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Phenology examines phenomena like blooming in the spring and leaf color changes in the fall. Scientists are interested in the timing of biological events like these and their relationship to our climate. In ecological research, understanding phenology is critical to the timing of seasonal work like plant population monitoring and seed collection, while agricultural scientists and farmers use it to plan everything from planting to pest management to crop harvest.
Since the 1950s, dedicated volunteers across the country have tracked the phenology of lilacs. Partnering with the USA National Phenology Network (NPN), the Gardens monitors the phenology of many of the plants in the lilac garden. We also partner with Project BudBurst (PBB) to monitor 10 other easily recognizable species throughout the Gardens. These organizations support citizen science projects conducted by a network of people across the United States who monitor plants and report their data throughout the year. You can hone your observation skills on these species in the Gardens or across the state by joining us in participating with these partner organizations. Check out the phenology tour on Gardens Navigator.
In addition to these projects in the Gardens, stay tuned for the development of a Phenology Trail including sites around Colorado in 2013 and 2014. We are partnering with other organizations to develop a collection of sites to collect phenology data and learn about native species and the diversity of habitats in our state.
- Learn more about lilac monitoring at the Gardens in partnership with NPN.
- Learn more about the 10 Project BudBurst species we monitor at the Gardens.
- Learn more about the development of a Phenology Trail throughout Colorado.
We encourage you to help monitor plant phenology by making observations on one of the species the Gardens monitors or any one of the hundreds of species being monitored nationally. Become a citizen scientist by contributing your data with our partner organization online or through their mobile apps: