The mission of Riverside Citizen Science is to engage our community in observing and documenting Riverside’s natural environment. The program will foster appreciation and stewardship through nature-centered activities. Science, through community participation and collaboration, becomes a permanent part of our city’s culture, and identity.
In 2010, the City of Riverside was awarded a National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program community assistance grant to help plan and design the City-wide citizen science program, contributing professional facilitation and leadership to the strategic planning process for this collaboration. In February of 2011, a working group was formed of representatives from each agency, working in monthly meetings to create a vision statement, plus strategic and action plans. During this formative time, the City of Riverside was awarded two California State Parks grants: a 2011 Nature Education Facilities Program grant for construction of a nature center at Riverside’s Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, and a 2012 Habitat Conservation Fund grant supporting education programming at the new facility. As Sycamore Canyon park will be the primary location for Riverside’s initial citizen science efforts, it has become an important point of reference for the framing of this plan’s goals and objectives. Fulfillment of this strategic plan will result in citizen science activities taking place throughout the greater Riverside area.
We envision the Riverside Citizen Science program as being the primary means of communicating to the public the significance of the natural resources found in all the City’s parks and natural areas, resulting in ongoing, community-based stewardship of and improved natural resource management practices by the community, at home and elsewhere. Data collected by this community-based program will be used to support City-wide discussion of the present challenges facing local ecosystems, and to document the effectiveness of open space protection and habitat restoration projects supporting native species.
Riverside Citizen Science Partners:
City of Riverside Metropolitan Museum
City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services
University of California, Riverside
Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District
National Park Service: Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance
The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Riverside
If you’re interested in becoming a Citizen Scientist and helping with Citizen Science projects, visit Riverside Citizen Science online or visit us at the nature center every 3rd Saturday of the month all day for information and instruction on a spotlighted project (projects differ each month) during our C.S.I. days!