On March 28th before Spring Break, AFY 7th graders participated in the 2014 BioBlitz in the Presidio, which is one of several Golden Gate National Parks. According to National Geographic, “A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible. National Geographic is helping conduct a BioBlitz in a different national park each year during the decade leading up to the U.S. National Park Service Centennial in 2016.”
We were very lucky to be invited to work on species inventories along the beautiful Batteries to Bluffs Trail. On this stretch of park, students tried to find and identify as many species of plants, insects, and birds as a way to gauge the health of the local ecosystem. A healthy environment can be characterized by the amount of diversity in the area and high diversity is a sign of good ecosystem health. After the inventory, students were they taken to the festival at Crissy Fields where they could visit different tables to learn more about Bay Area Wildlife and Ecosystems. They even brought back a large bag of mushrooms to grow in our garden! A big thank you to the Park Rangers, Presidio Trust, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the 100+ volunteers, chaperones, and to Marc Williams for helping to organize the trip and contributing to the curriculum design. Below are some photos of AFY students at the bird inventory station. Be sure to also check out this great video that summarizes the 2014 BioBlitz as well!
Watch the National Geographic Recap of the 2014 BioBlitz Here: