This weekend, it’s a Bio-Blitz along the bike path

Teams of volunteers will fan out along the bike path and nearby parks to chronicle what lives there

Posted 6/8/22

Don’t be surprised to see more traffic than usual along a 4.4-mile stretch of the East Bay Bike Path this weekend — nor folks there at all times of day and night.

BioBlitz 2022 is …

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This weekend, it’s a Bio-Blitz along the bike path

Teams of volunteers will fan out along the bike path and nearby parks to chronicle what lives there

Posted

Don’t be surprised to see more traffic than usual along a 4.4-mile stretch of the East Bay Bike Path this weekend — nor folks there at all times of day and night.

BioBlitz 2022 is coming to the bike path from 2 p.m. on Friday, June 10, to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, in a stretch from Brickyard Pond in Barrington to the Audubon Society’s Nature Center & Aquarium in Bristol. Teams of volunteers will be fanning out all along the bike path, around Brickyard Pond and throughout multiple conservation areas in the immediate vicinity, including the Audubon property in Bristol; Jacob’s Point Marsh, Burr’s Hill Park and Belcher Cove Marsh in Warren; and Police Cove Park in Barrington.

BioBlitzes have been held somewhere in Rhode Island every year for the past 22 years. The first was in Roger Williams Park in Providence in 2000, and others have been in Little Compton, Cumberland, Glocester, South Kingstown and elsewhere.

During a BioBlitz, volunteers organized into teams have 24 hours to tally as many species of plants or animals as they can in a particular area. There are multiple reasons for the extraordinary effort. They’re trying to demonstrate the biodiversity close to home; demonstrate how field biologists and naturalists learn about the environment; spark communication and learning about the environment; and gather critical information about the area they study.

During the 2021 BioBlitz in Mercy Woods Preserve in Cumberland, teams recorded 780 species in 24 hours. A typical year draws 150 to 200 participants from throughout the northeast and identifies 900 to 1,400 species, depending on site, weather, and the expertise on the teams.

This year, teams are instructed to access both sides of the bike path, to twice the width of the asphalt path, or up to the demarcation of private property, whichever comes first. Everything within the parks and preservation areas is fair game as well.

In addition to the teams crawling along the bike path and preserves both day and night, there will be two stations open to the public. Science Central will be at the Audubon Nature Center & Aquarium at 1401 Hope St. in Bristol, and a mini-Science Central will be at Veteran’s Memorial Park at Brickyard Pond in Barrington.

The BioBlitz is organized by The Rhode Island Natural History Survey, an independent, member-supported non-profit organization. Learn more at www.rinhs.org.

2022 by East Bay Media Group

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