Cheyenne Mountain High School (1200 Cresta Road), where participants should park. On the shuttle, masks are mandatory.

The guided hikes begin on Friday evening with a Bat Flight Hike at the South Suburban Reservoir from 8:30-9:30 p.m. to monitor bat acoustics. On Saturday and Sunday, daytime wildlife treks will be available, including Beginner Birders, Bug Blitz, Hike Like Bigfoot, and a Hiking Scavenger Hunt.

If you prefer to participate solo, simply download the iNaturalist app and make notes in the open space. The free software provides maps and identification tools for flora, fauna, and fungi. The procedure is simple and clear: take a photo or record a video, then use the app to identify the plant or animal.

All observations made in the project area are kept and archived for further study. If you're not sure what you found, the iNaturalist community can help you figure it out.

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