Mitigating Bird Strikes

Birds generally do not see clear or reflective glass; glass reflectivity and transparency create a lethal illusion of clear airspace that birds do not see as a barrier. At night during spring and fall bird migrations, birds can be attracted to lighted structures resulting in collisions and entrapment, which can result in concentrated bird mortality events.

Save birds during spring and fall migrations by turning off your lights when you leave! If you are unable to turn off interior lights, draw window blinds, shades, drapes or window coverings to prevent birds from seeing the light. Thank you for your cooperation and participation to help make our campus a more environmentally sustainable place for birds and all creatures.

For more information, visit our Lights Out UMB page.

Download Lights Out UMB Promotional Materials Here

Bees at UMB

bee hives on green roof

In June 2023 UMB placed a bee hive at the Health Sciences Research Facility III (HSF III)'s seventh floor green roof. The bees are maintained by Bee Friendly Apiary. These bees will benefit the local community by pollinating native plants and local agriculture.

Did you know bees travel 1-2 miles from their hives in search of nectar? They have also been observed traveling up to 5 miles from their hives. UMB's Office of Sustainability created a map with UMB and UMMC's hives to show you how many urban farms the campus and hospitals' bees can visit.

View the map below, or click here to access the map in a new window.

UMB Bees and Baltimore Urban Farms

Campus Trees

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Office of Sustainability formed a Tree Advisory Committee in 2022 as part of its efforts to apply for the Tree Campus Higher Education designation through the Arbor Day Foundation.

To receive the Tree Campus Higher Education designation, campuses must meet five overarching standards:

  1. Establishing a campus tree advisory committee
  2. Evidence of a campus tree care plan
  3. Verification of the plan's dedicated annual expenditures
  4. Observing Arbor Day
  5. Creating a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body

The University established a UMB Tree Care Plan in 2022, with input from the Tree Advisory Committee and UMB’s Resilience Working Group. The plan establishes care and maintenance guidelines as well as outlines the following tactics:

  • Support the City of Baltimore’s goal of establishing 40% tree cover by 2030 to combat urban heat island effect for UMB and its neighbors by increasing tree plantings on campus.
    • Increase total number of campus trees by 10% over 5 years
  • Utilize UMB’s landscaping contract to ensure maintenance and care of existing trees on campus.

In 2022, UMB received a grant through the Chesapeake Bay Trust Urban Trees program to plant 65 new trees in support of our goal to increase our campus’s urban tree canopy. Learn more about the project here.

UMB is also a proud recipient of the Maryland Department of Natural Resource's People Loving and Nurturing Trees (PLANT) Award.

Campus Tree Advisory Committee

The tree advisory committee aims to meet twice a year in late summer and late winter, or as needed, to discuss tree plantings and selections on campus and to prepare for the submission of the Tree Campus Higher Education designation. Membership is voluntary, and term limits are laissez-faire. The current sitting committee members include:

  • Kimia Abtahi, 4th Year Medical Student
  • Lane Victorson, Clinical Instructor at School of Social Work and Director of Community Organizing and Field Education at Social Work Community Outreach Service
  • Anna Borgerding, Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations
  • Elizabeth Main, Associate Director of Sustainability and Operational Excellence
  • Angela Ober, Senior Sustainability & Effectiveness Specialist
  • Mark Drymala, Assistant Director of Environmental Services (Administrative)
  • Anthony Consoli, University Architect
  • Sean Ryan, BrightView Landscape Services Account Manager
  • Bill Joyner, Associate Vice President of Community Engagement

To inquire about joining, please submit this form. Inquiries will be reviewed and considered during the summer and winter, prior to campus tree advisory committee meeting. 

Tree Canopy and Tree Equity in Baltimore

In 2021, UMB performed an analysis to estimate the campus tree canopy using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The results indicated that UMB’s current tree canopy is at 10%. UMB is currently conducting a campus tree inventory. This inventory will allow the University to protect existing trees and find opportunities to plant more trees on campus. In addition to the inventory, the Office of Sustainability has created a StoryMap on Tree Equity in Baltimore.

Download Other Educational Tree Materials Here