new funding boosts baltimore's urban bird conservation efforts
Birds of a feather flocked together to protect Baltimore's migratory birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks joined forces, signing an Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds at the Celebrate Baltimore Birds Fest at Gywnns Falls/Leakin Park. The Urban Bird Treaty program brings together municipal governments and other public and private partners to conserve birds that live in or migrate through their cities.
Under the designation, Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School was awarded $90,000 to work with partners and volunteers to enhance bird stopover and nesting habitat in Gwynns Falls Leakin Park. The Lights Outs Baltimore program will also expand its initiative of reducing bird-building collisions, while educating residents and tourists who visit the Inner Harbor about how they can reduce these hazards. Additional outreach events will introduce communities and students to birding and citizen science. This work is possible thanks to a Five-Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grant, which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
"By conserving bird habitat, we also enrich communities," said Deborah Rocque, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Deputy Director for the Northeast region. "There are 30 densely populated neighborhoods within walking distance of Baltimore's Gwynns Falls Leakin Park. The Urban Bird Treaty connects these residents with nature while improving habitat for local and migratory birds."
"Through these activities students and citizens will take ownership of local green spaces," remarked Ben Worden, Marketing Director at Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School. "It's a huge win for Baltimore and we're proud to be a part of the nationwide effort to reach the next generation of conservation leaders."
"Baltimore is a crucial stopover for birds migrating along the East Coast," said Fran Spero, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. "Today's agreement is a testament to the value of the city's parks and green spaces to our families and wildlife."
The designation was also applauded by the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition, a group of federal, state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses that advocates conservation and outreach activities to improve Baltimore's resiliency and biodiversity and provide equitable opportunities for nature discovery among the city's diverse population.Pictured above: Fran Spero and Jerome Ford show off Baltimore's newly signed Urban Bird Treaty. USFWS photo.