Jackson Park Nature BioBlitz Event

Jackson Park gazebo on a sunny spring morning

On Saturday, April 29, the City of Peterborough is hosting a community bio-blitz to record the diversity and abundance of local wildlife in Jackson Park. The event is aligned with the City Nature Challenge (CNC), a global bioblitz competition to record nature sightings in communities from around the world. The City is partnering with the Peterborough Field Naturalists (PFN) who will lead the bioblitz throughout the day. Specific bioblitz group searches are planned, such as bird, plants, mushrooms, and insect counts. All of the observations will be confirmed and tallied as part of Peterborough's official submission to the City Nature Challenge. Winning communities for the highest number of wildlife observations will be announced by the CNC on May 8.

What is a BioBlitz?

A BioBlitz is a communal citizen-science effort to record as many species as possible within a designated location and time period.

These events provide valuable information which can help researchers understand local biodiversity and assists in identifying population changes over time. Unfortunately, many wildlife populations are in decline with habitat loss being the most significant hazard impacting Ontario species. This event will connect people to nature through active participation in identifying local species in Peterborough.

How to participate

Join us at Jackson Park (610 Parkhill Rd.) on Saturday, April 29 for part or all of the day to help identify local wildlife. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. Jackson Park can be accessed by foot, bike trails, and public transit (Route 8 Monaghan and Route 9 Parkhill). Jackson Park has a limited number of parking spaces (lot located off 610 Parkhill Rd.) and on-street parking is available on surrounding side streets.

Base camp will be set up near the pond and gazebo bridge, just off the Trans Canada Trail. Start there to connect with a PFN-led tour and check out our resources.

  • Guided walks depart hourly 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Event Map

Jackson Park BioBlitz Event Map

  Map Description

  • The event information booth is located at the Base Camp which is adjacent to the Trans-Canada Trail, beside the Jackson Park Pond and north of the Pagoda Bridge.
  • Park washrooms are closed for the season but a portable toilet will be located in the Fairbairn Street/Parkhill Road parking lot.
  • Public transit routes that access Jackson Park include: 8 Monaghan, 9 Parkhill, 22 CB Blue, and 23 CB Red.
  • Parking lots available include: 1100 Parkhill Rd. W. lot, 610 Parkhill Rd. W. lot, and Fairbairn Street/Parkhill Road West (limited parking available due to event staff loading zone).

screen of smartphone with iNaturalist app open to a map of Jackson ParkTo assist with recording wildlife observations during the bio-blitz, the iNaturalist app will be used to upload sightings of species spotted through the use of a unique Peterborough project event page. Before arriving, please download the app to your mobile device. To learn more about iNaturalist, check out How to Use the iNaturalist App below.

The global competition is taking place from April 28 to May 1. During this time, anyone can upload nature sightings to the iNaturalist project event page as long as the observations are within the Peterborough city-boundary.

Using the iNaturalist App

  1. Install the iNaturalist app (available for both Apple and Android) and create an account.
  2. Take photos with detailed observations to be posted later to the project page via the app or your computer.
  3. Learn more about how to make impactful observations by reading the iNaturalist resources and by watching the Peterborough Public Library's iNaturalist how-to video.
  4. Add your observations to the Peterborough project by searching City Nature Challenge 2023 Peterborough.


Tips for using the iNaturalist app
  1. Open the app and tap the Observe button from the My Observations tab.
  2. Add one or more photos as evidence.
  3. Choose what you saw from list of suggestions.
  4. Time and date should be added automatically; if not, add when you made the observation.
  5. Select observation location from the map.
  6. Add to the project page: City Nature Challenge 2023: Peterborough.
  7. Save your observation.
Tips for uploading images to the iNaturalist website
  1. Open iNaturalist in your web browser.
  2. Start by clicking the green Upload button from the header when you are logged in. From the upload page, begin by dragging in one or more photos. Each photo will create an 'observation card' that you can edit before submitting. You can also use the 'Add' button in the upper left to create observation cards without photos or the 'More Import options' menu to upload a CSV or import from external sites.
  3. Choose what you saw from the suggestions or by searching for a name. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, leave it blank or use some placeholder text. If you entered a scientific name that's not recognized, click ‘Search external name providers’ to first import the organism from elsewhere. 
  4. Use the calendar to enter when you observed the organism.
  5. Add observation to the project page: City Nature Challenge 2023: Peterborough.
  6. Submit your observation.
Tips for making iNaturalist observations

Follow these tips provided by iNaturalist:

  1. Cropping photos helps with identifying the subject. 
  2. Include as much contextual information as you can such as habitat, weather, and behaviour. 
  3. If unsure of the species for your observation, keep the identification broad which will allow evaluators to correct it. 
  4. Add the observation to the project page to be counted toward the City Nature Challenge.
  5. Have fun!

Interested to learn more about nature?

The Peterborough Public Library has curated a reading list of nature books that are available or soon to be released. These recommended books will help any budding naturalist master identifying local wildlife.