This weekend there’s a perfect excuse to get outside

I think we’ve had more excuses to get outside this year than usual, but if you need another one, we’ve got one coming up this weekend.

I’m constantly looking for excuses to get outside. When I was a kid, I didn’t need any excuses. That was back in the days before Xbox and Nintendo, and if I hadn’t spent 90 percent of my waking hours outdoors, I’m pretty sure my mom would have gone insane.

But now that I’m an adult and have certain responsibilities, I feel like I need to have a good justification for going outside. Some of those excuses are better than others. And this weekend, I’ve got an excuse that’s foolproof. Floors need mopping and laundry needs to be done? It’s all going to have to wait because I need to go outside and help the scientists.

This weekend, The University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute us hosting its 11th annual Wyoming Bioblitz. In the past, the Bioblitz has focused on one particular area, and people from all over Wyoming have gathered at that location to look for as many plant and animal species as they could. Those bioblitzes have resulted in great data for biologists to use to get a baseline for the animal species that live in those areas.

This year, because of COVID-19, getting everyone together in one place isn’t such a good idea, but the Biodiversity Institute still needs to know what plants, animals, birds, insects and fish we commonly see in Wyoming. So instead of gathering in one location, this year’s Wyoming Bioblitz will take place all over the state. And anyone can participate. All you have to do is go outside and look around.

Check out the website at WyomingBiodiversity.org for more information and to register. You can also download the app for your phone at iNaturalist.org. Then get outside and help the biologists. It’s free, it’s a great excuse to get outside, and it’s much more important than doing those household chores.

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