Person Examining Bugs

City Nature Challenge 2018: Baltimore

We Need You!

The National Aquarium is excited to coordinate regional efforts for the 2018 City Nature Challenge, an international effort to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. This friendly competition between cities 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 27 – 30 in over 60 cities, spanning 17 countries on 5 continents.

Will you help Baltimore win the City Nature Challenge? Join us by documenting all the plants and animals you see from April 27 – April 30, 2018.

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 2018 City Nature Challenge, you will learn more about your environment and help make Baltimore a better place — for you 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 will manage City Nature Challenge efforts around the Baltimore region. We are committed to protecting, enhancing and restoring natural resources for the benefit of all people and wildlife. 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 with us 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 and neighboring counties of the Chesapeake Bay. All observations made in the following counties and uploaded to iNaturalist during the challenge will automatically be counted towards Baltimore's City Nature Challenge: Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot 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 3rd.

Track the Challenge (iNaturalist Feed)

You can get involved in the Baltimore City Nature Challenge by joining a participating National Aquarium event, taking part 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




3:00 pm–4:30 pm

Put on your scientific thinking caps, rain boots and waders and be prepared to get messy as we find the little creatures that tell us the health of the Patapsco River.



LEAKIN PARK BIOBLITZ | Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition

10:00 am–3:00 pm

Join naturalists, friends and scientists as we look for amazing plants and creatures in Leakin Park! If you've wanted the chance to learn about the wildlife and explore Leakin Park, nows your chance!



LIBRARY PRESENTATION | Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

10:00 am

Join other City Nature Challenge participants in learning about urban biodiversity, and then—weather permitting—take a trip outside to explore and document the nature around us.



LAUREL BIOBLITZ | The Nature Conservancy

10:00 am–1:00 pm

Join us for a bioblitz, led by MD/DC Conservation Coordinator Christina Thompson, at Oxbow Nature Preserve where visitors can observe bald eagles, rare plants, and a variety of insects.




10:00 am–1:00 pm

Join the National Aquarium's Conservation Team for tree planting, debris removal and added activities including bird walk and fish seining guided by Aquarium staff.




12:00 pm–2:00 pm

Join us for a day of fun as an outdoor scientist as we take a hike along our trails to conduct species identification for various organisms in the park now that spring has sprung!




The Guest Engagement department is planning on making iNaturalist observations with guests both in the building and outside on the Waterfront Park during the challenge.


The City Nature Challenge Is Organized by:

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

If you have specific questions, email us at