Nature’s Notebook Project

 

Since January 2020, the Urban Forest has been an active site of weekly data collection by HB Tree Society volunteers for a National Phenology Network program called “Nature’s Notebook.”

Phenology is nature’s calendar – the study of plant and animal species’ life stages. Through this program, professional and volunteer scientists use standardized methods to record long-term observations of plant and animal life. The more data we collect, the more data scientists have to work with to understand environmental changes.

Nature’s Notebook includes 1,200 plant and animal species nationwide. From several hundred found in California, we’ve started collecting and submitting data weekly on 11 trees and shrubs, from California live oaks to California poppies. More will be added. The data will help:

  • Predict threats to people and the environment such as wildfires, drought or flooding
  • Determine the timing of events, from when to harvest or irrigate land, to when to conduct controlled burns in forests
  • Assist in the management of invasive species and forest pests
  • Deepen our understanding of climate change and determining the extent to which species are vulnerable to ongoing and projected future changes in climate.

While this program is new for the HB Tree Society, Nature’s Notebook has become well established nationwide since beginning in 2013.  In California alone, there are several hundred sites where data is collected, from backyards to nature preserves to city, state and national parks. We believe the HB Tree Society is the first group registered in Huntington Beach. The NPN encourages observers to choose sites representative of the local environment, which the Urban Forest well provides.

To visit the Nature’s Notebook website, please click here. Interested in becoming a Nature’s Notebook observer in the Urban Forest?  Please contact the HB Tree Society Phenology Program lead at sheila.k.holliday@gmail.com.