Ecologist Adam Thada, through his blog https://ecology.phjc.org/ offers more ideas about staying connected to the natural world and contributing to society in this time of global crisis.
In a post entitled “Connecting With the Natural World in a Time of Pandemic”, Thada suggests several outdoor activities that will maintain social distancing and at the same time encourage civic and/or scientific engagement. These activities include birdwatching with the help of your local Audubon Society or nature center-sponsored bird walks. You can even learn while doing with the use of helpful bird ID apps such as the Merlin Bird ID app.
If you are into recording your bird and other natural observations, you can take up eBirding. eBird is a Citizen Science project that lets you record your sightings, either online or on a mobile app. To learn more click here.
Thada also suggests another Citizen Science project and mobile app called iNaturalist. “iNaturalist has ways to explore nature while you are at home, by photographing and recording your observations and letting the global online community help you identify what you see. They have a smartphone app too, of course.“
Also on Thada’s list of outdoor activities are walking/hiking in your local natural area or park or biking in your neighborhood. Adam’s take is to stay safe but get outdoors if you can and are able.
Support Local Watershed Groups to Stay Informed and Connected
Here in the Lake Wingra area of Madison we are blessed to have the Friends of Lake Wingra (FoLW) support group. The volunteer organization’s mission is to “Promote a Healthy Lake Wingra Through An Active Watershed Community.”
Achieving that goal these days is a bit more challenging for the group, so the FoLW leadership has come up with a list of Social Distancing Activities to keep watershed residents active and engaged. These activities, called the Wingra ABC’s that include lessons to increase kids’ knowledge of plants, places, wildlife, and water quality issues in the watershed.
Let’s all stay well, keep in touch and hopefully I will see you out and about in the watershed, on the trail or on a prescribed burn.