The Stormwater Management Division is promoting citizen science projects to engage our residents in the process of gathering ecological data for the regional scientific community. Citizen science projects and programs are developed to assist professional scientist with the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world through public participation. Residents can become a Citizen Scientist by undertaking specific training and participating in these projects. Citizen scientists have the opportunity to increase their scientific knowledge, develop a deeper understanding of the scientific process, and bring their curiosity, passion, and commitment to current scientific research. Through the City’s the Native Pollinators Identification project and the Texas Stream Team program, anyone with an interest in our local ecosystem; stream ecology and water quality; or native plants and pollinators can learn how to collect and analyze data. These programs provide an opportunity for the public to engage with the scientific community to learn about our local biodiversity, understand natural ecosystems and aid in conservation research. 

The Native Pollinator Identification Project is being developed by the Arlington Bee City USA Committee and the Stormwater Education Specialist. This program seeks to identify Arlington’s native pollinator species and utilize the data gathered to promote education awareness programs throughout the City. About 85% of flowering plants, including many agricultural crops, need a pollinator to reproduce. They are essential to a healthy ecosystem. There has been a significant decline in global pollinator populations due, in part, to habitat loss and degradation; misuse of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers; and diseases and other pathogens. This project will promote the use of native and adapted plants to create new pollinator habitat and encourage the adoption of integrated pest management strategies to reduce pesticide use.

Participants in this project will gather data from local parks, walking trails and their own back yards by utilizing the iNaturalist nature app to gather species observations to better understand Arlington’s unique local biodiversity. Bio-Survey events such as Moth Night and the City Nature Challenge among others will be held by Arlington’s Bee City Committee members and other project participants to collect data from specific areas in the City and to provide educational material to local neighborhoods. Residents can join the Native Pollinator Identification project by attending an Arlington Bee City iNaturalist workshop. Workshops help attendees navigate the iNaturalist application and website along with providing tips on how to document observations. Join Arlington’s Native Pollinator Identification project by contacting the Stormwater Education Specialist at [email protected].

Texas Stream Team (TST) is a network of trained volunteers and supportive partners working together to gather information about the natural resources of Texas and to ensure the information is available to all Texans. Established in 1991, Texas Stream Team is a collaboration of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and US Environmental Protection Agency. TST coordinates a network of partner organizations and trained volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring at assigned sites on their local lakes, rivers, streams, and estuaries across the state.

The City of Arlington is partnering with The Texas Stream Team program to provide support to local stream monitors by providing training, monitoring kits and equipment. This citizen science program seeks to increase public knowledge of water quality issues and non-point source pollution across the state through water quality monitoring, data collection and analysis, and related educational programs. For more information email the City’s Environmental Management division at [email protected].