Celebrating a Successful Citizen Science Festival in Dordrecht
LIFE CRITICAL marked a significant milestone with the launch of its first Citizen Science Festival in Dordrecht this September. The event, strategically aligned with the city’s Neighbourhood Day, witnessed enthusiastic participation from a range of community members.
The festival kick-started with an official opening, joined by two of the city’s aldermen – one responsible for participation and the other dedicated to blue-green initiatives. The primary focus of the event was on engaging the community in critical environmental issues by launching the first round of measurements to track the impact of climate adaptation measures in Wielwijk Park.
One of the core activities involved examining biodiversity by looking at water creatures. This initial measurement, the first of three, aims to track the increase of water species over the coming years in response to changes in the park – such as altering topography to reduce flood risk and to strategically pool water in the park’s ponds. Future measurements will include a climate assessment the neighbouring streets, evaluating the types of trees and bushes. While this activity wasn’t possible this time around, organisers plan to reintroduce it in a forthcoming workshop scheduled for the spring.
The integration of citizen science into climate adaptation projects like LIFE CRITICAL is a pivotal factor for success. Local governments benefit from informed decision-making, utilising data provided by engaged residents who can also share valuable insights into challenges and needs specific to their community.
Beyond data collection, the festival underscored the importance of creating awareness and fostering a shift in attitude towards environmental issues. The LIFE CRITICAL team is excited to continue working with the 25+ local citizen scientists in Dordrecht and anticipates further engagement and collaboration as the project continues to make strides in future-proofing communities.
Curious to learn more about the intersection between citizens science and climate adaptation? Get in touch!