Session Details

Citizen Science: Measuring and Monitoring Urban Nature

Citizen science involves public participation and engagement in scientific research often in ecological context. In this session we will explore both citizen engagement in measuring eco-systems and biodiversity, as well as citizen approaches to inventory trees. The integration of citizen science to guide park design and monitor ecosystem health offers a specific approach to engaging community members for cultivating sustained park stewardship.

Participants will learn about Philadelphia Parks and Recreation's Park Tree Inventory Program, which engages a place-based volunteer network to inventory the trees and landscape neighborhood parks. Volunteers in this program use a simple web form to record the size, genus, and mortality of each tree, take a picture and locate the tree on a map. This information is used by arborists to proactively maintain trees and to develop a park tree action plan.

Participants will also hear how the WILD Foundation’s Wild Boulder program is recruiting and mobilizing new advocates for nature. This presentation by WILD Foundation’s Melanie Hill will demonstrate how the Wild Boulder program is creating stewards for Boulder’s wildlife in areas ranging from backyards, to urban parks and green spaces, as well as mountain parks and protected lands that encompass this region. Initially created as an engagement program, Wild Boulder lays the groundwork for creating an easily replicable citizen science engagement project through its year-round efforts as well as the annual City Nature Challenge.

Session Presentation Slides

Slide Deck: Citizen Science: Measuring and Monitoring Urban Nature


  • Learn how to integrate citizen science with park design and park programming.
  • Learn tools that citizen scientists can use to measure the ecological benefits of their park landscape.
  • Discover new ways to engage residents in park stewardship, tree care and maintenance.
  • Learn how to utilize I-Naturalist App in your community.