Nature Counts in New Hampshire

NH BioBlitz project assists communities in learning more about town-owned lands
Woman collecting data in field

Town-owned conservation land can offer a number of benefits. From providing valuable wildlife habitat or forest products, to serving as the setting for educational opportunities or recreation, these places are an important part of New Hampshire's communities. A recent study led by UNH Cooperative Extension found that 4% of New Hampshire’s forest is in town ownership, scattered in about 1,700 parcels and encompassing 180,439 acres. With so many acres and parcels, it can be difficult for towns to know what natural resources are present on their town-owned land and to engage the public in these special places. One possible solution? Bioblitz!

What is a BioBlitz? A BioBlitz is a species scavenger hunt where volunteers explore alongside scientists and field experts to find as many different plants, wildlife, insects, and other species on a property as possible in a short amount of time. BioBlitzes bring together scientists, naturalists, and community members to build knowledge about the biodiversity of a place. BioBlitzes can help towns gather information about natural resources and are a great way to get community members engaged and learning on town-owned land. Over the next three years, UNH Cooperative Extension will provide assistance to ten (10) New Hampshire communities in conducting a BioBlitz. Extension staff will help towns with planning, participant recruitment, identifying local expertise, and carrying out the event.

Is your community interested in hosting a BioBlitz? We will assist two New Hampshire communities with BioBlitzes in Fall 2019. If your town is interested in being considered to receive assistance, please review the criteria and benefits below and take 5-10 minutes to fill out an application.

Benefits

  • Assistance from UNH Cooperative Extension staff in planning, participant recruitment, and implementation of a BioBlitz on town-owned land
  • Free use of sampling equipment, field guides, technology (iPads)
  • Training for leaders and volunteers on use of iNaturalist platform for inventorying biodiversity
  • Assistance from professional naturalists and biologists
  • Support for communications and marketing pre- and post-event, including guidance on using and sharing information
  • Opportunity to engage community members on town-owned land
  • Information on the plants, animals, and insects found on the property to inform land stewardship planning

Criteria

  • BioBlitz must take place on a town-owned property in New Hampshire
  • Property should be at least 50 acres (with preference for properties larger than 100 acres). Properties should be easily accessible with parking available.
  • Projects should involve town groups e.g. Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Forestry Committee, etc.
  • Demonstrated interest in public engagement and stewardship planning on town-owned land

Questions?  Contact Haley Andreozzi, UNH Extension Wildlife Outreach Program Manager at haley.andreozzi@unh.edu or (603) 862-5327

Applications are due May 15, 2019

2019 NH BioBlitz Assistance Application

 

Funding for this project is provided by the Landscape Scale Restoration Grant, U.S. Forest Service.