WILTON, Conn. -- Kids, scientists and other visitors went to work scouring the countryside and counting different species as Weir Farm National Historic Site, located in Wilton and Ridgefield, hosted a BioBlitz event.
The BioBlitz kicked off the National Park Service's centennial. More than 350 schoolchildren, 25 scientists and experts and 150 other visitors created a master inventory of 450 species found at the park during the recent event.
The list of birds, mammals, insects and plants will be used to help park staff and local partners maximize biodiversity in and around Weir Farm.
This collaborative event was made possible by many partners and community supporters.
Friends of Weir Farm NHS, the Town of Ridgefield Conservation Commission, the Weir Preserve and Woodcock Nature Center were key organizing partners. They worked to gather scientific equipment, secure donations of food for volunteers and provide technical and logistical support. During the event, they led educational programs and tours, helped staff with a pop-up science center and made sure volunteers and staff were well fed.
A team of scientists, educators and artists led tours and scoured the park in search of species. They hailed from UConn-Storrs and UConn-Waterbury, University of Saint Joseph, Western Connecticut State University, Yale University, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Wildlife Division, Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators, Groundwork Bridgeport, New Pond Farm, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Redding Land Trust and Westchester-Connecticut Mycological Association.
Bartlett Arboretum and Scofield Magnet Middle School loaned special equipment, field guides and a computer magnifying camera for use during the event.
Local businesses supported this event including: Caraluzzi's Market; The Sand Wedge & Deli, Georgetown; Cain Enterprises of Norwalk Inc. (Dunkin Donuts); Costco, Norwalk; Ambler Farm; Connecticut Coffee & Grill; Diamond Deli Stop & Shop; Subway (Town Green); and Village Market in Wilton.
This event was part of the larger National Parks BioBlitz, with more than 100 national parks across the country celebrating biodiversity in parks to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial.
For more information on Weir Farm National Historic Site, click here.
Weir Farm National Historic Site is on Nod Hill Road at the border of Wilton and Ridgefield.