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Southern California is rich in our proximity to a variety of landscapes. We can find mountains, coasts or deserts in our backyards. We are lucky to be so close to nature’s playground, especially when we encounter the creatures who call it home. That’s why Orange County Coastkeeper participated in the City Nature Challenge. If you didn’t get the chance, you can still follow the steps below for a fun activity for the whole family.

Participation is easy:

Step 1: Go out into your backyard and record the wildlife you find – plants or animals

  • Find common creatures like:
    • Opossums: Find them in your garden as they eat slugs, snails and insects that are commonly garden bound.
    • Squirrels: Find them in your garden, wide grassy spaces, or running up and down trees.
    • Skunks: They live in burrows, bush piles, or hollow logs. You might find them under the deck, or your porch.

Step 2: Use the iNatualist App to submit your findings at

Step 3: Have fun exploring the wildlife around you!

Need more suggestions? Take photos of native or drought tolerant plants – here are some ideas:

  • California Yarrow
  • Apricot Mallow
  • California Lilac

You can learn more about drought tolerant plants like these by reading about our Smartscape program at

Good luck, and remember to keep in mind yours and wildlife’s safety. Be sure to show us where you go and what you find – tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.