Mount Pisgah Arboretum actively supports a number of community science projects, and we believe that community science is a great way for people to connect to nature, learn about where they live, and make an impact.

Lane County Florablitz

Initiated in 2020 by Gail Baker of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, the Lane County Florablitz began as a response to the cancellation of that year’s Wildflower Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We partner with the Emerald Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon and Lane Community College to conduct this event. The Florablitz runs the week before our annual Wildflower Festival and is conducted through iNaturalist. Community members are encouraged to post photos of plants throughout Lane County to iNaturalist during this period, which are then identified by local experts. Over time, this data will allow for a comparison for flowering periods for a number of species, helping to understand shifts as the climate changes.

Lane County Mycoblitz

Following the success of the Florablitz, the Lane County Mycoblitz was initiated in the fall of 2020 as a partnership with the Cascade Mycological Society and Lane Community College. The Mycoblitz runs during the week prior to our annual Mushroom Festival. Community members are encouraged to post photos of fungi in Lane County to iNaturalist during this period, which are then identified by experts. As with the Florablitz, this data will allow for a better understanding of year-to-year variation in phenology of mushroom fruiting.

City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge is an international bioblitz begun in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. Mount Pisgah Arboretum and other local partners have been participating in this event since 2019. The event occurs at the end of April each year, and is centered around engaging the community in making observations of plants, animals, fungi, etc. particularly in and near urban areas. Mount Pisgah Arboretum has been coordinating this event locally since 2023.

Mount Pisgah Lichen Inventory Project

In the winter of 2023, Volunteers recorded observations of lichen species along trails across Mount Pisgah, specifically focusing on locating cyanolichens which are relatively uncommon, have specific habitat requirements, and are more sensitive to environmental change. Volunteers uploaded their observations to iNaturalist, where they were identified through a project managed by Mount Pisgah Arboretum staff. 

At the culmination of the project, 30 volunteers contributed more than 400 hours of their time, amassing more than 1,270 research grade observations and successfully identified locations of high value lichen habitat. The Mount Pisgah Lichen Inventory Project contributed significant, publicly accessible data, offering one of the most thorough biogeographical accounts of lichen species at a single site in the Willamette Valley. Check out the report here!