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A Wildlife Week in Charm City
Celebrating Baltimore’s Urban Wildlife & Encouraging Residents to “B’more Wild!”
Baltimore’s urban landscape is teeming with diverse wildlife. Look to the tops of its tallest buildings and you might find the endangered peregrine falcon caring for her young. Peer into the waters of the Inner Harbor and you may catch sight of a diamondback terrapin searching for his mate. Or gaze skyward in the summer and fall, when you could be lucky enough to see the brilliant orange of the migrating monarch butterfly as she’s stopping by to lay her eggs on a patch of native milkweed flowers.
National Wildlife Federation, along with our many partners and community leaders, came together to celebrate the incredible wildlife in Baltimore City by hosting the first annual Baltimore Wildlife Week! This event built upon similar events held in Los Angeles and Seattle, and now National Wildlife Federation has successfully brought #WildlifeWeek to Baltimore City. During this week, some incredible events were hosted throughout the city to connect residents with wildlife and demonstrate the many ways that each of us can take action to protect the Chesapeake Bay’s iconic ecosystem.
Also, with the help of these organizations among many others, Baltimore City was officially certified by National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat during Baltimore Wildlife Week, a result of nearly five years of greening efforts in the city. Baltimore is now the largest Certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the fourth largest in the United States! We’re looking forward to continuing to making Baltimore a greener place for both people and wildlife.
Read below about how Baltimoreans found nature in Charm City:
Natural Play Space Installation at Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School
The week kicked off with the unveiling of a natural play space that National Wildlife Federation installed at Windsor Hills Elementary School with support from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. Complete with larger than life wildlife climbing structures shaped like a snail, butterfly, turtle, and giant eagles nest, this new natural play space brought the fun of the forest to a Baltimore City schoolyard! Students at Windsor Hills Elementary Middle School came out to play on the new nature play space, where they also met some local wildlife from the Carrie Murray Nature Center. Windsor Hill was also awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag, the highest award given by the Eco-Schools program, givenin conjunction with the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s Maryland Green School award.
Night at the Orioles Garden
Combine yanking out invasive plants, a professional baseball game, and a community booth inside the stadium — what do you get? One fun packed celebration of the iconic Baltimore oriole and its urban habitat, located just outside Camden Yards! Volunteers helped to revitalize the habitat garden at Camden yards that was planted by National Wildlife Federation in 2016.
Thanks @Orioles for having us in the Community Booth last night! We are so glad we could celebrate #BaltimoreWildlifeWeek with you! pic.twitter.com/HU09TtktS4
— NWF Mid-Atlantic (@NWFMidAtlantic) May 9, 2018
Green Street Academy Pollinator Meadow Planting
Students, staff, and volunteers at Green Street Academy came together to install a 5,000 square foot pollinator meadow on the school’s ground and celebrate the official certification of Baltimore as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, as well as Representative Sarbanes, National Wildlife Federation CEO Colin O’Mara and a representative from Mayor Pugh’s office came out to speak to students and volunteers, and to recognize the importance of environmental stewardship in Baltimore City.
Breaking ground on a big new garden for pollinators and outdoor classroom for students at Baltimore's Green Street Academy. With partners like @NWF @NatlAquarium @BlueWaterBmore @ChrisVanHollen @RepSarbanes working to restore the Chesapeake Bay, no wonder we're making progress. pic.twitter.com/yJ2j92JeRJ
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) May 11, 2018
B’More Wild Festival & GreenScape
The wonderful week of events culminated in the fun-filled, family friendly, B’More Wild Festival & GreenScape at Carroll Park. In partnership with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, National Wildlife Federation brought an array of wildlife-friendly games and activities to celebrate Baltimore’s unique wildlife and an amazing year of youth environmental leadership. Over 500 kids and their families came from all over the city to Carroll Park to engage in wildlife-themed crafts and activities as well as educational games with partners. Kids participated in animal pose yoga, wildlife Zumba, take home garden planting, face painting, pony rides and more to celebrate Baltimore’s Urban Wildlife. Kids and their parents all had a blast and everyone was encouraged to B’More Wild!
Community Wildlife Habitat Certification
A heartfelt thank you…
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the following partners for helping make Baltimore Wildlife Week a reality: the National Aquarium, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Blue Water Baltimore, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Pigtown Main Street, Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition, Friends of Carroll Park, Parks and People Foundation, Carrie Murray Nature Center, and Greater Baltimore Children and Nature.