Sprawling urban development represents an increasing, major threat to native wildlife and water quality. That’s why people in developed areas have both an enormous responsibility and a unique opportunity to protect biodiversity and watershed health where they live, work, and learn. The National Wildlife Federation and our partners, along with Baltimore residents, are seizing this opportunity to help Baltimore’s wildlife by increasing green space in the city and planting wildlife-friendly gardens, all of which also help to address community priorities such as mitigating nuisance flooding, improving water quality, and beautifying neighborhoods.
To that end, we have planted pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and other polluted runoff best management practices at a variety of spaces including schools, vacant lots, and houses of worship. We’ve also provided training and resources to community members and teachers to maintain these practices and recreate them in their own backyards.
The National Wildlife Federation works year-round in partnership with Baltimore residents to improve the quality of the city by creating backyard sanctuaries, beautifying neighborhoods and schools, reducing pollution, and furthering a sense of community. This community-based approach involves participation from Baltimore residents in their schools, neighborhoods, and the city itself.
Schools: Baltimore City schools have an incredible opportunity to make a difference for their students, and wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitats® program creates outdoor classrooms that raise enthusiasm for learning, attract parent volunteers, and become a source of pride for students, faculty, and principals. We are currently working with 10 schools in the Gwynns Falls watershed, in south and west Baltimore, to create wildlife habitat and reduce stormwater pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
Neighborhoods: Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods. Our long-range action plan protects and restores the biodiversity of Baltimore, decreases polluted water, and addresses pollinator decline and invasive plant species by teaching Baltimore City residents how to beautify their neighborhoods by gardening for wildlife.
City: The National Wildlife Federation collaborated with the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority to design and install the Oriole Garden at Camden Yards, a showplace demonstration garden that provides habitat for orioles, other local birds, and butterflies. Home of the beloved Baltimore Orioles, there’s no better place than Oriole Park at Camden Yards to educate and inspire fans to grow together.
All new gardens in Baltimore will count toward our goal of creating the largest National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat® along the Chesapeake Bay. To learn more and certify a garden, please visit our Certification page.
The National Wildlife Federation believes our work is only possible through collaboration. Our incredible partners in Baltimore include Audubon Maryland-DC, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Baltimore City Schools, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Orchard Project, Blue Water Baltimore, Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Collaborative, Maryland Institute College of Art, National Aquarium, Parks and People Foundation, and Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.