Biodiversity Day I was organized by Peter Alden and Edward O. Wilson in Concord and Lincoln, Mass. and held on July 4th 1998. The fourth of July commemorates the day Thoreau moved into his cabin at Walden Pond. That event attracted 100 or so field biologists and was the first cooperative event to find over 1,000 species larger than a mm. in a day.
We found 1,905 species and the event spawned similar events in a dozen European countries and many US states. It also spawned statewide citizens biodiversity days in 300 Massachusetts towns sponsored by the MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
This year’s Biodiversity Day is a reunion of many field biologists from 1998 and many new faces that have come to our attention. It is a networking event bringing together experts from many fields with informal gatherings at meals and an opportunity for groups to engage in field work in a delightful mix of forests, fields, agricultural lands, marshes, swamps, ponds and rivers in one of America’s most historic settings. We’d love to find 2,009 species in 2009, but our prime focus is on having a good time with new and old friends in the field.
We would like to populate our website with digital photos of over 1,000 species taken that weekend as a sample of what a great variety of visible organisms can be found in most towns. Our results will be incorporated into the Walden Woods Project’s web-based international environmental education program for youth – World Wide Waldens – www.worldwidewaldens.org. Digital photographers will be available to join a number of field parties along with a few selected students.
This is also the 50th anniversary of Minute Man National Historical Park. They will be hosting a Friday evening event and welcoming field parties into recreated grasslands and bogs within the park.
The generous support of the follwoing cosponsors is gratefully acknowledged:
The National Park Service and Minute Man National Historical Park, Peggy and Bill Brace, Anna Winter and Neil Rasmussen, Betty Mobbs and Tom Jones, Musketaquid Arts & Environment (a program of the Emerson Umbrella), an Anonymous donor, Whitney Beals and Pamela Esty, Fields Pond Foundation, Heller Communication Design, Richard and Priscilla Hunt, the McNierney Family, RESTORE: The North Woods, Cathy and Jim Stone, Eddie Woodin.
Note on ticks: Black-legged (deer) ticks are very common in the Concord area, and it is prudent to take all precaution to avoid ticks in the field on Walden Biodiversity Day II. Please consider treating your field clothes with a Permethrin-based insecticide before coming to Concord for field work. We will have plenty of insect repellent on hand, too.