BudBurst at the Refuges for Visitors

Trempealeau Visitors

Do you have a National Wildlife Refuge near you? Looking for a good excuse to visit? Or perhaps your taking a road trip and plan to pass near a Refuge or two along the way. Consider making observations of a plant or two at that Refuge 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 Fish and Wildlife Service as well as others interested in plant phenology. Your participation will contribute to a better understanding of how Refuge 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 Refuges?

Great question! The BudBurst at the Refuges program is a great way for you to become more aware of key plants  at your Refuge. These may be plants that are of particular importance to the wildlife of your Refuge or plants that are unique to your area. BudBurst at the Refuges is also a great excuse for you to get outside and make return visits to the Refuge. 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 Refuges community today!

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

If your local Refuge 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 Refuge with Project BudBurst Single Report or Regular Report forms and start to make observations. You can also contact Refuge staff and encourage them to sign up as Project BudBurst Refuge partners. Learn more about Regular and Single Reports

Q. Who can participate in BudBurst at the Refuges?

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.

Q. Is this an appropriate activity for families?

Patuxent Trail Photo

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 Refuge. 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 Refuge to participate?

No, although we certainly hope you are able to visit your local Refuge and explore the wonderful resources it has to offer. BudBurst at the Refuges was created to enhance your experience while at a wildlife refuge but you can participate in Project BudBurst 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.

Photos courtesy of Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge (top) and Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge (bottom)