NEW MEXICO — To celebrate National Public Lands Day, Carson National Forest co-sponsored the 2017 BioBlitz with the Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. The BioBlitz, held Sept. 21 at Red River Fish Hatchery near Questa, New Mexico, engaged approximately 450 students, teachers, and community members in citizen science.
The event featured 14 natural resource stations staffed by federal and state agencies and local organizations. Stations offered education and hands-on activities about geology, water quality, archaeology, fire ecology, wildlife and much more. Students spent the day fishing, making compasses, identifying flora and fauna, casting animal tracks, painting petroglyph designs with natural materials, listening to bird calls and testing water samples.
Participants learned how to share the data they collected at the event through a program called iNaturalist. Prior to the event, they created an account online or through the app, and had the ability to enter data collected while on-site.
The BioBlitz also served as an Every Kid in a Park Event. Approximately 128 Every Kid in a Park passes were given out to eligible fourth-graders.
The BioBlitz provided students of all ages the opportunity to explore their natural world, learn about being good stewards of the land in a fun and interactive environment, and hopefully create a long-lasting connection to the great outdoors.