Greeniche - EcoQuest Challenges

Join the our Greeniche Team - Greenwich Tree ConservancyGreenwich Land TrustParks and Recreation, and Environmental Affairs Departments every month for iNaturalist "EcoQuest" Challenges!

GTC logoTown_seal_BIG_150dpiGLT logo


EcoQuest Challenges challenge Greenwich residents to become citizen scientists and observe, study and help conserve the native plants and animals of the Town, using iNaturalist, an easy-to-use mobile App.


Each month, we will announce a new EcoQuest Challenge where we need your help to document the wild flora and fauna of Greenwich by taking and sharing photos via iNaturalist, an easy-to-use mobile App.

  1. Download iNaturalist App, or register at
  2. Take photos for the month’s EcoQuest Challenge
  3. Post your findings on iNaturalist so they can be added to the Greeniche EcoQuest Challenge.
  4. Check the EcoQuest Challenge web page for updates and new challenges!


There are no wrong observations. Each observation contributes vital information to reveal traits and processes largely unknown before due to a lack of data and coordination between data sets. Millions of individual data points add up to big data that will enable new insights and opportunities for research, conservation and engagement.


Please do not disturb animal activity as you record your observations.

2020 EcoQuest Challenges


July is Bug Month

All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. "Insect" refers to the class of creatures (Insecta) with six pointed legs, three body parts, antennae, (usually) two pairs of wings and an exoskeleton (e.g. bees and mosquitos). Within this class there are different orders, one of which is "true bugs". True bugs have a specialized mouth (shaped like a straw) that helps them suck the juices from plants. 

Bugs play an important role in our everyday lives and ecosystems; from pollination to pest control. They have also impacted our culture through the manufacturing of silk, sources of dyes, wax and honey production, and food sources. There are also problem bugs, like the Emerald Ash Borer and Spotted Lanternfly. 

This month, help us document all the bugs (and insects) you find in and around Greenwich. UConn is hosting their "Bug Week" July 19-25. Check it out to see what’s buzzing! 

Catalpa flowerG.Kramer_catalpa in Greenwich

Conspicuous Catalpa - June 2020

Nothing in-Conspicuous about Catalpas! White, showy trumpet-shaped flowers, giant heart-shaped leaves, dangling bean-like seed pods, twisting trunk and branches. How could you not stop to take it in? And with all of these unique features, the catalpa species are a jewel to find this June!

Wildlife enjoy Catalpas too. The flowers of the catalpa are visited by hummingbirds, it is the sole host of the catalpa sphinx moth, and it provides nutrition for bees in early summer.

There are TWO species of catalpa- Northern and Southern, both of which can be found in Connecticut. Northern and southern catalpas are very similar in appearance, but the northern species has slightly larger leaves, flowers, and bean pods.

For more information, visit Dave’s Garden.

Mountain Laurel white
Mountain Laurel pink

May is for Mountain Laurel - May 2020

We’re kicking off our first ever monthly EcoQuest Challenge with Mountain Laurel, the state flower of Connecticut. Kalmia latifolia, commonly called mountain laurel, calico-bush, or spoonwood, is a broadleaved evergreen shrub in the heather family, Ericaceae, that is native to the eastern United States. Its range stretches from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana. Mountain laurel flowers vary from pure white to pink, with variable amounts of red markings.

Help us document the abundance and distribution of as many Mountain Laurel plants as possible by May 30. Photograph Mountain Laurel anywhere in Greenwich. Be sure to get clear photos of the stem, leaves, and flowering branches, and post your findings to iNaturalist so they can be added to the 
Greeniche EcoQuest Challenge.

For more information on Mountain Laurel, check out UConn’s Plant Database