Biodiversity Days 2022 Recap: Reflecting on our Celebration of Nature!

Family walking through forest garden

Between May 4th-31st, 2022, we hosted a celebration of local and global biodiversity known as “Biodiversity Days”. Biodiversity Days 2022 was a series of “experiences” — made up of both in-person and virtual activities. This was our second annual celebration, and we are so excited to have built on last year’s success! In 2021, the event engaged just over 5500 participants, and this year we had a fantastic time reaching close to 8000 members of our community from across Metro Vancouver. This year’s Biodiversity Days Celebration included 9 unique events such as a student research showcase, a Facebook live stream, virtual workshops, in-person events at UBC Botanical Garden and UBC Farm, and field research experiences. 

At our in-person Family Nature Walk Event, children and youth could learn about birds, bees, berries, flora, fungi, forests and much more at learning stations like the one above!

This event was hosted on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam People, who have lived in relation with this land since time immemorial. We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from our collaborators at the SEEDS Sustainability Program, the Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity (CCUB) research initiative, and UBC Farm — who have supported us in designing and delivering the celebration for two years running!

The first event of the celebration, the UBC Research to Action Showcase: Urban Biodiversity was hosted via zoom in collaboration with the SEEDS Sustainability Program and the CCUB Initiative. Dr. Tara Moreau, the Garden’s Associate Director of Sustainability and Community programs is seen here snapping a pic of the event team from the SEEDS Program!

To kick-off our month-long event, and to engage people from near and far, we launched our social media campaign. Different weeks had different themes throughout the month and we explored three key stories on our Instagram account. These are just a small sample of the stories that we shared on Instagram, and we appreciate the community’s support throughout our month-long media campaign!

Story 1: What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is all life on earth. / Biodiversity is big and small. / Biodiversity is ours to protect.


Story 2: What does Biodiversity need?

Biodiversity needs legal protection. / Biodiversity needs climate action. / Biodiversity needs you.


Story 3: How does Biodiversity connect us?

Biodiversity connects ecosystems. / Biodiversity connects flora, fauna and fungi. / Biodiversity connects us all.


With close to 8000 people engaged in 2022 through 9 different experiences, explore our summary below to see how we engaged with the community across our online and in-person sessions:

  1. UBC Farm May 2022 Bioblitz
  • Type of Event: Field Research Experience
  • Number of Participants: 54 (Number of Field Observers + Number of Identifiers)
  • Highlights: Beginner naturalists from across UBC came to the farm throughout May, to observe 90 unique species.


  1. UBC Research to Action Showcase: Urban Biodiversity 
  • Type of Event: Student Research Showcase
  • Number of Participants: 51 (Zoom meeting participants)
  • Highlights: This event celebrated “the diversity of biodiversity research”, with student presentations discussing biodiversity engagement strategies, food system biodiversity, climate adaptation strategies, and species conservation.


  1. Reimaging People-Plant Relations (with Erin Despard) 
  • Type of Event: Webinar
  • Number of Participants: 12
  • Highlights: Erin Despard, The Garden’s artist-in-residence, led a Webinar that explored how art and design can help to reimagine our ways of living with plants in a time of widespread environmental crisis.


  1. Grow Green Livestream with Metro Vancouver: Biodiversity and Citizen Science 
  • Type of Event: Livestream
  • Number of Viewers: 6100
  • Highlights: Tara Moreau, Associate Director of UBC Botanical Garden’s Sustainability and Community Programs, and Fourth-year Biology Student Alex Wong joined Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Planner, Karin England, for a discussion on citizen science and garden-related actions to support biodiversity.


  1. Family Nature Walk at UBC Botanical Garden
  • Type of Event: In-person Celebration
  • Number of Guests: 354 
  • Highlights: 106 Families from across Metro Vancouver visited the garden, including 165 children and youth, to learn about the flora, fauna, fungi and habitats that make up ecosystems, species and genetic biodiversity.


  1. Book Signing with Nancy Turner & Pacific Dogwood Chapter, NSDAR
  • Type of Event: In-person Book-signing
  • Number of Participants: 30
  • Highlights: Participants enjoyed a delicious Indigenous lunch followed by a book signing by Dr. Nancy Turner, whose life work has captured Indigenous knowledge and languages of plants and landscapes.


  1. Pollinator Walk at UBC Farm
  • Type of Event: In-person event
  • Number of Participants: 25
  • Highlights: Participants learned about the amazing native pollinators that help pollinate the plants and crops at the UBC Farm. They also got the opportunity to try capturing and identifying native bumblebee species!


  1. Bird Walk at UBC Farm
  • Type of Event: In-person event
  • Number of Participants: 10
  • Highlights: During the month of may, 4 new bird species were spotted at the UBC Botanical Garden & UBC Farm: Tree Swallow, Common Meganser, MacGillivray’s Warbler, and the Wood Duck.


  1. Butterflies In My Backyard (BIMBY) School Bioblitz
    • Type of Event: Field Research Experience
  • Number of Student Participants: 1000
  • Highlights: In Collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation, students from schools across Metro Vancouver spent time learning about, and identifying native butterflies from their school gardens, documenting their findings through iNaturalist on class iPads.


Citizen Science Research:

In addition to engaging with people, this year we also focused on our own learning about the many species that live on campus. With the help of citizen scientists iNaturalist and eBird apps, the UBC Farm conducted a “BioBlitz” — encouraging folks to identify and record species during their visits. The Garden also encouraged citizen science at its Family Nature Walks event, and together these data told us a great deal about the biodiversity of our shared ecosystem.


Research Highlights: UBC Botanical Garden & UBC Farm

  • Number of Citizen Science Observations: 210
  • Number of Unique Species: 85

This pie chart shows a breakdown of the species that participants observed using citizen science! Plants had 126 observations, followed by Insects coming in second place with 46 observations


Wishing tree:

The chance to learn from our community is one of the most important parts of the Biodiversity Days celebration. There is often no place better for us to learn than from children’s hopes, wishes and dreams. At our Family Nature Walk event, we set up a wishing tree station, where children could write, or draw their hopes and wishes for biodiversity for the years to come. Pictured and listed below, we wanted to share just a few of the many beautiful drawings and wishes that were placed on this tree: 

  • “I wish climate change ends and equal rights for all people”
  • “I hope the big earth can be good”
  • “Nature’s the best thing you can IMAGINE”
  • “That we reverse species extinction and build biodiversity back”
  • “be kind to nature forever”
  • “I want there to be LOTS of frogs in the future”
  • “I wish peace forever”
  • “I wish nature have a good life”


We would like to once again thank all of our fantastic participants, volunteers, and collaborators for making this celebration truly special through their support and enthusiasm. Biodiversity is ours to protect and steward, and we really appreciate the opportunity to bring the community together around this common goal.  Plans are already underway for next year’s celebration, and we welcome any feedback to help make the next year even better! 

Summer WorkLearn student Alex Wong poses with the Wishing Tree during the Family Nature Walk event.


If you participated in Biodiversity Days experiences, please let us know if you have any feedback, suggestions or want to participate in future Biodiversity Days series!

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