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Contact: Michelle Carter, 301-714-2225
Hagerstown, Md. - Grab your magnifying glass, smartphone, or tablet and come explore nature at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) National Historical Park! On May 20-21, 2016, national parks across the country will be celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service with more than 100 BioBlitzes &Biodiversity Celebrations. A BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park's creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more! The C&O Canal will be participating in this national event by leading bird, fish and plant surveys, providing participants with a better understanding of our abundant local natural resources.
During this free two-day event at three sites in the park, teams of scientists, naturalists, students and volunteers will discover and document the birds, plants and other living creatures in the park. Species will be documented through the iNaturalist app, available for download onto smartphones or tablets. All are welcome to participate regardless of having an available device. Assistance with technology for those without a device, or unfamiliar with how to use the iNaturalist app, will be provided. For those planning to use a device, please download the app and create an iNaturalist profile prior to arrival;pre-registration is encouraged, though not required.
Friday, May 20th: Great Falls Tavern, 11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854
9:00-11:00 An Introduction to Birds of C&O Canal followed by independent inventories using iNaturalist
11:30-1:30 An Introduction to Plants of C&O Canal followed by independent inventories using iNaturalist
Saturday, May 21st: Cushwa Basin,205 W Potomac St, Williamsport, MD 21795
8:00-10:00 An Introduction to Birds of C&O Canal followed by independent inventories using iNaturalist
10:30-12:30 An Introduction to Plants of C&O Canal followed by independent inventories using iNaturalist
Saturday, May 21st: Pennyfield Lock, End of Pennyfield Lock Road, Potomac, MD 20854
9:00-12:30: "Stop the Snakehead" fishing derby
American Express is the national sponsor of the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz. This centennial event is a collaboration between the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society. Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day, there are activities to engage the whole family. To learn more about the National Parks BioBlitz and activities go to: go.nps.gov/2016bioblitzor natgeo.org/bioblitz