City Nature Challenge: Baltimore

City Nature Challenge 2022 will take place Friday, April 29 through Monday, May 2—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 2021 City Nature Challenge! Collectively, 833 of you made 12,815 observations, and 1,501 species were identified in and around Baltimore. This is the highest number of observations and species identified in Baltimore since we began participating in the challenge in 2018! The most commonly reported plant species in the area was blue violet, and the most commonly reported animal species was the northern cardinal.

In addition, 47% 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, 52,777 participants from 419 cities made 1,270,767 observations and recorded more than 45,300 species—over 2,100 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 2021 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.

Get Started

The National Aquarium is calling on community scientists to explore, identify and document urban wildlife in 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.

Not sure where to start? Check out this backyard scavenger hunt and start exploring the nature that surrounds you!

Ready, Set, Upload

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

Step 1: Download the iNaturalist app.
Step 2:
Find wildlife and photograph what you find.
Step 3:
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:

If you have questions or if your organization is interested in partnering with us, please email

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