Person Examining Bugs

City Nature Challenge 2019: Baltimore

We Need You!

The National Aquarium is excited to coordinate regional efforts for the 2019 City Nature Challenge, an international campaign to find and document plants and wildlife species in cities across the globe. This friendly competition to see which metropolitan area can make the most observations of nature, identify the most species, and engage the most people will be held April 26 – 29 in over 100 cities around the globe.

People Taking a Picture of an Insect Specimen

There is nature all around us, and urban settings like Baltimore are no exception. By participating in the 2019 City Nature Challenge, you will learn more about your environment and help make Baltimore a better place — for people and for wildlife!

Help Baltimore to Victory

Join us in showcasing Baltimore's natural wonders to the world! Take the pledge and you will receive instructions on how to participate as well as reminders as challenge dates approach.

Get Nerdy with Nature

As regional coordinator, the National Aquarium is committed to protecting, enhancing and restoring natural resources for the benefit of all people and wildlife throughout the Baltimore region. Part of that commitment includes knowing which species of wildlife live nearby and what sorts of habitats they need to thrive. Be a citizen scientist by helping us document Baltimore's biodiversity. Need some practice before the big Challenge in April? Come get nerdy with nature outside on our waterfront plaza, at our Biohut inventories or practice your citizen scientist skills near your home!

Baltimore City Nature Challenge Map of Area

In Baltimore City…and Beyond!

The National Aquarium is calling on citizen scientists to help explore, identify and document urban wildlife throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. All observations made in the following counties and uploaded to iNaturalist during the challenge will automatically be counted towards Baltimore's City Nature Challenge totals: Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard and Queen Anne's Counties.

Ready, Set, Upload

City Nature Challenge Step 1

Step 1: Download the iNaturalist App

Download the iNaturalist app and create a login.

City Nature Challenge Step 2

Step 2: Find Wildlife & Photograph What You Find

It can be plant, animal, fungi or any evidence of life such as tracks or shells.

City Nature Challenge Step 3

Step 3: Upload Your Observations

Share your observations by uploading your pictures to iNaturalist. All observations must be uploaded by May 5, 2019.

Track the Challenge (iNaturalist Feed)

You can get involved in the Baltimore City Nature Challenge by joining a participating National Aquarium event, taking part in our partner organizations' events, or simply going for a walk outside! Read on to learn more about upcoming events near you.

Check out the wildlife people are seeing in and around Baltimore today!

Upcoming Events

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Citizen Science Training

Maryland Zoo

10:30 am–12:30 pm

Are you a budding photographer with an interest in nature? Then come join the Maryland Zoo as we work to photograph and identify the wildlife and plants in our backyard. Registration required.

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Learn to Use iNaturalist

Natural History Society of Maryland

7:00 pm–8:30 pm

Practice using iNaturalist before the City Nature Challenge begins. You don't need to be a wildlife expert—all skill levels are welcome to participate.

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Bird Monitoring

Lights Out Baltimore

5:00 am–6:30 am

Join Lights Out Baltimore, a citizen science project to identify and rescue migratory birds downtown that have collided with glass. Sign up to walk with us one morning to rescue birds. For more information contact LightsOutBaltimore@gmail.com.

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iSpy with my iNaturalist Eye

Maryland Park Service

10:00 am–3:00 pm

Stop by the Patapsco State Park Hilton Area nature center for a short tutorial on how you can use iNaturalist as you explore the park. Dress for a hike and bring a cell phone or tablet. No registration required. Call 410-461-5005 or email patapsco.statepark@maryland.gov for more information.

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Lake Roland Plant Walk

Maryland Native Plant Society

1:00 am–4:00 pm

Naturalists will be leading a plant walk passing through the deciduous forest and rare serpentine grassland areas of Lake Roland. Registration required at the link provided and space is limited.

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Bird Monitoring

Lights Out Baltimore

6:00 am–7:30 am

Join Lights Out Baltimore, a citizen science project to identify and rescue migratory birds downtown that have collided with glass. Sign up to walk with us one morning to rescue birds. For more information contact LightsOutBaltimore@gmail.com.

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Patterson Park Guided Bird Watching Walk

Patterson Park Audubon Center

8:00 am–9:30 am

Audubon experts will lead a bird walk in Patterson Park. Bring the whole family—all ages and abilities welcome. There is no need to RSVP for this event, just arrive ready to explore!

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Earth Day Bird Walk

Howard County Conservancy

8:00 am–10:00 am

Join Howard County Bird Club experts to listen for—and spot—as many as 50 different bird species. Easy walking trails through the fields of Mount Pleasant Farm provide great opportunities for spotting species. Advance registration required.

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Bear Branch Nature Challenge

Bear Branch Nature Center

10:00 am–12:00 pm

Master Naturalists will help you learn to use iNaturalist and will lead walks around the park to find and identify all types of wildlife. Space is limited. Please register by calling 410-386-3580.

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Herring Run Park BioBlitz

Natural History Society of Maryland

10:00 am–12:00 pm

Join National Park Ranger, Bill Curtis at Herring Run Park for a walk in search of species to document for the challenge! Space is limited. Please RSVP at the link provided.

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BioBlitz by the Water

The Nature Conservancy

10:00 am–1:00 pm

Join us for a family-friendly bioblitz at Oxbow Nature Preserve—the largest natural freshwater lake in Maryland. This 70-acre wetland has easy and scenic trails where visitors can observe bald eagles, rare plants, and a variety of insects. Space is limited, so please RSVP!

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Wild Edibles

Carrie Murray Nature Center

10:30 am–12:30 pm

Join a naturalist to identify plants and plant parts that are delicious and plentiful. Get your taste buds ready! Program is free and all ages.

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Leakin Park BioBlitz

Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition

11:00 am–4:00 pm

Join naturalists, friends, scientists, and nature as we learn and look for amazing plants and creatures in Leakin Park! Use binoculars, magnifying glasses, nets, and more to explore.

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North Point State Park BioBlitz

Gunpowder Falls State Park

1:00 pm–3:00 pm

Join park staff to explore the sky, land and sea at North Point State Park to observe and take pictures of birds, trees, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, fungi, and more!

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Patapsco State Park BioBlitz

Maryland Park Service

1:00 pm–4:00 pm

Team up with students and biologists from Stevenson University, as well as park staff and other industry experts to identify as many species of plants and animals within the park as possible. No registration required. Call 410-461-5005 or email patapsco.statepark@maryland.gov for more information.

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Leakin Park BioBlitz Night Exploration

Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition

7:45 pm–9:45 pm

Join us for a night hike following the Leakin Park BioBlitz. We will be learning and looking for wild bats, owls, moths, frogs and other critters you can find at night in Leakin Park! There is limited space so please register in advance.

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Bird Monitoring

Lights Out Baltimore

6:00 am–7:30 am

Join Lights Out Baltimore, a citizen science project to identify and rescue migratory birds downtown that have collided with glass. Sign up to walk with us one morning to rescue birds. For more information contact LightsOutBaltimore@gmail.com.

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Oregon Ridge Bird Walk

Baltimore Bird Club

8:00 am

A bird expert will be leading a walk looking for a variety of bird species including warblers, thrushes, and other passerines. Meet at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.

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Jerusalem Mill BioBlitz

Gunpowder Falls State Park

10:00 am–12:00 pm

Join park staff to explore the sky, land and river at Jerusalem Mill to observe and take pictures of birds, trees, fish, amphibians, macroinvertebrates, reptiles, mammals, insects, fungi, and more!

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Guided Nature Walk

National Park Service

12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Explore Hampton's scenic grounds and document wildlife sightings by taking photos and uploading your findings to the free iNaturalist app! Park Rangers and volunteers from the National Aquarium will be on site to guide and assist visitors. Tours will begin at the Visitor Contact Station at 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm. Participation is free and open to the public.

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Patapsco Family Fun Day

Maryland Park Service

1:00 pm–4:00 pm

Family Fun Day will have a mini-BioBlitz as well as games, horses, ice cream, live music, and other fun-filled activities. Call 410-461-5005 or email patapsco.statepark@maryland.gov for more information.

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Tree Maintenance & Wildlife Safari

Blue Water Baltimore & Maryland Trout Unlimited

1:00 pm–4:00 pm

Join Maryland Trout Unlimited and Blue Water Baltimore for a day of tree maintenance and celebrate Baltimore's City Nature Challenge by documenting wildlife along the section of Jones Falls that was restored in 2017.

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Citizen Science Sunday Hike

Harford Glen Environmental Education Center

2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Join Outdoor Educator Melanie Kane as we explore the Harford Glen property and learn about valuable citizen science projects through iNaturalist and eBird. Binoculars, magnifying glasses, and nets will be available to borrow during the hike. Please contact Harford Glen at 410-638-3903 to reserve your spot or ask questions.

Partners

The City Nature Challenge Is Organized by:

California Academy of Science and Natural History Museum Los Angeles County Logos

If you have questions or if your organization is interested in partnering with us, please email conserve@aqua.org.