Phenology is the study of phenomena like flowers blooming in the spring or leaf color changes in the fall.

Scientists are interested in the timing of such biological events and their relationship to climate. In ecological research, understanding phenology is critical to timing 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 (USA-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. Partnering with US-NPN, we developed a Phenology Trail which currently includes three sites in Colorado.

Become a citizen scientist and help monitor plant phenology on one of the species the Gardens monitors or any one of the hundreds of species being monitored nationally by contributing your data to our partner organizations (National Phenology Network or Project Budburst).

Learn more about lilac monitoring at the Gardens in partnership with USA-NPN.

Learn more about the 10 Project BudBurst species we monitor at the Gardens.

Learn more about the development of our Phenology Trail throughout Colorado.

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