Started in 2011, Homewood Gardens is a collaborative effort led by community members, GHCC staff, and local stakeholders. This year, the group decided on a new arrangement. In addition to adopted beds, they added common beds that contained the “likes” of Barclay residents: okra, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes and a variety of tomatoes. Common beds are harvested on garden work days and shared with all. This unique approach to gardening led to the Homewood Gardens’ designation as a finalist for best vegetable garden at the annual Charm City Farm and Garden Supper on August 18th. While we did not win, we received an honorable mention for “notable breath of community involvement along with creatively tended plots”. Hats off to Greg Hartzler-Miller for his kale winning a blue ribbon!
On July 24, GHCC and AHC Baltimore held the first Women’s Empowerment Conference. While the targeted audience was young adult women between the ages of 18 and 35, the event quickly evolved to include elders. Keynote speaker Dr. Pamela Love, challenged the women to confront life challenges with the help of each other and emphasized that seeking support is not a sign of weakness.
Other speakers, local leaders, and residents participated in sessions on money management, co-parenting, self-esteem, and domestic violence. There were 27 women in attendance and 18 children. The response was extremely positive and already there are inquiries regarding the next conference.
Special thanks to Dallas Nicholas Sr. Elementary School for hosting the conference, all of the businesses that provided in-kind support, and the numerous volunteers who helped make this event happen!
With the support and dedication of Lottie Sneed, GHCC’s Barclay Community Builder, residents in the Barclay neighborhood continue to make strides in building and stronger, and more beautiful, community.
The Bold, Beautiful, and Brilliant Barclay team was awarded a $21,000 Spruce Up Grant for beautification and greening of the Barclay neighborhood. The team, composed of old and new residents, worked diligently to propose a vision that would send a message of community pride to neighborhood visitors. You may recall from our past post Barclay Green Efforts in Full Gear that community residents had already begun working on flower gardens and greening spaces at 20th and Guilford as well as 24th and Barclay Streets. These new funds will help residents complete these projects as well as support the implementation of trees and tree wells will be and the completion of an orchard. Moreover, boarded up properties will receive paint and art design and there will be community outreach and support to reduce trash on the streets with strategically placed trash cans. We will have a busy summer – come out and join us.
If you didn’t know before, hear us now – Barclay has a green team! A green team is a group of committed residents who are working to beautify their neighborhood, making improvements to existing projects and transforming vacant and forgotten properties into gardens and green spaces. Barclay has good reason to be proud of their greening efforts, and thanks to some recent grant funding and the hard work of dedicated community members, there is a lot of evidence to show it.
- Neighborhood Resident Miss Grace Comer submitted a proposal and received funding from the Parks and People Foundation for upgrades to the garden at the corner of 20th and Guilford.
- The Homewood House gardeners also received funding from the Parks and People Foundation for experiments with soil enrichments.
- Another community group adopted a lot and received funding to transform a vacant lot into a vegetable garden.
- Residents also came together and created a vision that would establish gateways to our neighborhood and submitted a proposal for funding.
On February 28, actor Aaron Androh of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture visited students in GHCC’s Barclay Youth Safe Haven Program (BYSH) at Dallas Nicholas Elementary School. In honor of Black History Month, Mr. Androh arrived in the persona of Earl White, an important figure in Chesapeake history.
“We’ve been doing a unit called History and Heroes,” says Shekita Wilkins, who is the Director of BYSH. “I wanted to introduce the children to a significant historical figure with roots in Baltimore so that they are able to make a more personal connection between their hometown and history.”
Once called “The Black Pearl of the Chesapeake,” Mr. White was an oysterman who, in 1998, was named an Honorary Admiral of the Chesapeake – a title that few African Americans have ever held. After a long life, Mr. White died in 2004. Most watermen still consider him a legend.
BYSH provides 50 students at Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School with mentoring and enrichment activities such as this one. We are currently in great need of academic mentors to serve our students for two hours a week after school. If you are interested, please contact Shekita Wilkins at 410-916-2540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.