Santa Monica High School Blitzes Tongva Park
By: Katie Osaki of the Santa Monica High School Heal the Bay Club
On Friday, May 20th, 2016 our club met up in front of City Hall in Santa Monica to begin our BioBlitz at Tongva Park across the street. We were competing in the Blitz the Bay Club Challenge so I began by instructing the group how to use iNaturalist (an app for your smartphone) and talked about the objective of our day: to catalogue as many species as we could using the app. Next, we ventured out into the park and began logging observations.
At one point, we were near the play area and the park ranger kicked us out of the area even though it was past 7pm and most of the families had left. As we had each made a handful of observations on iNaturalist, we called it a night and went home.
From this experience, I think I’ve learned, as part of club leadership, that when it comes to organizing events, letting people know the details sooner is better than later and to always check the locations of each event even if I or other people in the club think it’s at a particular place.
Originally, we had planned on joining a Bio Blitz with the National Park Service, scheduled for May 20th from 5-8pm. A few days before the Blitz, I decided to double check where the location was and realized it was in the Santa Monica Mountains, which was a lot farther than I thought it was. This really eliminated a lot of the options we thought we had, but in a short amount of time we scrambled and managed to get a local event done.
To see the all the observations uploaded to iNaturalist under the Blitz the Bay Club Challenge visit: www.inaturalist.org/projects/blitz-the-bay-club-challenge