Civic Works Projects Win Baltimore's First Growing Green Competition

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Four Projects Awarded Grants to Transform Vacant Lots

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"By creating engaging new green spaces, we are able to deliver long-lasting benefits for Baltimore residents and for the city itself." Dana Stein, Founder and Executive Director of Civic Works.

On September 17, 2014, Baltimore City's Department of Planning and Department of Public Works, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Chesapeake Bay Trust jointly announced the winners of the Growing Green Design Competition: Vacant Lots Transformed. Seven projects were awarded close to $300,000. Civic Works submitted four projects to the competition and won awards for each of the four projects, totaling over $173,000 in grants. The grant money will be used by Civic Works to design and construct concepts that transform vacant lots and blighted properties in Baltimore City neighborhoods.

Civic Works’ winning projects will help underserved Baltimore communities tackle environmental challenges such as stormwater runoff while simultaneously providing benefits that include urban agriculture or green space.

"We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Growing Green Design Competition,” said Dana Stein, Founder and Executive Director of Civic Works. “Our projects focus on strengthening Baltimore’s communities, which we have been doing for over 20 years. By creating engaging new green spaces, we are able to deliver long-lasting benefits for Baltimore residents and for the city itself. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with community groups, design firms, and others to develop and implement these projects.”

The following four Civic Works projects won Growing Green Design Competition awards:

Civic Works, Dayspring Green Parking Lot ($50,000)--
This project will transform the Dayspring Green Parking Lot into a pocket park with usable space for visitors and locals. The project will provide artfully designed, communal green space that will decrease storm water runoff, increase filtration for water contaminants, remove impervious surfaces, and serve as a model for other green parking sites. The Dayspring Green Parking Lot is a partnership between Civic Works, the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, and the Dayspring Programs. The Dayspring Programs offer transitional housing for women and children, located directly across the street from the site. Floura Teeter will create the site design.

Civic Works, The Gateway Garden ($15,800)--
The Gateway Garden will be an ornamental, interactive ecological community green space. Main project objectives include stormwater filtration and runoff management, drinking water filtration, the creation of a welcoming entrance to the community, a children's walk-through to school, a wildlife habitat, an educational demonstration garden, and a showcase for public art. The Gateway Garden is a partnership between Civic Works and the Coldstream Homestead Montebello Community Corporation. Pure Joy Collection will create the site art, and Brent Figlestahler will create the site design.

Civic Works, Flower Factory at Broadway East ($63,800)--
Civic Works' Flower Factory at Broadway East employs community-minded design principles to integrate stormwater management and a new brand of urban agriculture: cut flower production. The Flower Factory is a partnership between Civic Works' Real Food Farm, Broadway East Community Association, Southern Baptist Church, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC), and Humanim. Mahan Rykiel Associates created the site design. The Flower Factory will produce multiple types of flowers and utilize a staged planting approach, so flower production will happen throughout the year.

Jane's House of Inspiration, The A-MAZE-N Recovery Fruit Garden ($43,590)--
The A-MAZE-N Recovery Fruit Garden aims to build a garden on an abandoned lot in northeast Baltimore. The main objectives of this project are to increase access to fresh food for residents, to educate community members about healthy food choices, and to beautify the neighborhood. Civic Works partnered with Jane's House of Inspiration, an organization that works with women recovering from addiction, for the project. Women from Jane's House of Inspiration will help create and care for the project, and the maze will symbolize the path to recovery. Baltimore Orchard Project assisted in the design of the project and will advise on garden plantings, as well as provide community training on fruit tree care.

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ABOUT CIVIC WORKS
Civic Works is Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program. Our mission is to strengthen Baltimore’s communities through education, skills development, and community service. Civic Works AmeriCorps participants tutor and mentor students, create community parks and gardens, help homeowners conserve energy, grow food for low-income residents, rehabilitate abandoned houses, involve families in Baltimore City schools, make homes safer for older adults, and recruit volunteers. Civic Works also trains Baltimore residents for employment in the healthcare and green job industries. For more information, please visit http://www.civicworks.com.

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Adrienne Peres

Kristen Wommack