COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience

Access City programs, people and projects designed to help Portland recover. Portland United
Volunteer. Play. Stay. Shop. Show the Rose City a little love. Be Here for Portland.

City Nature Challenge

This fun community science event is something you can do on your own time, at any location in the Portland metro area!
All day

City Nature Challenge: Greater Portland-Vancouver Metro Area 

April 30-May 3, 2021

*Please note - this is not an official PP&R volunteer event. We ask that if you take part in this event while in a public park or natural area, that you stay on trail and respect all park rules, including Covid-19 protocol.* 

Join us to connect with and celebrate nature in our region’s first ever City Nature Challenge--an effort to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe.

You don’t need to be a scientist or an expert to enjoy this event! Nature is for everyone. For the City Nature Challenge, you just need to follow these three simple steps:

(1) search your favorite outdoor places for plants, animals, or any other evidence of life in your city,

(2) snap some photos, and

(3) share your observations on iNaturalist—a web-based social network for sharing biodiversity information across the globe! Shortly afterwards, a local or online expert will review your observation and help identify the species, and you’ll contribute to an amazing worldwide effort that generates scientifically valuable data.

You can participate in the City Nature Challenge at your own pace, in a group of friends or family, in a virtual classroom or solo! Anywhere from your backyard, to a local park or natural area, as long as it is in the greater Portland and Vancouver area! 

Links below will show you how to upload and use iNaturalist, and there are plenty of training videos on its website. PP&R and partners will also offer on the ground training at Tideman Johnson Park, Leach Botanical Garden and potentially other locations, depending on the situation with Covid. For trainings, please check out these links, or look for additional events posted on the PP&R events page: 

Tideman Johnson Park First Saturday Volunteer Event |

City Nature Challenge 2021 | Leach Botanical Garden (

In the past, City Nature Challenge has been a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but now is an international competition! Cities see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people. However, in 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it pivoted to collaboration, embracing the healing power of nature and encouraging the celebratory aspect of the Challenge. This helps keep organizers and participants safe, and allows documenting biodiversity in whatever way possible, even from the safety of one’s own home. Individual safety and public health remain our utmost priority. We urge all participants to carefully follow the public health guidelines provided by their local governments.

The 2021 City Nature Challenge takes place in 2 parts. You’re welcome to participate in either activity, or both!

April 30-May 3

Taking pictures of wild plants and animals by anyone from the complete novice to the expert

May 4-May 9

Identification of what was found by specialists

Results will be announced on Monday, May 10th.

City Nature Challenge Global information:

City Nature Challenge

CNC 2020 video


1- Download the free app (iNaturalist) from the AppStore or Google Play

2- Open it and sign in

3- Start taking and uploading your photos of living things!

If you want to follow the progress of the City Nature Challenge, and see photos that everyone is uploading, or even help identify:

1. Go to the iNaturalist website on your phone or desktop computer

2. Click on Community at the top, then Projects.

3. Search on Portland-Vancouver

4. Click on City Nature Challenge 2021: Greater Portland-Vancouver Metro Area, or go directly to

Enjoy your time in Nature!