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Baltimore School Builds Outdoor Habitat For Endangered Birds

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- When school gets underway, some students in Baltimore City will be greeted by a brand new outdoor bird habitat.

At Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School, the community, developers and designers are putting down roots for the Birdland project.

"We're planting all these plants to make the school look better," said 12-year-old volunteer Elsa Graf.

Part of the mission is to preserve three species of Baltimore birds that are endangered.

"We're going to come out and do some bird-watching and hopefully continue to build on all the 3,000 different plants that are here," said principal Corey Basmajian of Francis Scott Elementary/Middle School.

The outdoor learning environment takes the principles of science, technology, engineering and math, and brings them out of the classroom.

The students were given the task of coming up with prototypes for the bird houses.

"We designed the landscape and birdhouses to be favorable habitats for those birds," said Richard Jones, president of Mahan Rykiel Associates.

"It certainly is going to make a difference in the lives of our young people," said Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.

"Where kids go in their lives, a lot of it has to do with what opportunities they're exposed to," said Isaac Hametz, director of research for Mahan Rykiel Associates.

Discussions are already underway in hopes of bringing project Birdland to school district seven in Northwest Baltimore.

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