Buncombe County -- December 24, 2022: Looking to get your kids outside this winter? Join us as we walk you through the web-based program, ecoEXPLORE.
You’ll learn how to submit photos and complete nature themed challenges to earn badges and prizes.
This initiative by the NC Arboretum includes a different challenge each season that will keep children engaged in learning about nature year-round while also
contributing to citizen science. The theme this
winter is ornithology. We’ll explore Lake Julian’s shores and woods for a variety of feathered friends! Stick around
after the program to continue your exploration of the nature trails and playground.
When: Jan. 11, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Ages: 5-10 yrs; families welcome
Where: Lake Julian Playground Shelter
Look out for more ecoEXPLORE Family Days one Wednesday every other month. 
ecoEXPLORE 101

ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education) is an incentive-based citizen science program for children in grades K-8. Developed by
The North Carolina Arboretum, this innovative program combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging
them to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science.
What is citizen science?

Citizen Science encourages volunteers of any age to collect and submit scientific information to real life scientists, which will assist in their research and data analysis. Scientists around
the world need help collecting data. By becoming a citizen scientist, participants can help professional scientists understand changes in the environment and see how these changes impact
plants, animals and other natural resources.


See It!
After signing up online, participants go outside in their own backyard or at designated ecoEXPLORE HotSpots to find wildlife species, including plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds.

Snap It!

Participants can use their own device – or check out an iPod Touch at a participating LoanSpot location – and photograph their wildlife observation, noting the data, location, time, size and 
species observed.
Participants then log into their ecoEXPLORE profile online and submit their “share” or observation. Arboretum staff will then review the data and submit all approved submissions to the iNaturalist Network, which is used by real scientists!

Where to EXPLORE

ecoEXPLORE is a North Carolina-based program, but you can submit observations from anywhere in the world. The North Carolina Arboretum is both the lead institution of the ecoEXPLORE, and is
the hub for the Mountain Region.

The Greensboro Science Center is the hub for our Northern Piedmont Region.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences serves as both the Central Region Hub from Prairie Ridge Ecostation; and their Whiteville location as the Southern Coastal Region Hub.
This program is free of charge to all children and families in North Carolina. Non-North Carolina residents are also welcome to attend programs, post observations and earn badges but are not
permitted to earn prizes at this time.
Does your organization want to join ecoEXPLORE?

Thanks to our generous supporters we have funds available to bring ecoEXPLORE to all 100 North Carolina counties. We are looking for parks, greenways and nature/science centers to serve as ecoE 

The North Carolina Arboretum Program Staff
Jonathan Marchal, ecoEXPLORE Creator and Director of Education
Trudie Henninger, Education Outreach Manager
Charles Zimmerman, ecoEXPLORE Coordinator
Meghan McDevitt, Western Hub ecoEXPLORE Specialist
Molly Larmie, ecoEXPLORE Statewide Specialist

A number of partners and collaborators participate in ecoEXPLORE, an initiative of The North Carolina Arboretum. These include:
North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation,
Buncombe County Recreation Services
For more information on ecoEXPLORE, click Here

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