I spy a dandelion! citizen scientists Plantwatch

waiting to be!The sun was shining there for a while, and the grass is green, mostly, in the greater St. John’s metro area. Can the dandelion be far behind?  Keep an eye out!  Your observations from your favorite field, trail, patch by your workplace or even your own backyard can help track climate change.  Works well for classrooms and groups too.  And it will give you one more good reason to get out.

PlantWatch is part of the national NatureWatch program – a series of volunteer monitoring programs that help identify ecological changes.  Local people, no matter where local is all across Canada, can play.   This is an opportunity to help scientists discover how, and why, our natural environment is changing.  It will bring the lofty and intimidating phrase ‘climate change’ down to the soft patch underneath your feet.  

MUN Botanical Garden is the coordination centre for Plantwatch in Newfoundland and Labrador.  There are 18 excellent, common, maybe-in-your-garden plants in NL’s Plantwatch roster including the brave and sweet dandelion, the stalwart rhododendron, the stately lilac and more!  All you have to do is pick a spot with the right plant, register, watch and record the timing of blooming dates (phenology).

The data collected provincially and nationally can be used as indicators of environmental changes in the areas where the plants are growing.  And just being out there will make you feel happy.