Environmental BioBlitz coming to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

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Since it officially was declared a museum in 1935, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 S. Miami Ave., has welcomed guests to showcase an ample collection of artwork and antiques as well as serve as a backdrop for special moments.

On the weekend of May 13, the community will have the opportunity to see a different side of Vizcaya as they search for the gardens’ residents — plants, birds, and even bugs — as part of the National Park Service’s annual BioBlitz.

Produced in partnership with National Geographic, BioBlitz encourages members of the community to connect with their environment by becoming citizen scientists and helping to catalogue as many species of animals and plants as possible over a short period of time. In Miami, guests will be guided through Vizcaya’s protected habitats by resident experts in three specialized events.

Vizcaya’s BioBlitz weekend begins on Friday, May 13, with an Evening Edition starting at 6 p.m., where attendees will focus on exploring and cataloging the gardens’ nocturnal inhabitants while reveling in rare nighttime access to the property.

The fun continues bright and early on Saturday, May 14, at 6 a.m. with the Bird Edition. Dr. John Withey, principal investigator at Florida International University’s Department of Biological Sciences, will lead the group on an exclusive expedition in search of the ground’s feathered inhabitants before the doors of the estate open to the public. Later that morning, starting at 9:30 a.m., a Family Edition will welcome young scientists with activities designed especially for them, including a close look at the property’s bug collection.

Cataloguing efforts throughout the event will be carried out through the iNaturalist app, which connects directly to an online community where observations can be recorded using photos and GPS coordinates.

The app also can be used to explore locations all over the world and their local specimens.

Tickets to Vizcaya’s BioBlitz series are $18 for adults, $6 for children and can be purchased on Eventbrite.com. For more information about this event, visit the events calendar at www.vizcaya.org or contact Rebecca Peterson, public programs manager at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, at 305-860-8423.

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