Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Ackerfield, Jennifer [1], Boom, Brian [2], Davis, Jeny [3], Gandy, Elizabeth [4], Holst, Bruce [4], Lichtenberger, Taran [5], Meluso, Anthony [1], Neale, Jennifer [1], Paradiso, Lydia [2], Patton, Sean [4], Sallen, Anastasia [4].

Fostering Community and Discovery with EcoFlora.

Now more than ever, it is critical to engage the public in biodiversity conservation efforts through effective science communication and programming. Urban areas face a number of biodiversity challenges, including rapid development, invasive species, heavy use of outdoor spaces, and compounded climate change impacts. In addition, urban biodiversity is often understudied, especially when it comes to plant life. The EcoFloras of North America recruit, engage, and support community scientists, encouraging them to discover and document the biodiversity where they live, while simultaneously building relationships with professionals. The EcoFlora program advances understanding of local ecosystems and urbanization, increases open source biodiversity data and fosters appreciation of plant life. The EcoFloras of North America illustrate the scalability of collaborative conservation, from individuals in their own community to multi-organizational efforts across the country. Each section of the poster will guide viewers through implementing an EcoFlora or similar project. Viewers will learn about working with community scientists using iNaturalist, a free, open source web platform and app that facilitates mapping and sharing biodiversity observations and data. The collected data and observations enhance existing floristic data, to an extent not possible by professionals alone. iNaturalist also assists with identification and provides species information to users. Closely experiencing plant diversity increases environmental literacy and encourages public appreciation of plant life. Methods for engagement will be shared, including connecting the public with experts and resources in plant science.  A digital toolkit will be provided to viewers as a guide for implementing an EcoFlora or similar community science project at their own garden or organization. The toolkit will include resources and methods to support participants in project creation and maintenance, community engagement, data collection and analysis, and contributing to local floristic efforts. The EcoFloras of North America provide a framework for any organization to become a leader in community science initiatives.

Related Links:
NYBG EcoFlora webpage
Chicago Botanic Garden EcoFlora webpage
Denver Botanic Gardens EcoFlora webpage
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens EcoFlora webpage
Desert Botanical Garden EcoFlora webpage
EcoFloras of North America webpage

1 - Denver Botanic Gardens, 909 York Street, Denver, CO, 80206, USA
2 - New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
3 - Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, USA
4 - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL, 34236, USA
5 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Budburst

Citizen Science
community engagement
urban biodiversity.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEO008
Abstract ID:131
Candidate for Awards:None

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