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Annapolis Hopes to be the First of Many Around the Chesapeake Bay
“The National Wildlife Federation is excited to support the City of Annapolis in their efforts to become a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™,” said Tony Caligiuri, Regional Executive Director of NWF’s Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic Regional Center. “By pursuing this program, the City of Annapolis continues its commitment to the environment by encouraging resource protection, as well as raising awareness of community and residential land-use impacts on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
The Launch Party
On November 7th the City of Annapolis launched a campaign “Working Each Day to Save the Bay” to become a NWF Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™. Annapolis hopes to be the first Chesapeake Bay city to become certified by providing habitat for wildlife throughout the community — in individual backyards, on school grounds and in public areas such as parks, community gardens, places of worship and businesses. It is a place where residents make it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing food, water, cover, and places to raise young. In support of this goal, First Lady Katie O’Malley and her family have certified their residence, the Government House, and were honored at the launch party at the Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport Annapolis.
Changes at the Government House
First Lady O’ Malley addressed the standing room only crowd and highlighted some of the changes that have happened since moving to the Government House:
“We have a beehive that’s generated 125 pounds of honey in just 18 months. We have the stunning Victorian fountain that attracts all types of birds and bees. We’ve embraced the “grow it/eat it” philosophy, planting our own vegetable garden for three years in a row. We have a natural setting of trees, brush and shrubs that provide shelter for small animals and insects. We’ve incorporated more natural elements into our landscape to reduce the need for watering, fertilizers and maintenance costs. And we have three rain barrels that we use for watering our garden.”
In attendance were City of Annapolis Administrators, local business owners, representatives from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and members of the Annapolis Habitat Team. The Annapolis Habitat Team will work with partners to educate Annapolitans about sustainable gardening practices such as reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants and composting. A calendar of workshops, community events, trail and stream cleanups will engage local volunteers in “Working Each Day to Save the Bay”. Members of the US Naval Academy Midshipmen Action Group also attended the launch party and will be donating volunteer hours to support the Annapolis Community Wildlife Habitat projects scheduled for 2012.
First Lady O’Malley’s Challenge
“The great thing about this program, however, is that it reminds us all of what we can do as individuals to create a healthier Bay and a smarter, greener, more sustainable future for our children and theirs.
Whether we are planting trees, helping our kids learn about and connect with their natural world, or making simple changes around our own homes, it all counts.
I’m delighted that Annapolis is the first Bay city to commit to becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™. Martin and I wholeheartedly support this effort – both here and across our great state. And we’d like to challenge every Marylander to learn more about this program and commit to certifying his or her own backyard habitat.”
If you would like to certify your own backyard, go to www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife to learn more. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a certified Community Wildlife Habitat, go to www.nwf.org/community.