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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Ackerfield, Jennifer [1], Neale, Jennifer [2], Levy, Rick [2].

Denver EcoFlora Project: Transforming citizens through engagement with biodiversity and natural history collections.

Connecting citizens to natural history collections, nature, and biodiversity in meaningful ways can be challenging. The prevalence of “plant blindness,” or the underappreciation of the flora around us, can also result in a disconnect between citizens and the natural world around them. Denver Botanic Gardens seeks to overcome “plant blindness” by connecting citizens to nature through an EcoFlora project. In collaboration with New York Botanical Garden, Denver Botanic Gardens has implemented an EcoFlora project within the Denver-Boulder metro area. The project’s mission is to connect citizens with biodiversity and natural history collections in meaningful and engaging ways, thus overcoming “plant blindness.” The Denver EcoFlora project has two main goals for achieving this mission: 1) to meaningfully engage citizens in observing, protecting, and preserving the metro area’s native plant species, and 2) to assemble novel observations and data on the metro area’s flora to better inform policy decisions concerning land management and conservation strategies. The Gardens will complete these goals by implementing the following strategies: 1) developing and hosting workshops on the use of iNaturalist and reporting observations to the EcoFlora project, 2) providing outreach to underserved communities to increase diverse participation, 3) developing engaging monthly EcoFlora challenges to retain participation, 4) creating virtual field trips to natural areas in the greater metro area, and 5) speaking on the value of natural history collections in understanding biodiversity, climate change, and conservation. It is anticipated that as a result of this project, citizens will increase their engagement with nature and have a greater appreciation for plant biodiversity and natural history collections. Museum professionals will benefit through enhancing community engagement and increasing our understanding of the biodiversity present within the greater metro area.

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1 - Denver Botanic Gardens, Research and Conservation, 909 York St., Denver, CO, 80206, United States
2 - Denver Botanic Gardens, 909 York St., Denver, CO, 80206, United States

Citizen science

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P2, Education and Outreach Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P2EO004
Abstract ID:279
Candidate for Awards:None

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