Seventh Annual Texas City Nature Challenge Encourages Citizen Scientists to Record Nature Observations

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), through the Texas Nature Trackers program, invites Texans to participate in the seventh annual City Nature Challenge, Friday, April 29 through Monday, May 2. This global community-based scientific effort, co-organized by San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, invites current and aspiring citizen scientists of all ages and backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist.

The 2022 City Nature Challenge will be a friendly competition between the 15 Texas metropolitan areas.  Whether joining a group event or exploring nature with your family or on your own, participants are encouraged to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community and celebrate the healing power of nature safely as they document their local biodiversity. You are also invited to join the effort to help identify those plants and animals found during the challenge by helping with identification from May 3-8, 2022.

For the past five years, TPWD, through the Texas Nature Trackers program, has promoted Texans’ participation in the City Nature Challenge. In 2021, more than 5,000 participants contributed almost 134,000 observations of some 6,800 species across 88 counties. A record number of 14 project areas representing 78 counties across Texas host the City Nature Challenge, including: Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston-Galveston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Lubbock, Mustang Island, San Antonio, Wichita Falls and Waco. This year we are pleased to add Tyler/East Texas, representing another 10 counties.

Even if you do not live in one of these areas, you can still participate by joining the City Nature Challenge 2022 Global Project and entering your observations on iNaturalist. Texans are invited to explore nature in their immediate surroundings: outside their front doors, in their yard or anywhere nature is found which they can safely and responsibly explore.

Texas Nature Trackers encourages people to use the hashtag #CityNatureChallenge on social media or as a tag in iNaturalist to share how they are engaging in this year’s event.

Visit the Texas City Nature Challenge page on the TPWD website to find links to the Texas projects and learn more about the global project at the City Nature Challenge website. Those interested in participating can also contact Craig Hensley and Tania Homayoun with the Texas Nature Trackers program at tracker@tpwd.texas.gov.

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.