Community gardens and other community-managed open spaces help their neighborhoods in many ways. Baltimore Green Space helps ensure that these benefits last for the long term.
Open spaces that are created by neighbors can be wonderful tools for community organizing and involvement as neighbors work together to turn blight into beauty.
Open spaces provide much-needed resources for recreation, such as a place for horseshoe games, a garden for growing vegetables or flowers, or a beautiful quiet place to sit in the shade.
In a city covered with acres of concrete, asphalt, and buildings, too much rainwater runs directly into the sewer system, washing trash and pollution into our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. In contrast, gardens and other open spaces soak up rainwater, filtering the water as it soaks into the soil.
Planted areas provide many wild animals such as birds and butterflies with food and a place to live—or a resting place during migration. They help to preserve the diversity of animals and plants in Baltimore.
In addition, vegetable gardens reduce Baltimore’s reliance on food that is transported hundreds or thousands of miles, thus reducing pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. Open spaces also help balance the heating effects of buildings and asphalt.
While vacant lots drag down the value of surrounding properties, community gardens have the opposite effect. A New York University study of community gardens in the Bronx shows that community gardens boost property values. The study found that “higher quality gardens have the greatest positive impact,” and that ” gardens have the greatest impact in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.” (Click Here to download a PDF of the full study.)