On May 24, 2019 the Feather River Land Trust hosted a hands-on survey of life (known as a BioBlitz) at the Olsen Barn Meadow and surrounding lands near the North Fork of the Feather River. The community science project was part of the Land Trust's Learning Landscapes program and participants included Chester Elementary K-6 students and teachers, along with retired teachers, volunteers, and local biologists.  Nearly the whole school turned out for this science-based outing.

What we found was a meadow teaming with life—166 species were recorded in three hours!

A BioBlitz is a collaborative effort to discover and record as many living things as possible within a specific area over a short period of time. 5th grade (the year of the birds) identified 34 bird species.

FRLT organized this event not only as a fun educational activity for Chester Elementary, but also to accomplish an important management goal. The data collected informs the land trust about different plant and animal communities that call the property home and provides a snapshot of what species are present in late spring. This data informs management decisions including when to mow walking paths, if and when to treat invasive weeds, and what types of restoration activities may benefit species utilizing the meadow and barn. Data collected from year to year can also document change. 

4th grade joined fisheries biologists to sift through sediment, mud, and river water to look for benthic macroinvertebrates.

During the June BioBlitz, Chester Elementary classes used their science skills and knowledge to observe and identify natural phenomena and species they had studied over the course of the year. The BioBlitz was a great capstone to a year filled with nature and place-based learning.

Want to see what we found? Read the BioBlitz species list.

Kindergarteners and 1st graders make for excellent insect collectors!

Thank you to everyone who participated this year. We look forward to hosting future BioBlitz events. A special thanks to our members for ongoing financial support, and to project funders, The Clif Bar Family Foundation and Youth Outside. Land conservation and connecting kids to nature in a meaningful way takes a dedicated community. We appreciate you. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019