Welcome to Riveredge’s fabulous world of phenology!

What is this term “phenology”?  Phenology is the study of  plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors.  A famous phenologist, Aldo Leopold, once said

“Many of the events of the annual cycle recur year after year in a regular order. A year-to-year record of this order is a record of the rates at which solar energy flows to and through living things.  They are the arteries of the land.  By tracing their response to the sun, phenology may eventually shed some light on that ultimate enigma, the land’s inner workings.” –Aldo Leopold, A Phenological Record for Sauk and Dane Counties, Wisconsin, 1935-1945

Riveredge has been recording phenology for over 4 decades.  Help us track our phenological events by hiking our sanctuary and phenology trails and uploading your observations to iNaturalist!

Phenology Trails

Thanks to the Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program, through the WI DNR, two interactive phenology trails have been created.  These trails guide visitors to track plant phenology observations from their mobile device.  These recordings will be shared with phenology partners and be used in nationwide data to track the changes in plant phenology.

Specifically the goals of the trails are to:

  1. Engage the public in tracking phenological changes in our plant communities at RNC,
  2. To increase citizen science involvement and
  3. To be a model for citizen based involvement in plant phenology at other environmental educational facilities in Wisconsin.

For more information about these new trails and how to get involved click HERE!

Partners in Phenology

Project BudBurst logo

Nature's Notebook Lo

iNaturalist