Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Sponsor Spotlight: Seawall Development Company

The GHCC Blog Team recently checked in with Thibault Manekin of Seawall Development Company to talk about the importance of community-driven development and how Seawall is making Baltimore a Strong City. 

Tell us a bit about Seawall Development… Seawall uses the built environment to make neighborhoods better places. We do that by breathing a new life back in to abandoned old historic and industrial buildings. We then take the finished product and fill it with the people who in their everyday lives are out there making our cities better places.

Seawall has been instrumental in the redevelopment of Remington, and GHCC has been proud to be your partner in this work, can you explain your approach to community-minded development? It’s all about listening. None of these projects are our idea. We pride ourselves on developing projects from the inside out, where the end user is actually dreaming up their own space.

Miller's Court was one of Sewall's first Remington projects and now houses low-cost living options for teachers, Charmington's Cafe,  and a variety of nonprofits including Wide Angle Youth Media.

Miller’s Court was one of Sewall’s first Remington projects and now houses low-cost living options for teachers, Charmington’s Cafe, and a variety of nonprofits including Wide Angle Youth Media.

Tell us about some of your upcoming or current projects. We are really busy in Remington with our Remington Row project. We are also really excited about some charter schools we are helping to build and the Parkway Theatre project in Station North.

Why did Seawall choose to sponsor the 2015 Neighborhood Institute? We love GHCC and the great work they do in this part of Baltimore and are honored to be a partner in anything they are doing.

As you may know, GHCC is changing our name to ‘Strong City Baltimore’… tell us what you think makes Baltimore a Strong City. Baltimore is strong because of the passionate people that make up this great city and their never give up attitude.

Many, many thanks to Thibault and the whole Seawall team for sponsoring the 2015 Neighborhood Institute at the Baltimore Design School back in April. If you would like to sponsor a Strong City Baltimore event, please contact Emma Simpson at esimpson@strongcitybaltimore.org or 410-261-3507.


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Making the Most of Your Higher Eds” – A Panel Discussion

If your community is looking to ensure successful partnerships with local higher education anchor institutions, “Making the Most of Your Higher Eds”, a panel discussion led by representatives from Loyola University; Goucher College; and University of Maryland, Baltimore is for you. To participate in this workshop, and many others, register here.

A thank-you card from Margaret Brent students, sent to GHCC for our role in leveraging funding from anchor institution, Johns Hopkins University, for renovations to the school.

On the right, a card from Barclay School students, thanking GHCC for our role in securing funding from local Higher Ed, Johns Hopkins University, for renovations made to Barclay and Margaret Brent. On the left, the Margaret Brent’s renovated facade.

Universities can be a tremendous asset for surrounding neighborhoods. Their resources and economic leverage can support a diverse range of improvements, including after-school programming, workforce development, neighborhood planning, physical development, and more. Local communities can benefit from partnering with colleges for student interns, class field placements, and capital investments. However, university bureaucracies can also be notoriously difficult to navigate; it can be unclear who to contact for which resource and how to promote active collaboration.

In Baltimore, we are lucky to have several world-class colleges and universities within the City limits. In this workshop, panelists from Loyola University, Goucher College, and University of Maryland, Baltimore will share the innovative ways their universities are supporting surrounding neighborhoods. Come to this presentation to learn how you can connect with ongoing programming and navigate the university bureaucracy.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “It’s More Than Just a Newsletter” by Kathy Nelson

If you are trying to improve your community’s communication methods, “It’s More Than Just a Newsletter” led by Kathy Nelson, is for you. To participate in this workshop, and many more, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Union SqWell-connected neighborhoods require strong and varied forms of communication. Neighborhood communication methods can be as unique as Baltimore’s neighborhoods, from multipage printed newsletters to NextDoor accounts and social media. Each of these techniques has advantages and disadvantages, and all need to be tailored to support your community. In the Union Square neighborhood, leaders have taken the talents of their residents to create a strong and stable communication structure, based around a regular printed newsletter.

Led by Union Square resident and broadcast professional Kathy Nelson, this workshop will offer a panel discussion outlining the steps in creating this newsletter, including layout, printing, and distribution. The workshop will also include tips for managing your neighborhood’s social media and online communications. If you are trying to improve your community’s communication methods, this workshop is for you.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). Register by following this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Orchards and Food Forests” by Ben Howard

If you are looking for a new and creative use for vacant space in your neighborhood, “Orchards and Food Forests: the Whats, Hows, and Whys” led by Ben Howard will be perfect for you. To participate for this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

When neighborhoods think about starting a garden on a piece of local land, they normally consider a community garden, where residents grow their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers for individual or communal harvest. This model of urban gardening works great, but a new idea is popping up all across America: urban orchards. Gardeners in urban orchards plant trees that grow fruits to be distributed to neighbors in need throughout a community. Fruit trees create a new dynamic from traditional gardens, providing spaces where neighbors can meet, rest, and seek refuge from the rush of the day. They bring pleasant blossoms and aromas in the spring, shade and comfort in the summer and food and fun in the fall.

In this workshop, Ben Howard from the Baltimore Orchard Project will discuss the advantages of urban orchards and how they can be incorporated alongside annual food gardens. He will also give expert knowledge on how to plan and plant an orchard in your community.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Internet for All” by Philip Spevak

If you are interested in bringing high-speed, low-cost internet to all Baltimore residents, “Internet for All” led by Philip Spevak, this workshop is for you! To participate in this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Phil Spevak of the Baltimore Broadband Coalition (photo by Nicole Martin, courtesy of the Baltimore Messenger).

Phil Spevak of the Baltimore Broadband Coalition (photo by Nicole Martin, courtesy of the Baltimore Messenger).

The internet is an integral part in our lives. On a neighborhood level, it provides access to information that can accelerate community development and improve our local economy. On an individual level, internet connections are vital for finding jobs and researching key support structures. Unfortunately, internet connectivity in Baltimore is slower and more expensive than many other networks in US cities; many of our neighbors cannot afford internet access needed to improve their quality of life. For these reasons, several neighborhoods have begun working together to help bring internet competition to Baltimore.

The Baltimore Broadband Coalition provides a case study in successful city-wide advocacy. This workshop will expand your understanding of the broadband issue in your neighborhood and share how you can get involved with the Coalition. In addition, the presentation will share tips and tricks for creating a sustainable, city-wide advocacy movement.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.