Being a Botanist for a Day

Living in New York City, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with the urban area, tall buildings and crowded spaces. Similarly, it is easy to forget how relaxing a stroll in the park can be. I have always seen Central Park as a necessary escape from all the concrete that makes the city, yet I have never really spent too much time observing the diversity of nature in it, which is what BioBlitz was all about.

I signed up for the earliest time slot on Tuesday, all the while hoping not to be assigned to the plant group; I ended up being put exactly there. I was hoping to observe animals, even insects, because I thought plants would be the least interesting to observe early in the morning for three hours. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the end of BioBlitz.

The sheer diversity of the plants there is, in itself, amazing. Many species were brought from all over the world and planted in Central Park. An observer can see the beauty of Japan without ever stepping foot outside New York. I have learned that because of this fact, botanists see the park as a very unique place to study and see how plants which are not naturally likely to “meet” end up living next to each other.

Overall, I would say BioBlitz was a positive experience. Many of us were able to visit areas in Central Park that are normally closed off to other visitors, and learn about the nature present in the city we live in. After participating in the event, I’ve learned to become more observing of the natural life in my surroundings, and more appreciative of the place I live in.

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