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Tiny spring wildflowers bloom in a field along Davidson Road in East Brainerd on March 18, 2020. / Staff Photo by Robin Rudd

This year, the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is going virtual, making it boundless. As in years past, the 2020 event will not be limited to one location or wildflowers – as its name suggests.

Participants take photos of what they're seeing, send them online to a group of experts for each category who, in turn, ID what they're seeing.To participate, download the iNaturalist app and create a username. Then, click here to virtually register for the event.

Then, simply document what you see.

Joey Shaw, University of Chattanooga (UC) Foundation professor in biology, geology and environmental science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been in charge of the event since 2017, according to a news release.

Already about 300 people, from Alaska to England, have headed out into nature and made about 3,200 observations of about 1,200 different plant, bird, mammal or reptile species, the release states.

The No. 1 species sent in so far this year? Poison ivy, according to Shaw.

Through midnight on Sunday, May 17, take photos, videos or sound recordings of the living organisms you spot anywhere outdoors, and upload your media to the event website. To view others' uploads, click here. 

The 2020 Virtual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is free to anyone. However, organizers are asking for a $5 donation to help cover the costs of registration. Learn more here.

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