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The Greater Kansas City Metro
City Nature Challenge

Join The Kansas City Zoo, The City of Kansas City, and Heartland Conservation Alliance for the 2023 City Nature Challenge in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area! By using iNaturalist and logging your observations of WILD organisms on the KC Metro City Nature Challenge page, you will help us document the incredible biodiversity in the Greater Kansas City Area.

The Challenge is April 28-May 1. We are excited to celebrate nature in and around urban areas by documenting all the species we can find during the City Nature Challenge! 

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Why should you join the challenge?

Data is key

We need data on urban wildlife in the KC metro to make informed planning decisions that allow both human life and wildlife to thrive.

Be a scientist

Citizen scientists help us discover threatened or endagered species we didn't know we had. Discoveries like these will help with protecting them and their habitats.

We need nature

Getting outside in nature is good for your mental health and physical wellbeing. Studies show a positive connection between green space and life expectancy.

Discover your new favorite place

Explore a new park, trail, or natural area. Seeing the wildlife that shares our urban green spaces helps us appreciate and want to conserve those green spaces.

Build a sustainable city

Healthy urban ecosystems sequester carbon, reduce flooding, and combat pollution. The City Nature Challenge raises awareness and educates citizens on stewardship. 

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How can you support the challenge?

  • Promote the challenge – Get the word out on social media, through email blasts, and at your organization or through your volunteer base. Download our flyer, teach others how to use iNaturalist and share the news with #citynaturekc. 

  • Participate in the Challenge in your own neighborhood – Take your family, friends, or coworkers out on a nature scavenger hunt during April 29 - May 2. Take pictures with iNaturalist and join the Greater Kansas City Nature Challenge to log your discoveries.

  • Host or attend an event – Host an event in any of the nine counties that make up the Kansas City Metro, or attend an existing event at one of your favorite parks or natural areas.  Event hosts usually teach volunteers to use iNaturalist, how to take a good photo, and then send them out to enjoy the process. 

Find an event near you in the list below

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Heartland Nature Celebration
April 29, 10am - 2pm

This event is free and open to the public and will include environmental education opportunities and guided flora and fauna identification hikes. These fun experiences will feature the expertise from conservation and environmental experts. And all discoveries will contribute to the Greater Kansas City Metro City Nature Challenge. 

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To encourage participation in the City Nature Challenge in the Historic Northeast, there will be an event at Kessler Park on Saturday morning (April 29) at 10 am. We'll meet at Gate 4, the furthest east gate (at Gladstone and Cliff Drive). Parking is available in front of the gate, and along Gladstone Boulevard. We will offer a brief introduction to the challenge and the iNaturalist app, and then go for a brief hike on a mountain bike trail with a naturalist to learn about some of the different species that are in Kessler Park. You are then encouraged to continue to document species anywhere in the metro area for the rest of the weekend! The whole event should take no more than an hour.


Explore Kansas City's best preserved natural spaces and learn about native life around us. Volunteers will become citizen scientists for the day as part of the City Nature Challenge 2023. Join Kansas City WildLands and conservation professionals to catalog plant, animal, and fungus life at Shawnee Mission Park.

Location: Shawnee Mission Park, Shelter 3

City Nature Challenge Kickoff at the Discovery Center
April 28, 10am - 2pm
ril 29, 10am - 2pm

Walk-in (ages 5+)


The Discovery Center is joining multiple Kansas City area conservation partners in the City Nature Challenge, an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities around the globe. Our kickoff is Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30. Participants will make observations by taking photos and uploading their observations using the free mobile app iNaturalist. The objective is to create a snapshot of the biodiversity that can be found around the metro area! Naturalists will be at the Discovery Center on Friday and Saturday to assist you.


No registration is required. 

10:00 am  –  Join a Nature Center naturalist at our picnic pavilion to learn how to download and use the iNaturalist app.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm  –  Guided hike begins of portions of our Fox Hollow Trail. As plants and animals are observed/heard, hikers will document and share on City Nature Challenge 2023: Greater Kansas City Metro Area · iNaturalist.


Lakeside Nature Center has also created a scavenger hunt of things you might find and hear on the trails, along with a photo guide of common spring plants on Fox Hollow trail. Printed copies are available at the Nature Center or download here.

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