The face of the river…was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.

Mark Twain

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Get Involved

A free event for all throughout the Verde River watershed in Arizona.

Join Friends of the Verde River and our partners for the third annual Verde Valley BioBlitz!

When: Starting Earth Day 2023 through early May 2023
Where: Around the Verde Valley

Join us to learn more about the plants and animals who live here. Friends and the Science Vortex team up to host the Verde Valley BioBlitz in conjunction with the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival each Earth Day. Funded by the City of Cottonwood, the BioBlitz is a way for you to contribute to science! You take photos of plants, fungi, and animals and upload them to a mobile app, iNaturalist, to identify and record as many species of living things as possible over the course of two weeks. We download your observations to find out who lives here with us humans. Through the observations you submit through the BioBlitz, we better understand the state of wildlife and the Verde River. We award prizes for the community scientists who submit the most species observations. It’s a win-win!

BioBlitz participants are invited to go out along the river – or anywhere in the Verde River system, like Oak Creek or West Clear Creek – and use the iNaturalist app to take photos of plants, animals, birds, and insects. By submitting your observations through iNaturalist, you gather important species data for the Verde River, helping our efforts to document native and invasive species in our sensitive habitat systems. You do not have to be a biologist; the identification of species is turned over to iNaturalist experts! Your job as a community scientist in the BioBlitz is to enjoy your time outdoors and submit quality photos.

Whether you are a regular user of iNaturalist or you’ve never heard of it, you can participate in the BioBlitz as long as you have a smartphone or tablet.

This event benefits our community and has benefits for your own individual health. Spending time outdoors and volunteering are two activities recommended to boost mental health and build a feeling of connection to the community. We look forward to seeing you on the river. If you post photos throughout the event please be sure to use hashtag #PurdyVerde and tag @friendsoftheverderiver!

Where should I go?
Check out this map of suggested locations.

What should I bring?

  1. Smart phone or tablet with iNaturalist app downloaded
  2. Water & snacks
  3. Masks and hand sanitizer
  4. Hiking shoes
  5. Sunscreen

iNaturalist Observer How-Tos:
Downloading the App onto your smartphone (3 options)

  1. Type iNaturalist into the search function of the app store on your phone and select download.
  2. Use this QR code to go to the iNaturalist page for Friends of the Verde River to learn more. There are links to download the app at the bottom of the page.
  3. Use these links to get the app from your app store: Android Google Play Store OR Apple App Store

Creating an Account:
Visit or open the iNaturalist app on your device and select “sign up”. Enter your email address, select a username and a password. You can also create an account using an existing google, apple or facebook account.

Creating Observations:
Once you have created your account you can start observing! iNaturalist has a website dedicated to getting started with the app. Please click here to learn how to create observations.

Something to remember when creating observations:

  • Quality observations = Good photos! Be sure to get photos of leaves, stems and any other parts of plants. Animal photos are great, be sure to be respectful of the environment while getting the best focus possible.

Joining Our iNaturalist Project:
Check back for more information on how to join the Friends of the Verde River iNaturalist Project!

See the 2021 BioBlitz Video

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