Baltimore: My Hometown and Now a City for the Birds

from Wildlife Promise

Hilary growing up in Baltimore city

Growing up in Baltimore city

I grew up in Baltimore and still love all the special things about it: neighborhood pride, crab cakes, and the Inner Harbor. There is even more to be proud of in Baltimore these days, such as successful sports teams, economic development and families moving back to the city.  Partners across the city are making Baltimore a cleaner, greener place.

That is why I was thrilled to be part of today’s announcement to make Baltimore a Community Wildlife Habitat®—the largest along the Chesapeake Bay. We don’t usually think of wildlife in cities but cities and surrounding areas are home to two-thirds of all North American wildlife species. National Wildlife Federation’s investment in Baltimore is not only about wildlife, though, it is about creating gardens that will make neighborhoods more beautiful, improve water quality of local streams and provide opportunities to get kids outside.

Like many people, my summer days were long and usually resulted in grass stains and being called in for dinner. Unfortunately, childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades. This is not only a lost connection to the outdoors but something that has contributed to the childhood obesity rate as well as declining creativity and concentration.

To address this issue we will focus on sustainable foods and healthy living at six Baltimore City public schools. We plan to install edible food gardens on schoolyards and create opportunities for families to spend more time outdoors.

Baltimore has always been a city of for the birds, now we can make it official. I can’t wait to add it to my list of special things about my hometown.