Your Backyard Could be Famous: Join the Great Nature Project!

by Melissa Harding


This year, National Geographic is celebrating its 125th anniversary, which is pretty incredible. Nat Geo, as it is often affectionately called, is an organization known not just for its reporting, but for its pictures. From breathtaking shots of far away lands to startling close-ups of insect eyes, the photographers at National Geographic are some of the best in the world, able to capture images that are truly worth a thousand words. However, next week, they want to turn the reigns over to you! The Great Nature Project is a program created by National Geographic to get people outside and taking pictures of all the great plants and animals in their lives. Meant to be a “worldwide celebration of the planet and its wonders”. This is not just a program for kids, but for people of all ages, all around the world. The goal of the project is to increase awareness and appreciation for the natural world through art. Together, this project hopes to create a  “global snapshot of the Earth’s incredible biodiversity”.

The Great Nature Project is a weeklong contest – photos can be submitted from September 21-29, 2013.You can upload your photos to Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr (kids who are 13 or under should upload their photos to National Geographic’s Kids  “My Shot“), using the hashtag #GreatNature. Add the #animal tag to any of your animal pictures as well. In addition to increasing nature appreciation, this is also an incredible opportunity for some serious citizen science! A community of scientists and other nature experts would love to help you identify the species that you have photographed; join the Great Nature Project on Project Noah, iNaturalist, or iSpot to learn more about the subjects of your photos.

The Great Nature Project is both a great way to learn more about science through art and a fun project for families, schools, youth groups or scouts. Go outside today and take some awesome pictures of your backyard and the critter and plants that live there. Feeling like an adventure? Go to your local park or green space and explore – you never know what you might find!

To learn more about The Great Nature Project, including how to join and submit your pictures, check out the Nat Geo website. You can also check out some of the collections curated by Nat Geo explorers and photographers!

To learn about citizen science projects that your family will love, check out this post. Or this one.

Why is using art in science important? Check out this post!

The above photo was taken by Cory Doman.

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