Become a Citizen Scientist | Desert Botanical Garden


Introducing The Metro Phoenix EcoFlora Project

Attention citizen scientists! Desert Botanical Garden needs your help to find and photograph the plants, animals and insects in your neighborhood, on local trails and around town. In doing so, you are helping the Garden with a new initiative, the EcoFlora project, to take inventory of the plants and wildlife in the Phoenix metro area. This data will inform conservation organizations like the Garden how to protect and preserve the native plants and wildlife in the area.

So who can be a citizen scientist? Anyone who has the iNaturalist app can participate. Simply download the free app to your mobile device, allow it access to your camera and location and record what you find outside.   

This initiative is a collaboration of Desert Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden and other public gardens to assess the status of biodiversity in their respective communities. The project is made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Join in the Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project to help the Garden and the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance understand urban biodiversity through the lens of your yards and neighborhoods.

In four easy steps, you can get started:

Step One

Download the iNaturalist app to your smart phone, or visit the iNaturalist website,

Step Two

Create an account with your email and an iNaturalist username and password.

Step Three

Join the Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project.

  • In the app: Tap “More,” then “Projects,” and search for Metro Phoenix EcoFlora. Tap “Join.”
  • On the website: Search Metro Phoenix EcoFlora and click “Join” at the top right of the banner.

Step Four

Make observations and share what you’ve found on iNaturalist.

  • Take photos of plants, animals and insects and upload them.
  • Your observations are automatically included in the Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project

To stay up to date on project happenings and announcements, keep an eye out for newsletters on the iNaturalist project page. For more information or for tech help, contact the EcoFlora coordinator at

Dec. 1-24 & 26-31: Last entry at 2:30 p.m. Garden reopen at 5:30 p.m. for Luminaria ticket holders.