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BioBlitzing Event: Helping Oregon Coast Science While Discovering More of Newport

Published 08/26/22 at 6:42 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

BioBlitzing Event: Helping Oregon Coast Science While Discovering More of Newport

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(Newport, Oregon) – September provides a way to dig deeper into your favorite part of one central Oregon coast town, as the City of Newport Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting a BioBlitz during the month, all in support of the Parks for Pollinators campaign. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection: above, Don and Ann Davis Park at Nye Beach)

Cruise your favorite near-beach spot or discover a new one: and it turns out there's lots about Newport you probably aren't aware of, at least when it comes to outdoors fun.

Anita Albrecht is coordinating this unique event for the central Oregon coast, which isn't just focused on beach environments. So, just what is a BioBlitz?

“The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is an event where community members observe and identify pollinators and pollinator plants in and around Newport,” she said.

You then report the findings via an app called iNaturalist.

Take a look at the list of parts around town, and it's a bit of an eye-opener: It's not just beach spots in around the Oregon coast hotspot. There's the unique Ocean to Bay Trail, which takes you along 6.7 miles of lush greenery, deep forest, and wooden walkways as well as bridges. It's, well, a little hobbit-like. Then there's the surreal constructs of Coast Park in Nye Beach, or the wilderness and nature intrigue of Wilder Disc Golf Course and its nearly three miles of trails. Another lovely find waiting to be made: Founding Rock Park with its miniature Haystack Rock-looking thing.

The event is more than citizen science and voluntourism – it's a potpourri of new discoveries.

Just how does this work?

The event uses an app called iNaturalist to take pictures of plants, insects, and animals to see what wildlife and plants are present in the area. After downloading the app on your cellphone, participants can search projects for “Parks4PollinatorsNewport2022” to join the local project.

The event runs throughout the month of September to provide plenty of time to get out and make observations.

After making an observation, be sure to add it the Parks4PollinatorsNewport2022 project. The data will be used to provide information about pollinators, which are essential to our ecosystem, our food crop production, and will help us understand how to better protect pollinators and other important wildlife in Lincoln County.

“Just what is a pollinator or pollinator plant?,” Albrecht said. “It’s not just bees. Many different animals can be pollinators. In our area - ants, beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, bats, bees, hummingbirds, and even slugs can be pollinators. For pollinator plants, any plant that has flowers or fruits is a pollinator plant. Conifers and evergreen trees spread pollen on the wind, and do not need pollinators.”

There will be a family-friendly event at the Clubhouse at Frank Wade Park on Saturday September 10, from 1 P.M. until 4 P.M. They will have information about the project and answer questions about the plants and animals you may find when making your observations. From there, they lead a hike on the Ocean to Bay Trail, starting at Big Creek Park at 3 P.M. to identify pollinators and make observations.

Questions about how to participate should be directed to Anita Albrecht at [email protected]

The event is also assisted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.

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