Westchester Land Trust and Healthy Yards Announce BioBlitz in Bedford Hills | Northern Westchester Moms

Westchester Land Trust and Healthy Yards Announce BioBlitz in Bedford Hills


With the help of the public, Westchester Land Trust (WLT) and Healthy Yards are collaborating on an effort to find and identify as many species of plants and wildlife as possible through a series of events June 18-20. Nine programs will be featured in the BioBlitz to be held at Westchester Land Trust’s Tom Burke Preserve in Bedford Hills.


With family-friendly events including a nighttime moth hunt, a wetlands walk and “Wings and Stings” to introduce participants to the benefits of misunderstood insects, participants will help discover plants and wildlife on the preserve, and document as many as possible with photographs. Pictures can be uploaded as observations to iNaturalist, a widely used app from National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences. iNaturalist allows users to share observations, which experts can help identify, and scientists may use for research. To better understand the local impacts of climate change, even documenting the most common of species provides valuable data.


The varied ecosystems of meadow, forest, and wetlands in the 7.5 acre preserve make it an ideal place to document biodiversity and welcome everyone to appreciate nature and support community science. The preserve has been owned and managed by Westchester Land Trust for nearly 20 years, after the Town of Bedford and more than two dozen generous neighbors donated the funds to acquire the property, named for Tom Burke, who lived nearby and was lost in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

BioBlitz Schedule of Events:

Friday, June 18

9–10pm Moth Hunt
Enjoy a rare opportunity to visit the preserve after dark! We will shine a light behind a sheet to attract and learn about the moths and other night-flying insects living there.
Click here to register

Saturday, June 19

8–9:30am Community Science
Learn how to identify and document the species you spot using common apps.  I-naturalist will be the focus, but will also discuss Seek, e-Bird, Merlin, and Birdnet.
Click here to register

10:30am–12pm “BioBlitz” en Español (Spanish language nature walk)
Vamos a caminar entre el parque y aprender sobre las criaturas—polinizadores, aves, y otros animales—y plantas que viven en nuestra comunidad.
Click here to register

1–2:30pm Plants: Native or Invasive?
In recent years, you may have heard a lot more about invasive species here in Westchester. Learn to identify the plants of the preserve and distinguish those native to our region.
Click here to register

3:30–5pm Wings and Stings
Hymenoptera–bees, wasps, hornets and ants–are some of the most misunderstood, successful and complex animals in the world. Join us to track down and try to identify as many of these elusive and beautiful creatures as possible!
Click here to register

Sunday, June 20

7:30–9am Feathers for Fathers
Join Tait Johansson from Bedford Audubon for an early morning bird walk on Father’s Day. The preserve provides meadow, forest canopy and wetland habitat for lots of local bird life.
Click here to register

10–11:30am Wonderful Wetlands
Let’s get muddy! Wetland ecosystems are home to a variety of unique plants and animals. We’ll explore the woodland swamp, and spend some time getting to know the tiny creatures that live in the water.
Click here to register

3:30–5pm Design like the Wild
Nature is an awesome gardener! Instead of buying a book or magazine about gardening, let’s go out and see what cues nature can give us about mulch, seeding and planting. This workshop is especially meant for people who are interested in welcoming more nature and wildlife in their yard, and want to learn how to do so, while remaining friends with their neighbors.
Click here to register

Thursday, July 1

7–8pm Project Summary and Celebration
We’ll gather virtually to review the number and variety of species discovered during the BioBlitz, along with noteworthy finds. Small prizes will be awarded to the observers with the most plant and animal species reported, as well as the best photo and the rarest discovery.
Click here to register 

All events require pre-registration, and space is limited. There will also be opportunities for people who visit outside of these events to participate.

For more information or to register, visit www.westchesterlandtrust.org/bioblitz.

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