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Neighborhood Natural Area Network

Neighborhood Natural Area Network


Several neighborhoods and community groups are participating in the Neighborhood Natural Area Network, raising awareness about local plants and animals and conserving wildlife habitat and natural resources such as water. For example, several neighborhoods have education signage installed in their neighborhoods, discussing local wildlife, wildlife habitat, and conservation of natural resources. These signs are placed in the neighborhood and are a collaboration between University of Florida’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and the neighborhood. Signs are placed along sidewalks, trails, and open spaces and the information in these signs can be changed easily throughout the year.

Also, residents in the neighborhood and community groups are monitoring organisms in and around their neighborhoods through INaturalist, which is a citizen science platform that can helps to record the distribution of different species. In fact, iNaturalist helps people to identify species that are uploaded to the site. Residents of a neighborhood or participants of a group are taking photos of different plants and animals and other organisms and uploading them to a neighborhood or group iNaturalist project (see example here). This is a good way to learn about local species and to document the distribution of species in a neighborhood or within a particular area of a city.

Several neighborhoods are actively managing and restoring habitat in the nearby natural areas. For example, The Village at Gainesville, Willow Oak, and Sorrento are removing invasive exotics (such as Coral Ardisia) and even planting natives in and around open spaces, particularly in their yards.

For any information or questions about the Neighborhood Natural Area Network or if you want your neighborhood or community group to become involved, please contact Dr. Mark Hostetler (

Participating Communities