What’s A ‘Bio Blitz?’

The Reston Association is gearing up for its first ever Bio Blitz on June 2, and staff are hoping many residents will sign up to join in on the fun.

But first–what’s a Bio Blitz, anyway?

Well, “blitz” means to do as much as you can in a short amount of time. “Bio” is short for “biological.” Put them together, and you have an event in which a large group of volunteers spreads out across a specific area and tries to identify as many different biological species as they can in that time period.

For this event, the specified area is Reston, and that time period is midnight to 11:59 p.m. on June 2.

“Naturalists and volunteers will work together during a 24-hour period to identify as many plants, animals and other organisms that live in Reston as possible,” say event organizers.

Volunteers of all types are encouraged to join in during the 2018 Reston Bio Blitz. A signup has been created, breaking up the 24-period into shorter, four- or five-hour periods, as well as separating people into groups who will search for different types of animals and plants.

Organizers say they are searching for people who are “subject matter experts” to lead teams that are hunting for specific species.

However, beginners are welcome too, they say, and will be paired up with more experienced people and an expert leader.

Requirements for volunteers are as follows:

  • Familiar with Reston’s natural areas and trails

  • Familiarity with the app “iNaturalist” (download it and learn how to use it ahead of time)

  • A digital camera to capture photos of different species

Those who know someone who is considered a subject matter expert in a certain biological area of study can form their own team, or volunteers can join an existing team listed on the signup. Additional teams may be added as more subject matter experts are recruited.

The “BioBlitz” hub for this event will be the Walker Nature Center in Reston.

If all of this sounds intriguing but you’re not free on June 2, representatives say you can play your own game of Bio Blitz by taking photos of various plant and animal species you find when you’re out in Reston nature on your own, and upload them to the Reston Biodiversity Project.

Photo: Patricia Greenburg, Reston Association Environmental Resource Supervisor / Credit: Reston Association/YouTube

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