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BioBlitz in North Cascades park lets you be a scientist for a day

A park ranger leads Geneva Elementary students on a tour of the natural-history displays at the North Cascades National Park visitor center in Newhalem in May 2010. Anyone can be part of a free nationwide citizen science effort from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the park.
A park ranger leads Geneva Elementary students on a tour of the natural-history displays at the North Cascades National Park visitor center in Newhalem in May 2010. Anyone can be part of a free nationwide citizen science effort from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the park. rmittendorf@bhamherald.com

Anyone can be part of a free nationwide BioBlitz of “citizen science” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the North Cascades National Park visitor center.

Park rangers and scientists will show visitors of all ages how to identify and document plant and animal species for a look at park biodiversity, using the iNaturalist app, cameras and field guides. In Newhalem, efforts will focus on birds; Douglas red squirrels; fungi, mosses and lichens; and beetles and plants found near the Skagit River.

The visitor center is near milepost 120 on the North Cascades Highway. From Interstate 5 south, look for signs to eastbound Highway 20. Admission to the center is free and it has restrooms, a gift shop, places for picnicking, and a small natural-history museum with exhibits on animals, geology and weather of the region — plus a relief map of the North Cascades.

For more information, go online to nps.gov/noca or call 206-386-4495, ext.11.

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