May 12, 2016
Contact: Katie Lawhon
Grab your magnifying glass and explore nature in Gettysburg National Military Park, like never before! On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including Gettysburg, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz. BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park's creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more! The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country.
On May 20, students from Gettysburg's Lincoln Elementary, James Gettys Elementary, and the Franklin Township Elementary schools will be collecting and reporting findings of amphibians, invasive plants, birds, and aquatic macro-invertebrates. Scientists and professionals from the National Park Service, Gettysburg College, and numerous partners and volunteers will work with the students.
From 8 am - 3:30 pm, BioBlitz discovery activities will be for pre-registered school students. The activities will take place on the grounds of Gettysburg's Lincoln Elementary school, including the stadium, woodlot, and pond, as well as adjacent national park lands.
The public is invited to participate from 5 pm - 7 pm. They can visit five activity stations: Stadium, Pond, Woods, Stream, and Field. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to showcase the discoveries made by the students during the day, and adults can try out some of the activities. Parking will be at the Gettysburg Area Middle School. Enter the BioBlitz through Warrior Stadium.
The activities on May 20 will end with a special program on bats at 8 pm at the Gettysburg National Military Park amphitheater on West Confederate Avenue. The public is invited to this free program that will collect acoustical data from bats. The activity will map the sounds of bats and provide identification for each bat that flies through the area in real time. This program is one-hour long and will be cancelled if it's raining.
The Gettysburg BioBlitz concludes on Saturday morning, May 21, with a bird walk guided by the South Mountain Audubon Society at Culp's Hill. The walk is at 7 am. Park along East Confederate Avenue and meet at Spangler's Spring.
During Gettysburg's BioBlitz, data recorded using iNaturalist will be instantly uploaded to the BioBlitz Festival on the National Mall in Washington D.C. There will be 20,000 participants in the Washington D.C. area alone and many more at BioBlitz events throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. To learn more and get involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NationalGeographic.org/bioblitz or nps.gov/gett.
American Express is the national sponsor of the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz. Sponsors for the Gettysburg BioBlitz are: Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources (DCNR), Gettysburg Foundation, Advancing Science at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, South Mountain Audubon Society, Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation, National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network, Strawberry Hill Nature Center and Preserve, the Gettysburg School District and Lincoln Elementary School.