Plants Outside the Aquarium: Waterfront Park

The National Aquarium's exhibits are home to thousands of plants, but there's so much to explore outside our doors. Visit our Waterfront Park, located opposite our Main Entrance, and help us catalog biodiversity.

  • Conservation

Guests can see plants from all over the world inside the National Aquarium—but there's so much to see outside our buildings, too. Located across the way from our Main Entrance, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park highlights the biodiversity found in Maryland with plants from three regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed: Appalachian Highlands, Piedmont Plateau and Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Cataloging Local Biodiversity

At the Aquarium, we catalog our campus' biodiversity with techniques like analyzing biofilm, but did you know that you can help us, too? One way you can catalog biodiversity is through databases like iNaturalist. This free app lets anyone take a picture of a living thing and upload it to a database for scientists to use in research. The Aquarium even has a specific iNaturalist Waterfront Park project, so guests can upload pictures of the exhibit's plants and the animals that visit them all in one place!

Close-up of a Hand Taking a Picture of a Plant With Berries on a Cell Phone

Our Waterfront Park has evergreen and deciduous plants, meaning there's always something to see any time of year—especially in the warmer months. Most plants bloom during spring and summer, making this exhibit a goldmine for iNaturalist users, especially during springtime events like the City Nature Challenge. This annual four-day event lets regions worldwide compete to catalog the most species of plants and animals. The National Aquarium is the coordinator for the Baltimore metropolitan area, so be on the lookout in the spring for BioBlitz events from local organizations. While you don't have to know the name of every plant and animal you see to use iNaturalist or participate in the City Nature Challenge, it's helpful to learn how to recognize some. Let's explore some tips for identifying plants in our Waterfront Park so you can take your identification skills all over Maryland!

Foster Biodiversity at Home

Invite native plants and animals to your neighborhood by planting native species in your yard or community green space to start creating a habitat for wildlife. These plants will attract local animals that will help your garden and the environment thrive. You can even certify your native garden as part of the Garden for Wildlife program—just like our Waterfront Park! Protecting biodiversity starts with you. By participating in events like the City Nature Challenge and using iNaturalist, you can help scientists understand and protect our natural world.

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