National Wildlife Federation and National Aquarium Announce Plan to Certify Baltimore as the Largest Community Wildlife Habitat Along the Chesapeake Bay

City officials, NWF and the National Aquarium launch a program aimed at greening city streets, backyards, schools and places of worship.

05-20-2013 // Hilary Falk
Oriole

For years, Baltimore has been known as “Birdland” and now, thanks to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the National Aquarium, it’s official. Today, First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley joined leaders from NWF, National Aquarium and city officials to launch a program aimed at greening city streets, backyards, schools and places of worship.

“We believe that your backyard can be a place for exploring and unleashing children’s curiosity,” said Hilary Harp Falk, Regional Executive Director for National Wildlife Federation. “Baltimore has always been a city for the birds, and we intend to work with partners in the City to create beautiful places which will offer opportunities to learn about and connect with the outdoors.”

By greening the city for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, residents of Baltimore will also help to improve both air and water quality for humans. The more native plantings that are used to attract wildlife, the greater potential the city has of reaching its Healthy Harbor goals and helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay.

“As a conservation organization it is our goal to inspire people to do their part, starting here in our backyard of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay,” said John Racanelli, National Aquarium CEO. “We are dedicated to a Healthy Harbor and we believe that can happen if we all get involved in the greening of our city.”

Community Wildlife Habitat® certification will bring many organizations and individuals together to work on a common vision, and, when successful, Baltimore will achieve certification for more than 600 homes, 10 parks, and 6 schools and be recognized as one of the 60+ Community Wildlife Habitats® nationwide.

In celebration of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife month in May, people across the country - from bird watchers to butterfly lovers - are joining the residents of Baltimore in transforming their gardens into havens for wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation has also pledged to plant a tree for every Certified Wildlife Habitat during the month of May to honor its garden supporters!

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