BioBlitz 2024: Read, Renew, Record!

Have you ever seen an odd-looking insect and thought, "What on Earth is that?" I've had similar thoughts about a plant. "Could that be poison ivy?" Now is a great time to find out the answers to these questions!

Join Our BioBlitz!

During the month of July, NPL and the Ecology Action Center are holding a BioBlitz and documenting biodiversity. Photograph local animals, plants, and more found throughout McLean County, and upload your observations to our BioBlitz Challenge using the iNaturalist app.

  1. Download the iNaturalist app from Google Play or the App Store and create an account.

  2. Join our BioBlitz project on iNaturalist. Under projects, search for “NPL/EAC BioBlitz 2024: Read, Renew, Record!” and click “Join.”

  3. Go outside! Visit a park, look to the sky, bring your phone on a camping trip, or go to your own backyard to make observations of local wildlife. All observations need to be made within McLean County between July 1 and July 31, 2024 to be a part of the BioBlitz project. Need help adding your observations to iNaturalist? Follow this video tutorial.

  4. Using photos or videos, the iNaturalist app will help you identify what you find, and the species names can be confirmed by scientists online. Make many observations, and climb the leaderboard for number of species found.

Additional resources for help with iNaturalist:

Getting Started guide

Video tutorials

iNaturalist knowledge base


In-person BioBlitz event

Want to connect with others participating in the BioBlitz? A bit confused on how to use the iNaturalist app? Join us on Thursday, July 11 from 5-7pm at Underwood Park Brander Shelter, for our in-person BioBlitz event. We will make observations together, learn about conservation projects in McLean County, and more!


Photo Contest

We are also holding a photo contest associated with the BioBlitz! From July 11-August 1, submit your favorite photos you took for the BioBlitz to our photo contest.

Rules and submission guidelines:

  • Open to all ages.
  • Photos will be divided into three categories, based on their primary subject. You can submit up to 3 photos - 1 per category.
    • Vertebrates (e.g. fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammal)
    • Invertebrates (e.g. insects, mollusks, spiders)
    • Plants and fungi
  • To be eligible for entry, photos must be of a wild (not cultivated and not captive) living organism. Examples of photo subjects that would be ineligible are humans, domestic animals, and garden plants. These can be present in the photo but cannot be the primary subject of the photo.
  • Photos must be your own work (adults can submit on behalf of children, but please include their name with the submission), and must have been taken in McLean County, Illinois between July 1 and July 31, 2024.
  • Please send photos via email to Please include the title of your photo, your first and last name, the category for the photo (vertebrate, invertebrate, or plants/fungi) and your preferred method of contact (a phone number or email address). Optionally, include the species you believe to be the primary subject of your photo. To help determine species, please upload your photo to our project in iNaturalist and use their suggested species, as well as identifications from experts in the iNaturalist community after your photo is uploaded.
  • Photos will be uploaded to the Normal Public Library Facebook page for the public to vote on. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category.


We hope to see you at the in-person event on July 11, and otherwise around town and parks making nature observations. Let's BioBlitz!

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