El Paso to participate in Nature Challenge to get people exploring the outdoors


Residents encouraged to participate

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An international effort is encouraging community members to get out and explore open spaces in El Paso.

The City Nature Challenge is a competition where cities around the world compete against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, discover the most species and which one can engage the most people.

A local park interpreter said enjoying nature can also bring other benefits for people’s mental health.

“A lot of people come out here and find that it really helps with depression, anxiety, it’ll also help focus your mind a lot too,” said Lydia Pagel, park interpreter at Franklin Mountains State Park. “So just to kind of hear the wind, listen to the birds — it gives you this sense that you’re kind of in a different world away from all the buzz and noise that you’re used to.”

The challenge takes places April 30 to May 3.

Participating is free and easy:

  • Go out and look for nature around you; can be at a park, in your backyard or garden, at school, etc.
  • Take a photo with your phone, camera, or tablet 
  • Upload your photos into iNaturalist either from your phone if you download the app or from your computer

For more information, tutorials, locations, and events, visit http://www.insightselpaso.org/city-nature-challenge-el-paso/.

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