Starting a Green Space in Baltimore
If you want to start a new green space in Baltimore, here are some resources:
- Our own handout, Start and Keep a Community Green Space, is a short pep talk for project leaders.
- How to Help Resident Greeners is a tip sheet just for community organizers.
- How to Turn a Vacant Lot into a Garden or Pocket Park provides many details on how to start a green space, and a list of organizations and sources of funds and materials.
- Parks & People’s Guide to Greening Neighborhoods is a book-length guide to all aspects of planning, creating, and maintaining a green space.
- The Community Greening Resource Network (CGRN) provides individuals and gardening groups with lots of information about gardening and a full schedule of workshops and volunteer opportunities. Gardening groups also receive seeds and plants, access to tool banks, and discounts on power tool rentals. Visit the CGRN web page, or call 410-448-5663.
- The Master Gardener program of the University of Maryland Extension helps neighborhood groups plan a greening project, locate the resources to get it done, and learn the principles of sustainable gardening.
- If you want to green a City-owned lot, extra help is available from Power in Dirt.
A picture’s worth a thousand words – and so is a research finding. Here are links to academic papers that show how or why community-managed open spaces provide a broad range of benefits to their communities:
- A summary of the evidence that green environments are essential for human health, written by a lead researcher in the field.
- An article that shows a substantial increase in property values for the properties close to New York City's community gardens.
- A study in Lowell, Massachusetts, showed that reducing "disorder" such as vacant lots reduces crime. A newspaper write-up is available at Boston.com.
- Finally, here is our attempt to summarize relevant research.
Baltimore City Policy on Preserving Community-Managed Open Spaces
Baltimore Green Space worked with Baltimore City government to develop a City policy that favors the preservation of neighborhoods' urban oases. You can download the booklet that the City uses to implement this policy.This flow chart provides an overview of the process.
The Pigtown Horseshoe Pit, protected since 2010.