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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden

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Participating in Groups

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Using Budburst Groups

Budburst Groups are great for classes, clubs, and other organizations. They allow for collaborative work and sharing observations. Groups can serve many purposes: students can gather data on specific plants in a schoolyard, research garden, or remotely in their backyard. Additionally, clubs can monitor a local species of interest, and visitors can monitor multiple plant species in a forest preserve or similar setting. 

Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Creating a Group

Create a new Budburst account or login to your existing account. From there, you can create a Group by going to the Groups page and clicking the 'Create new Group' button. You will then be prompted to provide information about your Group, choose its settings, and customize how your members will participate. 

As the manager of a Group, you will be able to invite members via email or set up anonymous accounts within the group (typically for participants under the age of 13 per our privacy policy). You can also manage multiple Budburst groups from your account.

Making an Observation as a Group

Group members can log in using their member accounts to report data. If they use their own account, they need to report their observations within the relevant Group.

Reporting observations and uploading associated photos may be done immediately from the field via hand-held device or computer. Printable report forms for field observations may be downloaded below or from each plant’s resource page. These field reports can be carried back to a workspace for data entry into the Budburst website.

Find Observation Forms here: 

Explore the Data

Once the data are entered, they are immediately searchable and downloadable for both Group managers and members on the Group's page in their Budburst account. They can download their Group’s observation in either an Excel or CSV file format.

In the past, elementary school teachers have used Group data to help their students create simple graphs showing the timing of phenophase events for their study of plant(s).

Organizations or more advanced classes have used data collected by the larger Budburst community in order to compare their Group’s observations with those made by participants in other locations or other years. All Budburst data can be searched, filtered, and downloaded from the Data page.


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Budburst is a project of the
Chicago Botanic Garden

One of the treasures of the
Forest Preserves of Cook County

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