Through the generous support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, we’re helping to bring the “park” back to McElderry Park, teaming up to get the asphalt out and the trees and plants in. Working with our partners Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Baltimore Tree Trust, Banner Neighborhoods, Blue Water Baltimore, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Prince of Peace Baptist Church, we’ll not only green the neighborhood, but also do it in a way that helps prevent flooding and sewage overflows that plague the area and cause downstream pollution in the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.
Toddlers and grandparents alike took part in digging holes, planting the native plants, and positioning the eastern redbud tree in the center of the garden. Neighbors came out to volunteer, offer support, and watch as the garden took shape over the course of the warm evening. For most of the kids, it was their first time touching a caterpillar, holding a slug, or seeing fireflies take over the garden after the sun set. McElderry Park is one of many places we are working to create a network of wildlife habitats.
In Baltimore alone, NWF is helping 600 residents provide the five basic elements of wildlife habitat while addressing polluted runoff issues. We are also helping clean up habitat for marine animals in our local waterways, Inner Harbor, and the Chesapeake Bay.
This is why NWF’s Maryland affiliate, the National Aquarium, has partnered with us to offer a special certification for local yards.
For more information about NWF’s work in the Mid-Atlantic region, click here.
Have the five essential elements for an NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat? Then certify today!
Your certified green space will also be counted in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.
Gathering my optimism, I opened the boxed, organized them into bunches and put my plan into motion. NWF already provided us with the planting instructions and pledge forms (when people sign a pledge form, they are more likely to actually plant the tree and take care of it). So, we began to create information sheets for each tree and laminated pictures of the trees to show folks what they would look like fully grown.
The trees we received arrived as young seedlings, ranging in size from 2 to 5 feet tall. Their size made transporting them easier, but did not set the most appealing stage for volunteers to agree to plant them and water them over the summer. We had several different responses such as “I will never live long enough to enjoy it” and “How big will this little guy get?”.The trees went to every Earth Day event in the area, which included 4 different North Carolina cities. At some events, like the Lake Norman Spring Fling, we had our own tent and table just for giving away trees. The events were attended by over 15,000 people and some people even took two trees home!
At the celebration of Charlotte becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat, one of our last events, we were giving away trees left and right.Somehow, after all the busy events, we still had trees left. Luckily, Habitat Stewards came to the rescue. Habitat Stewards are trained to teach others in the community how to create habitat for wildlife by giving presentations, volunteering, writing articles for local media or restoring habitat in a public site. They helped us send trees by the dozens to schools, parks, municipalities, and more.
This had a huge impact for those involved and for the local environment and wildlife. We look forward to participating in more tree plantings!
Help NWF affiliates, communities, and wildlife continue receiving free native tree seedlings by sponsoring a tree or purchasing holiday cards from NWF’s catalog!
About the Author: Christopher North is the Conservation Coordinator at the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.]]>
Our judges are always looking for standout photos, and the winners will be selected based on these judging factors, which are illustrated through some examples below. These factors not only help guide your photography work, they also demonstrate how NWF can use your photographs to protect wildlife and wild places. Take a look at some previous entries to see how you can bring nature to life when you enter the Photo Contest.
Good photographs are made, not taken. Work at your subject, be aware of the background, and anticipate behavior. You could be this year’s winner for wildlife.
Enter this year’s Photo Contest by July 1st! You’ll have a chance win top honors and prizes and have your work showcased by NWF. You will also protect wildlife by inspiring the world to care and to act.]]>
The National Wildlife Federation will work with the Network to rally hundreds of thousands of gardeners, horticultural professionals, schools, and volunteers to help reach a million pollinator gardens by the end of 2016.
You can participate the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge by turning your yard or garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat via National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program. It’s as simple as providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Then visit our website to certify your yard.
When you certify, you’ll get a personalized certificate, a special garden flag designating your yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, a one-year membership to National Wildlife Federation, six digital issues of National Wildlife magazine, a subscription to the monthly Garden for Wildlife e-newsletter, and a discount on wildlife gardening products from National Wildlife Catalog.
Most importantly, you’ll also start attracting beautiful pollinators and get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference. Each Certified Wildlife Habitat counts towards the ultimate goal of creating one million pollinator-friendly gardens by the end of 2016. Click here to certify now.
The Association of Northwest Steelheaders (ANWS), the Oregon affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, works to conserve and protect Portland’s salmon populations and other wildlife through community education and outreach as well as policy action. Chinook salmon are currently threatened by development, over-fishing, and habitat loss.“To have the opportunity to catch and keep salmon that swim right through the heart of Portland is something Oregonians have worked very hard to accomplish,” says Northwest Steelheaders executive director Bob Rees. “After decades of work, we have the water quality and habitat requirements that allow for this unique opportunity that we hope future generations will also get to enjoy.”
Through programs such as Eggs to Fry, where students gain a hands-on learning experience raising salmon or trout in the classroom, Northwest Steelheaders teach about the importance of maintaining healthy waters, sustainable hatcheries and habitat for salmon and other key fish in Portland.
Related: How to Get Kids Hooked on Fishing and Create Future Conservationists
In addition to engaging local communities in programs to connect with their local aquatic wildlife, habitat issues such as coal export terminals are critical issues tackled by ANWS, who successfully saw a recent coal terminal proposal rejected in 2014.
Portland was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 celebration. Did your city make the grade?]]>
One of Indianapolis’ resident peregrine falcons, KathyQ, lives and nests atop a downtown building. She even has her own Facebook profile with regular updates on her activities. Using technology to share these wildlife stories helps residents connect with the wildlife that is living all around them.
The Indiana Wildlife Federation also works to connect people with nature through their “What’s in Your WILD Backyard” programs, which offer fun and engaging ways to enhance natural habitat in even the smallest backyard, teaching that simple, small changes can have a huge benefit for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. The wildlife-friendly habitat training offered through the Federation’s programs also support the smaller birds that falcons depend on for food. IWF’s diverse programs also promote hunting, fishing, wildlife and bird watching and other outdoor activities where Hoosiers are able to enjoy and benefit from the state’s natural resources.
Related: 6 Birds That Are Champion Flyers
Indianapolis was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 Celebration. Did your city make the grade?]]>
A community celebration is planned for Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Marshall Park to celebrate this momentous achievement.In addition to creating habitat for common backyard birds like cardinals and pollinators such as monarch butterflies, efforts to create more certified wildlife habitats, nature preserves and greenways throughout the City of Charlotte are attracting more surprising wildlife, like barred owls. In fact, the barred owl population in Charlotte is so strong that the city was chosen to be the site for the most extensive barred owl research study that has ever been attempted. Sponsored by the Carolina Raptor Center and conducted by University of North Carolina at Charlotte ecologist and ornithologist Rob Bierregaard, the study has found and monitored more than 200 nesting attempts by 78 different pairs of barred owls in both suburban Charlotte and the surrounding countryside.
Related: Hear the call of the barred owl and other things that go bump in the night
Charlotte isn’t the only city working hard in North Carolina to bring communities together to certify habitats. Over the years, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation has developed several complementary certification initiatives tailored for the faith community (Fellowship Actions Impacting Habitat), business and industry (Wildlife and Industry Together), new construction (Wildlife Friendly Development), and local island habitats (Island Habitat Program). This suite of programs makes a meaningful difference for wildlife and habitat and engages a diverse section of the community in their everyday activities to become strong voices for wildlife.
Charlotte was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 Celebration. Did your city make the grade?]]>
While you can purchase a nesting box from many stores (including from National Wildlife catalog), building your own is fun, educational, and often cheaper! If you buy a nesting box, make sure it’s not just a decorative one, which might not be used or worse, result in nestling mortality or be occupied by invasive exotic birds such as starlings.
Whether you decide build or to buy, follow the tips below to make sure that your nesting box is a success:
Keep these tips in mind, and remember that not all nesting boxes will always be a success. Many birds prefer natural cavities in snags and logs. But with some patience, luck, and careful observation, you can increase the chances that some lucky birds will call your backyard home.
Get more tips on helping wildlife where you live, learn, work, play and worship from NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program.]]>
The good news is that there are several opportunities in 2015 to return clean water to the rivers and streams in Maryland, leading to a clean Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland passed a polluted runoff law that funds on-the-ground projects including the creation of gardens and enhancing green infrastructure and stormwater management systems. Communities across Maryland – including Baltimore City where we are working to green the city – are seeing the benefits of green infrastructure and protecting our local creeks and streams from pollution. You can help by telling your legislator that you support Maryland’s polluted runoff law. You can also create your own wildlife garden to filter runoff and improve water quality.
Many Maryland farm fields have phosphorus levels far in excess of the level needed for successful crop growth, and these fields can pollute local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Join us in supporting policies that reduce manure like the science-based Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT). The PMT is based on a decade of research by University of Maryland scientists, in collaboration with regional and national experts.
Wildlife will be safer with less pollution coming off our lands. Thanks for weighing in with your Maryland legislator and Governor Hogan; let them know that you care about clean water for the fish we love and the fish we love to eat. Join Marylanders who care about clean water tomorrow, February 24, to show your support!]]>
Over the summer in Toledo, Ohio, the entire town was without drinking water for two days. Water pollution fed a toxic type of algae that turned Lake Erie pea green and made the water utterly unusable, not even for bathing or washing. And this type of toxin actually worsened when boiled. More recently, in a West Virginia community, diesel oil spilled into a ditch, then to a small stream supplying drinking water to the community.
Does your kid or dog love to play in water? Toxic algae can be deadly to dogs —as well as kids and people. Environmental investigators recently issued a warning for the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful Lake Washington after toxic algae blooms were discovered in some parts of the lake. That’s one reason public health organizations are supporting the rule under attack in Congress. One of the organizations is the Children’s Environmental Health Network, underlining in their comments to the EPA the vulnerability of children to toxic chemicals, and the importance of passing the clean water rule to protect public health.
Beer is 90 percent water. Brewers across the country—from small brewpubs to larger companies like Sierra Nevada and Goose Island—have put down their pints to rally in support of clean water. “Clean water is important to our product,” said Jen Vervier at New Belgium. If we want good beer, then we must protect clean water.
Click here to view the embedded video.
Ordinary Americans are the ones that are most directly impacted if the clean water rule proposal is not finalized successfully. More than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate the important connections among streams, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and bays – and the critical need for the Clean Water rule to protect these waters for drinking water, for the economy, and to provide a home to wildlife.
Puget Sound, the Yellowstone River, Lake Superior, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Champlain, the Chesapeake Bay, the Suwannee River: We all have our special places that we believe are important to conserve for future generations. A stronger Clean Water Act would help prevent these outbreaks in some of our favorite places. Wildlife depend on these places too. Migratory birds depend on healthy wetlands and waterways, and fish cannot survive and thrive when big polluters have free rein to dump waste into our streams. In the U.S., over 60% of stream miles that are seasonal or intermittent are more vulnerable to pollution risks. In a state like Minnesota, more than half of the state’s stream miles are in headwaters. One example is the Whitewater River basin in the south east part of the state known for outstanding trout fishing. Without protections, the trout fishing opportunities in Minnesota and elsewhere would be in jeopardy.
Sending a tweet to Senators before and during the hearing is essential to make sure they hear the many voices for clean water. IF YOU TWEET, THEY WILL GET THE MESSAGE! The voices of ordinary everyday Americans like you are the voices that matter. By demonstrating a united front and joining forces on social media we can protect clean water for years to come.
To Protect Clean Water, tweet Senators who will be considering strengthening the Clean Water Act through the EPA’s proposed protections.]]>