BudBurst at the Parks for Visitors

Ranger in assisting visitors
Photo: National Park Service

Do you have a National Park near you? Looking for a good excuse to visit? Or perhaps your taking a road trip and plan to pass through a Park along the way. Consider making observations of a plant or two at that Park and note if they are in flower, leaf out, or setting seed. Then, post your data on budburst.org. Your data will be available to botanists and biologists throughout the National Park Service as well as others interested in plant phenology. Your participation will contribute to a better understanding of how Park plants respond to changing climates.

Want to learn more? Check out our Q and A below!

Do you have a question not on our list? Send us an email at budburst@chicagobotanic.org and we'll be happy to answer it for you

Q. Why should I participate in BudBurst at the Parks?

Great question! The BudBurst at the Parks program is a great way for you to become more aware of key plants at the Park you visit. These may be plants that are of particular importance to the wildlife of your Park or plants that are unique to your area. BudBurst at the Parks is also a great excuse for you to get outside and make return visits to the Park. When you sign up for Project BudBurst, you also get access to your own personal My BudBurst Data Viewer where you can review and download your observations. Kids who participate in BudBurst Buddies also receive a certificate after they have participated. Join the growing BudBurst at the Parks community today!

Q. What would I do at a Park for Project BudBurst?

If your local Park is a Project BudBurst partner they may have some cool opportunities for you. Check with the education and outreach staff to find out more. You can also simply visit the Park with Project BudBurst Single Report or Regular Report forms and start to make observations. You can also contact Park staff and encourage them to sign up as Project BudBurst Park partners.

Q. Who can participate in BudBurst at the Parks?

Participation is open to all! We have activities for all ages. Our participants include people from all walks of life representing all 50 states. We invite you to join our ‘growing' community.

Family Walk
Photo: National Park Service

Q. Is this an appropriate activity for families?

Yes! From Regular Reports to Single Reports to our BudBurst Buddies program, there is something for everyone with Project BudBurst. Parents and kids can choose plants to monitor together and visit their plant multiple times throughout the season to see how they are doing. Or, if your family is just passing through on a road trip, you can use Single Report forms to make observations of plants while on a Driving (or hiking) Tour of a Park. Participation in Project BudBurst is a fun way to engage your family with the plant world around them.

Q. Do I have to be at a Park to participate?

No, we certainly hope you are able to visit your local Park and explore the wonderful resources it has to offer. BudBurst at the Parks was created to enhance your experience while at a National Park. You can also participate at home, at work, in the schoolyard, at your local botanic garden, on vacation, or wherever you find plants of interest.

Q. Can I use my mobile phone to participate?

Yes! Learn more about our app for use with Android smartphones.