BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Wildlife Federation and the National Aquarium have joined the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority to dedicate a new garden at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Alex DeMetrick reports the park now has a real park and—maybe soon—some real Orioles.

The garden includes 12,000 native plants, many of which will produce flowers that will attract oriole birds, other local birds and butterflies to “Birdland” during baseball season and the warm weather months.

“Here we can do something to help wildlife. We don’t have to wait for somebody else to do something. We can each do it ourselves,” said gardener Naomi Edelson.

According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, Baltimore Oriole populations have declined throughout their range because of deforestation and habitat loss.

“Oriole birds have long been an iconic symbol of our organization’s deeply rooted connection to Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic region – an area affectionately known as ‘Birdland,’” said Greg Bader, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Orioles.

Much like Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and the rest, actual oriole birds winter in warmer climates and return home in the spring.

The Oriole Garden at Camden Yards will welcome back both sets of birds each spring, as it matches with the birds’ migratory pattern, putting it in their direct path home.

The garden is part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Grow Together Baltimore program, which works with local communities to create vibrant green spaces that benefit Baltimore residents in many ways.

“We believe we can replicate this program over and over again across the city, creating a model that will not only beautify Baltimore, help bring back wildlife, help improve water quality but also create a model other cities across the country are going to emulate,” said Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation.

Oriole Park was chosen for the project as a way of getting more bang for the blossom.

“Conservation has to meet people where they are. People come to see baseball games; people see gardens. If they can do it here, they can do it in their own backyards,” said Kris Hoellen, National Aquarium.

That pitch can be found on signs at the edges of the garden, encouraging Orioles fans to take home an idea as well as a memory.

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Alex DeMetrick

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