In 2019, Greener JC launched Jersey City’s first ever BioBlitz. A BioBlitz is a communal event where community scientists record as many species of plant and animal life as possible in a designated place and time. Community scientists are any members of the community who want to engage with the biodiversity around them, observe and learn more.
Greener JC organized the BioBlitz to allow community members to collect biodiversity data in two ways. We organized a single-day event on May 4th where multiple groups of community scientists joined members of the Greener JC team to document the natural life in the City, and we created an ongoing project in iNaturalist encouraging community members to continue adding observations before and after our main May 4th event. The project has surpassed our expectations and we look forward to continuing to identify the many species inhabiting Jersey City.
On May 4th, Greener JC partnered with the Canco Park Conservancy, Saint Peter’s University, the Friends of Van Vorst Park, and the Friends of Arlington Park to explore four of the city’s local parks. In total, 20 community scientists joined the Greener JC board to document 107 species across Jersey City. Even in the rain, the community scientists had a great time searching for and identifying the plants and animals who, like themselves, call our city home. Some of the exciting finds included a Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Wild Bergamot, Gadwalls, Coneflower, and a Greater Yellowlegs.
The project has remained open since May 4th with regular contributions by members of the community. Newer observations have included a Scarlet Tanager, American Goldfinches, a Polyphemus moth, and groundhogs. Since the project’s launch on April 8th to June 22nd, a total of 122 species have been identified in Jersey City.
The BioBlitz project on iNaturalist will remain active until the end of 2019. To continue to contribute to the project, please follow the instructions below. By the end of the year we hope to reach 500 individual observations and at least 150 species documented. Greener JC plans to make the BioBlitz an annual event, so if you or your group is interested in partnering in this initiative please reach out!