MLK Day BioBlitz 2024 Recap
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was Monday, January 15th, and we held our annual MLK Day BioBlitz at Rosewood Nature Study Area. Traditionally, MLK Day is a day of service for AmeriCorps members but the BioBlitz opens that service opportunity to our community and gives everyone a chance to give back on such a special day.
This year, our community responded in full force to this opportunity to serve. More than 70 volunteers joined Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation staff and AmeriCorps members to catalog the flora and fauna of the Rosewood Nature Study Area and remove harmful trash from our wetlands.
It was a beautiful but brisk morning when volunteers arrived, a stark contrast to last year where we had snow pouring down, covering our wetlands and volunteers. Still the air was chilly enough that volunteers were able to gather inside and enjoy some bagels donated from Desert Sun Bagel Co. and experience Rosewood Nature Study Area’s Visitor Center before embarking on this year’s BioBlitz. The volunteers would get to experience several stations throughout the wetlands focusing on soils, macroinvertebrates, mammals, birds and plants. Using their phones, volunteers were able to help catalog the different species they came across in the iNaturalist app while they explored the wetland. All together, 49 different species were observed across 135 unique observations.
In addition to cataloging species, volunteers made an impact on the health of the wetlands by cleaning up trash. Recent snow storms had caused debris to float through the waterways that move through Rosewood and with the help of the community we were able to clean it up! In total we filled 11 trash bags which hold between 60-100 pounds of trash. We also found several golf balls during clean up, and since the Nature Study Area hasn’t been a golf course for nearly a decade, we know that we’ll still be finding golf balls for years to come.
It was great to see all the support for Rosewood from the community. Kicking the year off with a day of service is the perfect way to start a year that can be filled with positive impact for the community that we call home. Anyone who came out to Rosewood on Monday was part of a volunteer event that made a visible difference and we hope that they will return for more volunteer opportunities in the future.
About the Author
Matt is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After serving with TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 he worked to promote AmeriCorps programs throughout Nevada for four years and is excited to be back at the place that started his journey in the nonprofit world. Matt studied Radio Television Production at the University of Montana and brings over a decade of experience to the TMPF communications team. When he isn't working you can find Matt watching baseball, hiking with his family, or being pulled behind a boat.