Monthly Archives

January 2018

Reservoir Hill Tree Canopy Project Creates Green Culture

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(Photo courtesy of the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.)

West Baltimore neighborhood uses Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant to transform streetscape and build community

by Don Akchin

For many years the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of West Baltimore was better known for its grit than its greenery. But in 2009, the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council launched a visionary Tree Canopy Project with the help of a Chesapeake Bay Trust Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant and many community partners. Over the past seven years, the look and feel of the neighborhood has been completely transformed. Volunteers on the council’s Green Team planted 550 new trees, tagged each tree for easy identification, and completed a comprehensive tree map of the community.  In the same period, more than 4,700 square feet of impervious surface was removed through tree pit cutting and expansion, and more than 2,100 square feet of vacant lots were restored to provide enjoyable greenspace in the community.

In addition to the changes in the physical landscape within the community, perhaps one of the most important outcomes of the neighborhood greening was the project’s impact on attitudes throughout the community. The project triggered the development of a “green culture.” Students at the neighborhood elementary school have become active gardeners and experts on a healthy environment. Other institutions in Reservoir Hill have started their own greening programs. Tree loss through vandalism has been virtually nonexistent. Today, residents of Reservoir Hill take pride in being a greener community.

The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program is funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III (EPA), Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability with support from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The program helps communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number and amount of green spaces in urban areas, improve the health of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and enhance quality of life and community livability.

The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program is open and accepting applications until March 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm. To learn more about how your community can benefit from this opportunity and to apply for a grant, visit here.

To learn more about the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council and to see photos of their community greening projects visit their website.

Don Akchin is co-chair of the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.

Trust Celebrates 2018 Scholarship & Award Winners

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The Chesapeake Bay Trust celebrated our 2018 scholarship and award winners at our Annual Legislative Reception and Awards Program held at the Maryland General Assembly on Thursday, January 11, 2018. During the event, more than 150 environmental leaders and Maryland legislators came together to honor six remarkable individuals for their outstanding contributions to environmental education, watershed restoration, and volunteerism.

This year’s winners embodied the spirit of the Trust’s family of grantees, who work tirelessly to restore and protect their local natural resources and engage community members in those efforts.

Awards are made each year to two students for environmental and community leadership, to one educator for excellence in environmental education, to one business for green efforts, to one organization for a notable watershed stewardship project, and to one community leader or volunteer who goes routinely above and beyond in improving the streams, rivers, parks, forests, or other natural resource within our watershed.

2018 Award Winners

2018 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award
Reverend Gail A. Addison
President/CEO, End Time Harvest Ministries
Prince George’s County

2018 Student of the Year Scholarship
Mercedes Thompson
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Baltimore City

2018 The Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship
Darrea Frazier
Homeschooled
Baltimore City

2018 Educator of the Year
Francis J. Cardo
Program Facilitator for Science and STEM Education
Cecil County Public Schools

2018 Commercial Stewards Award
Shockley Honda
Frederick County

2018 Melanie Teems Award
Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc.
Prince George’s County

Congratulations to all of our awardees and thank you to the legislators, partners, family, and friends who joined us in celebrating them!

Learn more about our scholarships and awards program and find a description of each award here.

I am grateful and very blessed to be among the distinguished recipients who have received this award that honors a phenomenal lady, Ms. Ellen Fraites Wagner. I am deeply moved and humbled to be among people who have made tremendous environmental education contributions in this region. Thank you to the Trust for your faith in End Time Harvest Ministries’ environmental work of educating youth and families about the importance of being environmental stewards in their communities and schools.

Reverend Gail A. AddisonPresident/CEO, End Time Harvest Ministries and 2018 winner of the Ellen Fraites Wagner Award