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Tri-Cities looking to show off its local nature, wildlife in 2023 global challenge

Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are teaming up a second straight year for a friendly world-wide competition.

It's the truth — the Tri-Cities has some of B.C.'s most beautiful sights nature has to offer.

Big trees, crystal waters and colourful flowers make up the unique landscape of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, creating photo opportunities for local residents and visitors alike.

For a second consecutive year, all three municipalities are asking for the public to share their photos and videos online for the 2023 City Nature Challenge (CNC) — a friendly global competition that shows off locally documented nature and wildlife.

The California-based campaign, which started in 2016, is slated for the end of the month.

In 2022, the Tri-Cities' first-ever entry included 2,790 observations from 129 people — 1,519 in Coquitlam, 945 in Port Moody and 325 in PoCo.

Those were the third- and second-highest totals respectively among participating B.C. communities in the international initiative. Greater Victoria took top honours in the observation category.

This year's CNC celebration is set to include 14 free in-person events, including guided walks, hatchery visits, and children's activities, and collaborated with local stewardship groups, Metro Vancouver Parks and other facilities.

A full list of events can be found below.


While interested participants are encouraged to share photos and videos across social media, Tri-Cities municipalities can only win the CNC contest through a specific app to download.

iNaturalist is where residents can upload their nature content, as well as audio recordings, and receive feedback from experts associated with the challenge.

The app was brainstormed by the National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences, a group of "citizens, naturalists and biologists who map and share observations about biodiversity around the globe."

You can click here to download iNaturalist, which is free from the App Store or Google Play and you must create an account before snapping and uploading photos.

The 2023 City Nature Challenge takes place from April 28 to May 1.

More information can be found on each Tri-Cities community's respective website:

Activities and events requiring pre-registration are as follows (in chronological order):

  • Guided nature walk (adults and seniors)
    • Hosted by Port Moody's environment and parks team
    • April 25, 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Rocky Point Park
  • Bats and other creatures (all ages)
    • Around the Rotary Loop
    • April 28, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Westhill Park
      • May be rescheduled to April 29 if unfavourable weather is forecast
  • Shorebirds and Songbirds (all ages)
    • Hosted by Burke Mountain Naturalists along the Shoreline Trail
    • April 29, 8 to 9 a.m. at Rocky Point Park
  • Fish and Friends (all ages, youth focused)
    • April 29, 9 to 11 a.m. at Noons Creek Hatchery
  • Climate resilient landscape project (youth aged 11 to 18)
    • Hosted by Port Moody's environment and parks team
    • April 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pioneer Memorial Park
  • Fish and Friends (all ages)
    • April 30, 1 to 3 p.m. at Mossom Creek Hatchery


Free drop-in events are (in chronological order):

  • Pop-up City Nature Challenge booth
    • Apr. 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gates Park
  • City Nature Challenge events at the Inspiration Garden 
    • Hosted by City of Coquitlam's Parks teams
    • April 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Town Centre Park (north of Guildford Way on Pipeline Road)
  • Identify invasive and native plants in Hoy Creek Linear Park
    • Hosted by Hoy/Scott Watershed Society
    • April 29, 9 to 11 a.m. at Hoy Creek Hatchery (west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex and north of Guildford Way) 
  • Invasive species removal
    • Apr. 29, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Settlers Park Skate Bowl
  • Tri-Cities Bear Aware (all ages)
    • Learn all about bears and coexisting with wildlife
    • April 30, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Rocky Point Park
  • Pollinator Talk
    • Hosted by PoCo city staff and Mason Bee Company
    • April 30, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Castle Park
  • Pop-up City Nature Challenge booth
    • May 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre
  • Native vs. Invasive plants
    • Hosted by Douglas College Urban Ecology Centre
    • May 1, 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Douglas College Coquitlam ('C' and 'D' main concourse)