LINCOLN – A temporary campfire ban continues in Nebraska at state parks ahead of City Nature Challenge
According to a release for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, drought conditions in central and western Nebraska state parks have triggered extreme fire danger. Additional parks may be added if drought conditions persist.
Because of regularly changing conditions, guests should call park areas prior to arrival to determine whether a fire ban is in effect. Parks will make determinations by working with local emergency managers and fire departments.
Those recreating in areas where campfires are allowed should use extreme caution and take precautions, including keeping fires small, contained in provided fire rings, attended at all times, and having a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of spread. Campfires should be properly extinguished with water until all coals have completely cooled.
Also, Nebraskans of all ages are invited to participate in the City Nature Challenge. This global event will help find and document urban wildlife.
The challenge will last from April 29 to May 8. Attendees will have a chance to look for nature in urban areas and learn about the animal and plant life discovered there.
The City Nature Challenge, launched in 2016 as a competition between two U.S. cities, is now an international competition to document nature and better understand urban biodiversity. In 2021, more than 400 cities in 44 countries participated, contributing more than 1 million observations to iNaturalist.
Using the free iNaturalist app, participants will photograph wildlife and upload their observations to the app between April 29 – May 2. They’ll then help identify observations between May 3 – 8.
Wildlife can be any wild plant, animal, fungi or other evidence of life, such as scat, fur or tracks. Participants can even document species through their windows.
Though anyone may participate in the CNC global project, Nebraska partners are hosting the challenge from five urban locations across the state. Search iNaturalist for the following project near you including Lincoln (Lancaster County); Norfolk (Madison County); North Platte (Lincoln County); Omaha Metro; Scotts Bluff County and Global Project.
Three participants from the state level and three each from the city projects will be randomly selected to receive a token of appreciation for supporting the challenge.
Brush up on the animals, plants and fungi you might discover by participating in City Nature Challenge Speaker Series online chats from 7 to 8 p.m. Central time on April 26. Register to attend through the event listings at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.
Get help identifying your observations or learning about how to identify local wildlife by joining virtual informal ID parties daily May 4-6 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Central time. Register to attend through the event listings at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.
Visit outdoornebraska.gov/citynaturechallenge for more information about the City Nature Challenge, including a video about how to use iNaturalist and partners on the projects.