2012-05-17 / News

Registration opens for BioBlitz

Registration for the 13th annual BioBlitz – an event where scientists and volunteer naturalists scour a particular parcel of land for 24 straight hours – is now open. The goal of the event is to tally every plant, animal and fungus. This year, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, which sponsors the BioBlitz, chose Jamestown as the host community.

All interested people should register by June 1 – just showing up is not an option. To register, visit RINHS.org. From there click on the “Who We Are, What We Do” link. Next, in the menu on the left side, choose “BioBlitz,” then “BioBlitz 2012.” The following page contains a link for the registration form. Download the form, and mail or fax the completed application to the RINHS (mailing address and fax number are on the form). Or, call 874-5800.

The Conservation Commission, particularly Chairman Emeritus Chris Powell and Chairwoman Carol Trocki, are organizing the event. The BioBlitz will take place over an area that includes the Watson, Dutra, Neale and Hodgkiss farms, the Great Creek area, the Conanicut Island Sanctuary, and the South Pond reservoir. More than 600 acres in all will be combed.

Jamestown was chosen because of its diverse environments that are found over this span of land. According to the RINHS, “It is like a sampler pack of habitat types, including a little bit of just about everything from rocky seashore to tidal creek and salt marsh, from mature forest to pasture, and from shrub swamp to stream.

The BioBlitz will begin on Friday, June 8, with setup at 11 a.m. Registered participants can begin signing in at 1 p.m. The counting officially beings at 3 p.m., with a break for dinner three hours later. That night everyone is invited to camp out by a fire – guitars and fiddles are welcome.

The next morning there will be a continental breakfast from 6 to 9 a.m. Native plants and locally raised meats will be on sale throughout the day. Counting of the species ends at 3 p.m. Saturday – an hour or so later, the tallies will be announced.

Event registration is $25, which includes the catered dinner. It is $10 without dinner. There will also be T-shirts on sale for $12.

Participants are responsible for bringing their own camping and field gear. The RINHS has some scientific and field equipment it can lend. Call 874-5800 for questions regarding borrowing gear. There will also be centralized location at Hodgkiss Farm where the science center and campground will be. This hub will provide generator electricity, extension cords, some lights, tables and chairs.

Amenities included are camping space, portable toilets, a handwashing station, coffee, tea and potable water. Participants should bring a travel mug or empty water bottle. All participants must sign a liability waiver at the time of registration.

No pets are allowed.

Also, everyone must be affiliated with a team, even if they don’t have a particular expertise. On the registration form, applicants should let the RINHS know about their interests so they can be put on the appropriate team.

Questions or concerns? Call Powell at 423-1492.

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