Understanding the Impact: A Climate Change & Citizen Science Project

Thanks to the support of Climate Impact, The Riverwood Conservancy will be hosting a series of events from October 2021 through May 2022 to encourage citizen science in our community and create more understanding about the impacts of climate change in Mississauga. The Understanding the Impact: A Climate Change and Citizen Science Project includes the following engagements:

TRC 2021 Fall BioBlitz
October 1 – 31, 2021

With the help of citizen scientists like you, we’re aiming to grow our knowledge of Riverwood’s plants and animals, and the impact that climate change has on their populations. Our Fall BioBlitz 2021 will utilize iNaturalist to gather observations from around our natural areas. We’ll also be giving away prizes to the iNaturalist account that makes the most species observations, as well as two randomly selected accounts. Learn more about the Fall BioBlitz 2021 and how to take part in our blog post or watch our how-to video below.

UPDATE: Our Fall BioBlitz 2021 has now concluded. Thank you to everyone who participated. You helped us better understand Riverwood’s biodiversity, and your observations will make it possible to measure the impact of climate change on urban environments. Throughout the BioBlitz, 40 participants documented 1,626 observations/images of over 500 species. Thank you again to everyone who contributed!

The winner of our most species observations competition is Monica (monica_p on iNaturalist). Monica recorded 248 observations, and 194 species, 156 of which are Research Grade! Congratulations to our winner, who receives two suet blocks, a double suet feeder, a copy of Deer World by Dave Taylor, and the Wildflowers of Riverwood field guide.

The two winners of our random giveaway prizes are Sameeha (sameeha123 on iNaturalist), who wins a copy of Wildflowers of Riverwood, and Vi (vcbull on iNaturalist), who wins an Armstrong bird feeder and bag of bird food.

Webinar – Fall BioBlitz Kickoff
October 1, 2021 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn more about the Fall BioBlitz 2021, what we’re hoping to learn through the project, and how to use iNaturalist at this introductory webinar. Register for the webinar here.

TRC Fall BioBlitz: Wildflowers
October 16, 2021 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Join us on a guided walk around the park to learn how to identify fall wildflowers while contributing to the BioBlitz project on iNaturalist. Spaces for this event are limited. Register to reserve your place here.

TRC Fall BioBlitz: Fungi
October 17, 2021 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

This guided walk through Riverwood will show you how to identify fall mushrooms and fungi, while contributing to the BioBlitz project on iNaturalist. Spaces for this event are limited. Register to reserve your place here.

TRC Fall BioBlitz: Birding
October 22, 2021 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Take part in a guided walk around Riverwood to learn how to identify birds by sight and sound, while contributing to our BioBlitz project on iNaturalist. Spaces for this event are limited. Register to reserve your place here.

Webinar – Biodiversity: Time, Change, and Climate
November 25, 2021 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Biodiversity changes naturally over time as ecosystems mature, die and re-emerge. In this presentation, Dave Taylor explores how Riverwood has changed and what were the causes of those changes. (Hint: humans!) Register for the webinar here.

Holiday Bird Count – Beginner Birdwatchers
January 5, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

We’ll be conducting a Holiday Bird Count to help monitor and collect data on our resident bird species at Riverwood. This event will be tailored for beginner birders. Register to reserve your place here.

Holiday Bird Count – Experienced Birdwatchers
January 5, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

We’ll be conducting a Holiday Bird Count to help monitor and collect data on our resident bird species at Riverwood. This event will be tailored for experienced birders. Register to reserve your place here.

Webinar – Building Hope Amidst the Climate Crisis
January 18, 2022 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

This webinar hopes to deconstruct the climate change discussion and look at the impact it is having both on Earth and humans. The climate change crisis can raise many different emotions within us, and so the discussion will explore some of the emotional impacts as well as how to move forward with a sense of hope amidst the difficult realities, and how to look at Earth itself as a source of hope. Join this interactive session for an evening of sharing and inspiration. Register for the webinar here.


TRC 2022 Spring BioBlitz
April 15 – May 15, 2022

With help from citizen scientists like yourself, we hope to grow our knowledge of Riverwood’s plants and animals, and the impact that climate change has on their populations through our Spring BioBlitz. We’ll also be giving away prizes to randomly selected participants and to the account that records the most species observations. Learn more about how a BioBlitz works and how you can join here.

Webinar – Spring BioBlitz Kickoff
April 15, 2022 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us at this introductory webinar to learn more about the Spring BioBlitz 2022, what we’re hoping to learn through the project, and how to use iNaturalist. Register to watch the webinar here.

Spring BioBlitz: Community Science Walk
April 20, 2022 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Scientists all over the world need your help! Join us to explore the different ways you can contribute to community science efforts. This program will walk you through different apps and initiatives including iNaturalist, Caterpillar Count, and more! Register to reserve your place here.

Spring BioBlitz: Aquatic Macroinvertebrates at Riverwood
April 26, 2022 | 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

This program will teach participants to effectively sample a variety of freshwater habitats (streams, ponds) for aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa. Participants will learn to distinguish major groups (e.g., orders / families) of aquatic insects and other organisms. Register to save your place here.

Spring BioBlitz: Nighttime Frog Monitoring
April 28, 2022 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Join The Riverwood Conservancy’s conservation team in actively helping to monitor and track amphibian species at Riverwood by listening to their calls!  Walk the trails of Riverwood at night to learn about the different amphibians that call Riverwood home, and how we assess their populations. Register to save your place here.

Spring BioBlitz: Birding with a Paleornithologist
May 7, 2022 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Join Professor Sanja Hinic-Frlog from the University of Toronto Mississauga, to explore and observe the bird migration by sight and sound! Please bring binoculars if you have them. No dogs permitted. Please dress for the weather. Register to save your place here.

Spring BioBlitz: Fungi Foray
May 8, 2022 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Join us at Riverwood as we spend the morning searching for and documenting spring fungi, plants, and wildflowers as part of our Spring BioBlitz. No dogs permitted. Please dress for the weather. Register to save your place here.

Webinar – Biodiversity of Riverwood: BioBlitz Overview
May 20, 2022 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

After hosting two BioBlitzes within the past year (2021 Fall and 2022 Spring), we’ll recap our successes, review rare finds, look at some of best photographs, and announce prize winners! Register to watch the webinar here.