Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)

Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

  • Jun. 13, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Nanaimo residents have an opportunity to participate in monitoring environmental changes of restored habitat streams.

The City of Nanaimo has contracted Chronolog, a photo-monitoring program, on a trial basis, to produce time-lapse videos from images generated by the public in eight city parks.

According to a city press release, Nanaimo is the first community in Canada to sign up for the service to engage residents and visitors by inviting them to help monitor the restoration and habitat enhancement of natural spaces.

Chronolog is an environmental photo-monitoring service based in the United States that supports public environmental education with an online platform that highlights dozens of environmental restoration projects in North America and the United Kingdom.

Ten monitoring stations have been installed, with mounts on which cellphones can be placed to take photos. Each station includes instructions explaining how to submit an image and a short write-up on the restoration project at that location.

Chronolog takes the submitted images and information to create time-lapse series of images of the eight parks, which can be viewed on the city’s webpage

The time-lapse series will preserve a record of ecological changes to determine restoration success.

“Changes in the environment are difficult to see and understand because they happen gradually,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog in the press release. “We are excited to engage the public to help us monitor these changes in an interactive way, providing greater opportunity to learn more about the volunteer groups involved in the restoration work that will help build a more resilient and ecologically diverse park system for the future.”

Stations have been set up at eight Nanaimo restoration sites, including at Chase River at John Barsby Secondary School and at Harewood Centennial Park; Linley Point Gyro Park; Departure Bay Creek on Bay Street and in Woodstream Park; the Cat Stream at Third Street Park and at Robins Park and the Millstone River at East Wellington Park.

The subscription fee, according to a staff report, is about $1,218 per year, but since Nanaimo is the first Canadian city to sign up for the service, Chronolog applied a 50-per cent discount.

The city will monitor the level of public engagement and reassess the use of the service when the trial term ends in April 2022.

To learn more, visit here.

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