Let´s go out with Pl@ntNet app!

Ivana Polackova (SK), Pierre Bonet (FR), Tereza NGO (CZ)

Since 2016, in the Secret Life of the City project, we focused on increasing the environmental awareness of the public with the intention of highlighting biodiversity in cities through cooperation with more than 200 primary and secondary schools (also schools for students with special needs, mostly of Roma minority were included) from all over Slovakia and Czech republic by connecting to information technologies and data collection. 

The practical outputs of the project were creative adventurous quests created by pupils and students in their cities, which could be used as an educational tool for terrain biodiversity exploring and data collection. Many quests have also become a permanent part of the offer of local tourist information offices. 

The project also enabled a connection between Slovak and Czech schools. They implemented their project activities in a mirror manner. The international cooperation in the field of this research was also supported by a 3-day long exploratory event in Slovakia, for 6 best working school teams which created the most inspirational public information campaigns about their local researches. 


The project contributes not only to the knowledge of the flora in the field, but by involving the public - it supports the rapid collection of data to an open GBIF platform for botanists from all over the world. Thanks to this project, students' interest increased not only in biology and botany, but also in the study of scientific fields at universities. 

In the ongoing cooperation with French botanists, developers of the Pl@ntNet and the State Nature Protection, we also involved 20 high schools in the next Citizen Science project Let´s go out with Pl@ntNet! in 2020, right during the pandemic. Since Slovak secondary schools were closed for several months during the pandemic, the project was a very welcomed form of original, safe and modern way of education and at the same time also an inspiration of innovative distance education for other closed schools.


SK-NIC, a.s., (member of  CentralNic GROUP PLC); www.sk-nic.sk – financial support 

State Nature Protection – professional support

Ivana Polackova (SK) studied environmental science at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University and has been working on various projects in Živica since 2000. Currently, it is the leadership of the organization and the outdoorlearning platform Hura von. She has 2 active sons, with whom she and her husband are constantly on the move and especially outdoors.

The Secret Life of the City project in Slovakia, ongoing since 2016, involves over 200 schools and 18,000 students in urban biodiversity protection using the Pl@ntNet app. Collaboration with botanists and scientists from France and Slovakia adds credibility and expertise to the project,Encouraging young learners to become researchers and actively participate in data collection fosters a deep understanding of biodiversity. Implementing robust evaluation mechanisms and advocating for evidence-based policies aim to further amplify its influence on broader environmental initiatives.