Founder and Executive Director
In 2004, Miriam Avins and her neighbors started the Homestead Harvest Community Garden as an organic, cooperative garden serving the Better Waverly neighborhood. The garden turned an abandoned vacant lot that attracted drug use into a place of beauty and peace that provides fresh produce for about a dozen families. In 2006, when the garden was threatened by a possible sale of the lot, Miriam began researching how to preserve open spaces managed by neighborhoods. In 2007, she and three other community gardeners founded Baltimore Green Space, and Miriam was awarded an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship to develop the land trust.
In her work at Baltimore Green Space, Miriam has published white papers on community-managed open space; stewardship practices of land trusts; and Baltimore’s forest patches. In 2010 she was awarded the Aileen Hughes Award for Leadership in Land Conservation for her work with Baltimore City to establish a straightforward way to preserve community-managed open spaces. She also spearheaded efforts to provide access to municipal water for community gardens. Miriam serves on Baltimore City’s Commission on Sustainability.
Katie Lautar directs all of our programming related to green space preservation and forest patch care. Her work focuses on program development, outreach, site support, and the Forest Stewardship Network. She came to this work through her love of nature and communities. Katie has more than 13 year experience in community organizing, designing non-profit programs, and creating educational programs. She earned a Masters Degree in Environmental Education from Lesley University, while living outdoors in different bio-regions. She earned her Bachelors degree at Goucher College in Elementary Education with a Minor in Peace Studies. She directed youth development and education programs at Strong City Baltimore and is a founder of the 2640 Cooperative. She also has considerable experience in consensus building models and collaborative program development.
Emily Finton, President
Babila Lima, Vice President
John Campion, Treasurer
Roberta Strickler, Secretary
Tyson W. Garith