This event is FREE for those who plan to participate in the 1:00-3:00 BioBlitz walks. Regular admissions fees apply to non-participating guests and are welcome to participate in morning activities.
What is a BioBlitz?
A celebration of biodiversity! This event is dedicated to identifying as many species of flora and fauna in a designated amount of time in a defined area. It’s up to you on what we find.
The Pink Beds valley near Asheville, N.C. is part of the Cradle’s 6,500-acre property and home to many species of plants and animals. The Pink Beds BioBlitz promotes outdoor educational opportunities for western North Carolina schools and all ages of the public in a fun, outdoor environment. This event blends discovery, science and community.
In citizen science you become the scientist.
Although the PBBB works alongside professional scientists, professors and other community naturalists any person of any skill level is invited to attend. Through the use of the iNaturalist tool you take photos and upload observations of every species that you find. This is a uniquely fun way to experience nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina! An online community of experts can later help you identify species. You never know if there is a researcher waiting to find a species that you took a photo of! Through opportunities like bioblitzes around the world many new species discovered are by citizen scientists just like you.
9:30am-12:00pm Activities and Demonstrations by forest scientists and professionals
- 9:30am-12:00pm- Photography Booth with founder of All Species Photography, Kevin Fitzpatrick. Kevin has worked with National Geographic and BioBlitz events across the country. His booth allows you to learn how to take your own quality photos with your smartphone or camera.
- 9:30am-10:30am The Ant Picnic Citizen science project for NCSU scientists conducted by Cradle of Forestry educators.
- 10:00am-11:00am Caterpillars! Count In this citizen science project we will collect data on arthropods, especially caterpillars, that are found on various tree branches around the Cradle.
- 11:00am- “Introduction to ecoEXPLORE” ecoEXPLORE is an incentive-driven science enrichment program of The North Carolina Arboretum Society that engages third through eighth grade students in guided and self-directed citizen science activities. Students engage as active participants of the scientific method as they record observations of organisms found in their neighborhoods, libraries and at the Arboretum. Register your child with ecoEXPLORE ahead of time to participate in this activity.
1:00pm-3:00pm Meet at amphitheater at Cradle of Forestyr. Check in to your zones in the Pink Beds then BIOBLITZ! take lots of photos!
3:00pm-4:00pm Congregate in Discovery Center to upload your observations to iNaturalist
*For evening activities, please meet and park in the Pink Beds Picnic Area lot.
6:00pm-11:00pm Evening Walks and Demonstrations; Free
- 6:00pm- The Search for Rusty Patched Bumblebees Citizen science initiative through the non-profit conservation organization Wild South to look for this endangered species. Contact Morgan Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for this walk.
- 7:30pm- Flip a Log A reptile and amphibian search with Cradle of Forestry educators
- 9:00pm- Bat Mistnetting: Biologists will conduct a bat mistnetting survey and demonstrate bat survey techniques showcasing local species. A white sheet will be displayed during this time to collect data on nocturnal insects, such as moths.
*Please note schedule is subject to change depending on availability of hike leaders and scientists. Details about activities and demonstrations will be added as we confirm them.
Each zone will have a trail leader that is familiar with the trail and where to begin/end. Participants are welcome to turn around at any point since majority of the zones would be 2 miles roundtrip. There will be 4 zones that participants can choose from:
- Zone 1: (up to 1 mile, 2 miles round trip) Northern sect of Pink Beds loop trail to Barnett Branch intersection
- Zone 2: (up to 1 mile, 2 miles round trip) Southern sect of Pink Beds loop trail to Barnett Branch intersection
- Zone 3: Biltmore Campus Trail, 1.1 miles total. This zone will be self-guided. A loop trail that is wheelchair accessible and also ideal for our younger participants.
what to Bring:
- Pack a picnic or enjoy a meal at the Cafe’ at the Cradle from 11am-3pm
- Wear closed-toe shoes
- Any equipment for exploration- binoculars, magnifying glass, etc.
- A smart phone or laptop to upload photos onto iNaturalist during Wrap-Session
- Water, sunscreen, sun hat, rain jacket etc.
The following results are from the 2016 & 2017 BioBlitz events
- > 350 species identified to iNaturalist, eBird and written documentation
- > 220 observations uploaded onto iNaturalist “Pink Beds BioBlitz” project
- “BioBlitz Bliss” blog post by Cindy Carpenter