to Apr 29

Philadelphia City Nature Challenge

Welcome to the Philadelphia City Nature Challenge! Between April 26 and April 29, 2019, Philadelphia and its adjacent counties will be competing against other cities in the world to see who can find the most species in their regions. If you are interested in contributing and helping Philly win, download the iNaturalist app (or visit the website) and start documenting the wildlife in your area. You can also visit our project page to see the latest observations as they come in.

A lot of people think cities are mostly devoid of wildlife; there are the pigeons hanging out on buildings, the sparrows in city parks and the rats running around our alleyways, but that’s about it. This could not be farther from the truth. The City of Philadelphia alone has recorded more than 325 species of birds. Numerous butterflies including monarchs live and breed in the city. There are snakes, frogs, dragonflies, foxes, bats, and much more to experience in our area. The City Nature Challenge gives us a way to explore and document the biodiversity in the cities and suburbs we call home. This, in turn, is useful for science and conservation.

The region covered under the 2019 City Nature Challenge for the Philadelphia area includes Philadelphia county and all the counties that directly border Philadelphia. So make sure your observations are in one of these 7 counties so that they count towards our totals.

In Pennsylvania,

  • Philadelphia County

  • Delaware County

  • Montgomery County

  • Bucks County

and in New Jersey,

  • Burlington County

  • Camden County

  • Gloucester County

For information on the City Nature Challenge, tips on participating and to see the other cities competing on 2019 check out the City Nature Challenge page.

See bioPhilly in the news:

From catbirds to butterflies: Here’s what Philly’s finding in its first City nature Challenge.

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BioPhily 5: Living Air Conditioning & Carbon Sponges - Vertical Forests, Meadow Roofs and other Plant-based Systems to Beat the Heat
5:30 PM17:30

BioPhily 5: Living Air Conditioning & Carbon Sponges - Vertical Forests, Meadow Roofs and other Plant-based Systems to Beat the Heat

  • Dorrance H. Hamilton Building at Jefferson (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

bioPhilly 5 Conference

April 11, 2019

Living Air Conditioning & Carbon Sponges

Vertical Forests, Meadow Roofs and other Plant-based Systems to Beat the Heat

Location: Dorrance H. Hamilton Building, Jefferson

Climate scientists predict that within 30 years, Philadelphia could spend as many as 74 days a year above 90ºF, almost 7 more weeks than we experience now.

We can remove CO2 from the atmosphere with plant-based building materials that store carbon and cool our city with biophilic urbanist solutions, using the only truly ‘green’ air conditioning available: trees and plants. As always, bioPhilly is bringing together a diverse group of experts from the fields of biophilic design, urban ecology & forestry, public health & policy, community engagement & construction to explore Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) and their in-equitable impacts.


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BioPhilly 4: Birds, Bees, and Us: Circadian Health in Urban Environments
6:00 PM18:00

BioPhilly 4: Birds, Bees, and Us: Circadian Health in Urban Environments

  • Jefferson University, Dorrance H. Hamilton Building, 4th Floor (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Light pollution in urban environments has been a growing problem for decades. Paradoxically, the introduction of energy-efficient LED bulbs is making cities glow even brighter. Current research, including the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning research into the Circadian Clock Gene has determined that increased nighttime illumination has disruptive consequences for all forms of life: plants, animals, pollinators and humans alike. Studies have shown that light pollution unravels the intertwined tapestry of day and night pollinators, that it speeds up the circadian rhythm of birds and other city dwellers, including ours. We now know that circadian disruption in humans leads to elevated stress hormone levels, increased inflammation and reduced immune function among other significant health challenges, such as melatonin sensitive cancers.

BioPhilly 4 brings together a diverse panel of experts from the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, the fields of entomology, occupational and environmental medicine, ornithology, urban landscape design, urban wildlife. and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation environmental education to discuss these shared challenges,

Please join us for drinks and networking at 6:00 pm on April 5th.

Panel discussion to begin at 7:00 pm.

Sponsorship opportunities available.

For information, please email BioPhilly.


Jefferson Logo.png


Adam Agalloco, CEM, LEED AP, Energy Manager City of Philadelphia

John Cambridge, Ph.D., MPH, CEO Philadelphia Insectarium, and Butterfly Pavilion

Tony Croasdale, Environmental Educator Philadelphia Parks & Rec, The Urban Wildlife Podcast

Kim Douglas, MLA, RLA, College of Architecture and Built Environment Jefferson University

Keith Russell, Program Manager for Urban Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania

Pouné Saberi, M.D., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Physicians for Social Responsibility


Helena van Vliet, AIA, BioPhilly founding member, Biophilic Cities Project steering committee.

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2nd Annual Biophilic Cities Network Meet & Greet
6:30 PM18:30

2nd Annual Biophilic Cities Network Meet & Greet

Second Annual Biophilic Cities Network & Biophilly Meet & Greet

Brief presentations and a Community Discussion about the role of abundant Nature in Philadelphia to shape lives of Health, Sustainability and Resiliency for Residents.

With Tim Beatley, Steve Kellert and Bill Browning

Join us rain or shine:

Wednesday May 18th 2016 | 6:30 – 9:00 pm

The Courtyard of the Morris House Hotel

225 South 8th Street, Philadelphia PA 19106


light fare, cash bar

$25 SUGGESTED donation at the door

$10 FOR students

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Biophilic Cities 2015
6:00 PM18:00

Biophilic Cities 2015

Please join us: The Biophilic Cities Project

Growing beyond 'green' in Philadelphia

The Biophilic Cities Project was launched in October 2013 by Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities School of Architecture, University of Virginia. Just two years later, nine major cities world-wide are in the network. In the U.S. these include San Francisco, Portland, Phoenix and Milwaukee. Other cities, such as Washington DC, are on the verge.

The network seeks to expand beyond "green" into an agenda, which extends beyond conventional urban parks, and beyond building-centric green design. It is about redefining the very essence of resilient cities as places of wild and restorative nature, from rooftops to roadways to riverfronts. It is about understanding cities as places that already harbor much nature and places that can become, through bold vision and persistent practice, even greener and richer in the nature they contain.

This event brings together two international leaders in the Biophilia Movement, Tim Beatley and Bill Browning, with local proponents and practitioners. It seeks to introduce "beyond Green" to the the community of local and regional sustainability and environmental networks in and around Philadelphia. Included are leading members of the health care community, since physiological health is one of the demonstrated benefits of biophilic urbanism.

Photo, above, by Fredda Lippes, Green Roof Lead Coordinator: Fredda Lippes City of Philadelphia

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