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People Looking at Nature

City Nature Challenge: Baltimore

City Nature Challenge 2020 has come to an end! The challenge will be back in spring 2021—sign up for our newsletter to receive reminders as the date approaches.

Thank You, Community Scientists!

Thanks to nature lovers like you, the Baltimore region had a tremendous showing in the 2020 City Nature Challenge! Collectively, 663 of you made 10,961 observations, and 515 participants identified 1,501 species in and around Baltimore—23 of which are protected, rare, threatened or endangered. This is the highest number of observations and species identified in Baltimore since we began participating in the challenge in 2018! Once again, the most commonly reported plant species in the area was garlic mustard, and the most commonly reported animal species was the northern cardinal.

Praying Mantis on a Hand

In addition, 50% of Baltimore's verifiable observations (those with photo or audio evidence) obtained research grade status, which means that this high-quality data will be shared with larger databases that can use it for their research projects—helping science long after the challenge has ended.

Globally, 41,165 participants from 246 cities made 815,258 observations and recorded over 32,600 species—1,300 of which are rare, endangered or threatened.

Get Nerdy with Nature

City Nature Challenge is an annual community science competition for cities across the globe to find and document the plants and wildlife found in urban areas. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 challenge was all about collaboration, not competition. It was an opportunity for participants to connect with other cities across the nation—and the globe—while exploring the nature found in and around their homes.

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 the types of habitats they need to thrive.

Baltimore City Nature Challenge Map of Area

In Baltimore City…and Beyond!

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

Ready, Set, Upload

New to iNaturalist? Check out this video for instructions on making your first observation upload, or follow the steps below.

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.

Exploring Baltimore's Biodiversity

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


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