Photo by Eden McCall, USFS Media Intern

By the Cordova Chamber of Commerce

Mushrooms are in bloom across Southcentral Alaska, and we need your help documenting them! Participate in the Great Cordova Mushroom Hunt, Sept. 4-11, to contribute to citizen science, learn about fungi and have a chance to win Cordova Fungus Festival merchandise with this year’s new featured festival artwork.

Download the free iNaturalist app, create an account and join the project “Cordova Fungus Festival 2022.” Then, throughout the week, use your phone or a camera to take photos of fungi you find and upload them to the project. You don’t have to know which mushrooms you’ve found. In fact, the app will identify the likely genus based on researchers’ and scientists’ past identifications, and other app users may even help identify which mushrooms you’ve spotted!

“There are upwards of 1,000 species of mushroom-producing fungi in Southcentral,” said Kate Mohatt, USFS ecologist and passionate mycologist. “Many are undescribed and most are not captured in any field guide.”

Discover more about the diversity of mushrooms all around Cordova. Your submissions will improve the app’s species identification system and will help document the occurrence of fungi in Southcentral Alaska (if the mushrooms you’ve found are in a top-secret spot, you don’t even have to share their exact location!).

Prizes will be awarded for the most fungal observations and the most diversity recorded. Winners will be announced on Cordova Fungus Festival social media channels on Sunday, Sept. 11, so make sure to follow @cordovafungusfest on Facebook and @fungusfest on Instagram. Prizes can be claimed at the Cordova Chamber of Commerce office.

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Learn more, enter the contest and see the leaderboards here: www.inaturalist.org/projects/2022-cordova-fungus-festival

Find more information about the Cordova Fungus Festival and about registering to participate in other fun activities Sept. 9-11: www.cordovafungusfest.com