City Nature Challenge: San Diego

The 2023 Challenge in San Diego

The 2023 City Nature Challenge is a 4-day, worldwide collaboration to get people observing the natural world through photography—and The Nat is coordinating San Diego’s annual participation! We're using the free iNaturalist app and website to tally results for photographs, or observations made in San Diego County. All wild plants and animals count, even non-native species.

The City Nature Challenge will take place took place from April 28–May 1, 2023.

Featured above: The critically imperiled western beach tiger beetle (Cicindela latesignata) was spotted by iNaturalist user mhrains as part of the 2022 CNC.

Spotting Nature with iNaturalist

Have you ever wanted help identifying a wild plant or animal? Want to explore wildlife near you? Interested in honing your plant and animal identification skills? Are you the kind of person who asks: what's this bug? Here, The Nat and our community partner San Diego Canyonlands show you to do all of the above using the iNaturalist app. is a free app and website that helps connect people with each other and the natural world.

How to Participate in City Nature Challenge

It’s easy! You can go out on your own, join our partners at one of the many special events hosted remotely and around town, or find an event near you. All you have to do is:

  • Download the free iNaturalist app to your Android or iPhone
  • Join the City Nature Challenge 2023: San Diego County iNaturalist project
  • Take photos of wild plants and animals in San Diego County from April 28–May 1
  • Upload your photos to iNaturalist by May 7
  • Learn more as the iNaturalist community helps identify your observations

Join an event

And we have plenty of resources to help you along the way.

Help lead the Challenge

This county-wide effort is possible because of our dedicated partners. Interested in joining?

Partner with us

Classrooms and beyond

Educators—want to incorporate the City Nature Challenge into your curriculum? We've got your back.

Learn more

Thank you

City Nature Challenge exists thanks to its founding organizations, CalAcademy and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and thanks to support from people like you.