App helps connect people to San Dieguito watershed trails and wildlife

While out exploring the San Dieguito watershed, have you ever wondered what you’re looking at? Well, now there’s an app for that.

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy’s new app allows users to easily navigate trails in the park and identify plants and wildlife. Created by McLeod Media of Encinitas, the app is part of the conservancy’s new Citizen Science Monitoring Program, which encourages public participation in scientific research.

“It gets people out there on the trail to be our eyes and ears, and collect data,” said Trish Boaz, executive director of the conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to sustaining the natural resources of the San Dieguito watershed.

With the help of “citizen scientists,” the project aims to collect field data on mammals, birds and plants on land owned by the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park.

Through the program, the conservancy hosts events where citizen scientists are guided to collect specific field data. In addition, park visitors are encouraged to use the app to report wildlife sightings.

“It brings nature to people, and people to nature,” Boaz said.

The Citizen Science Monitoring Program kicked off in August so the conservancy could collect data and engage the community. The program was made possible by a $40,000 grant from the San Diego Foundation, as well as a $10,000 grant from SDG&E for the development of the app.

“We want to be a regional leader in the county,” Boaz said. “We have 55 miles of park here. So we have the unique ability to be the kind of watershed Citizen Science Monitoring Program that other conservancies can emulate. This app can be easily adapted.”

The app is available for download for iPhones at wildsd.org.

For information about the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the Citizen Science Monitoring Program, visit sdrvc.org.

Copyright © 2018, Del Mar Times
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