West Ridge Nature Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

Citizen Science Monitoring

You can become a citizen scientist. And you don’t even need a formal science background. Just come to one of our monitoring sessions in the preserve and you will receive “on the job” training from an experienced monitor on how to listen, observe and record.


Check our Facebook page or our kiosk in the preserve for dates and times. Monitoring may occur at any time during the designated months because it is subject to weather conditions.

Here are some of the species we track: May through June - bats and calling frogs. June through August – butterflies, odonates, macroinvereibrates, and singing insects.

Our citizen science data flow into wider local, regional, state and national databases. By participating, you will be making an important environmental contribution.

iNaturalist Monitoring

As you stroll the paths of our preserve, use the iNaturalist app and your smartphone to record the images of plants and animals around you.


This popular program helps you learn about nature by identifying what you’ve recorded and connecting you with naturalists and scientists.


Tracking the recorded data helps our stewards and community better understand the preserve’s biodiversity and sustainability. It also helps experts in larger arenas analyze local, state and national trends.


Every observation contributes to this understanding. Whether you encounter a rare insect species or a common backyard weed, your observations count.


As of January 2022, some 128 visitors like you have recorded 708 species, up from 457 species the previous year.


For more information, go to:[email protected]