Take the City Nature Challenge with Kids on Seattle's Eastside

Help kids become citizen scientists and explore nature in Renton and beyond

By Macaroni KID Renton - Newcastle - Tukwila April 7, 2024

This Earth Month, kids can become scientists by joining the City Nature Challenge right here on Seattle's Eastside. 

Kids, parents, and people of all ages can help the Seattle-Tacoma area (including Renton, Tukwila, Newcastle and Bellevue) show the world how biodiverse our region is. It's as simple as making observations of local species. This is a fun activity to do with young kids, as well as teens and tweens. Plus, it's free and is open to all. It runs from Friday, April 26 to Monday, April 29, 2024. 

Everyone is encouraged to find and document what lives in our own homes, out our windows, on our windowsills and in our backyards, as well as in our neighborhoods and cities. The event uses the iNaturalist app, which is easy to use.

City Nature Challenge has two phases:

  1. Observe!
    April 26 to April 29, 2024: Take and upload pictures of wild plants and animals.
  2. Identify!
    April 30 – May 5, 2024: Help identify what was found.

Be an Observer

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your Android or iPhone (lots of helpful how-to videos on the iNaturalist website)
  2. Join the 2024 City Nature Challenge: Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area iNaturalist project
  3. Take photos of wild plants, animals and fungi in the Seattle Metro Area
    • This can be inside your house, in your backyard, out your window or in your neighborhood. Please no photos of pets or cultivated plants, but see what "wild" species you can find nearby!
  4. Upload your photos to iNaturalist - from your mobile device or via your computer

Help Identify Observations

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your Android or iPhone
  2. Join the 2024 City Nature Challenge: Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area iNaturalist project
  3. Identify observations to species level. Add identifications to observations from this year’s City Nature Challenge, especially those that still need to get down to species. If you’re new to identifying or want to learn some ways to speed up the process, watch this short video on How to use iNaturalists’s Identify Page.

Learn more about the City Nature Challenge here. You'll also find resources in Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Why participate?

Knowing what species are in our city and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the ONLY way to do that is by all of us working together.

By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only can you and your family learn more about local nature, but you can also make our city a better place – for you and other species!

The local planning team for the Seattle-Tacoma City Nature Challenge includes: Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Habitat at Home Program, Green Tukwila / City of Tukwila, The Nature Conservancy in Washington, Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State Department of Agriculture Pest Program.