Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Attention Community Leaders! Recycling Education Grant Opportunity

Did you celebrate Earth Hour by turning out your lights on Saturday evening? Well, here’s another way you can help the planet and get your community on board! Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) is partnering with the Mayor’s Cleaner, Greener Baltimore Initiative to offer grants to community organizations, Community Relations Councils, and neighborhood umbrella groups who want to get the word out about Baltimore City’s recycling program.

The City of Baltimore anticipates that significant education and outreach will need to be done to help residents take advantage of recycling opportunities, including the proposed One Plus One solid waste pick-up schedule of one day a week trash collection plus one day a week recycling collection.

Goals of this grant are to:

• Get more people recycling through neighborhood driven efforts

• Find out how many more people are recycling as a result of the neighborhood driven efforts

• Get people comfortable with recycling

• Provide recycling education to residents

• Provide accessibility to recycling bins if necessary

If you have a great idea for getting your neighborhood engaged in recycling, contact Aisha Samples, Program Assistant at BCF, at or 410-332-4172 ext. 145. But hurry! The deadline for initial applications is Monday, April 6.

Interested in doing more to promote recycling in your community? Here are some more ways you can make a difference:

• Identify up to 5 households in your community who do not recycle who would be willing to try with the help of a “recycling coach”. Contact Hope Williams at if you are interested in doing this;

• Discuss recycling at your community association meetings and include information about recycling in communications with your community. Recycling literature is available from the Initiative;

• Talk to neighborhood stores about being a bin sales site. Interested stores should contact Hope Williams;

• Sell recycling bins. BCF has a loan fund available for community groups that would like to purchase a large quantity of recycling bins to make it easier for your residents to purchase the bins.

Making Connections: Success Academy and Charles Village

By John Bernet, GHCC Community Connections Coordinator/AmeriCorps VISTA

On Saturday, March 22nd, students from Success Academy in Baltimore City came out for a volunteer clean-up day at St. John’s United Methodist Church on the corner of 26th and St. Paul Street. Over the course of two very productive hours, they cleaned out the garden and trimmed back the ivy along the front of the building and raked the side yards, making it look beautiful just in time for Spring to begin! They were joined by Pam and Christian Wilson from the Peabody Heights Resident Homeowners Alliance and Mrs. Carol Berman from the St. John’s congregation, all of whom helped to coordinate the effort with Success Academy Principal Kevin Brooks. Following their time working outside, the students got a tour of the building and a run-down of all the wonderful services and programs the church provides. This was the first day of a two-part project, the second to occur around the week of Earth Day. Thanks to all the great students from Success Academy who participated, and the Wilsons and Mrs. Berman for providing lunch and an opportunity to see and learn about a very active local church! This volunteer effort also marks the beginning of an active partnership between Success Academy and the surrounding communities that will see lots of volunteer and enrichment opportunities for the students. Success Academy, an alternative school for city students on long-term suspension and expulsion, is located on the ground floor of Baltimore City Schools headquarters at 200 E. North Avenue.

Medfield Heights Elementary School Hosts First Reunion

Paul Smith graduated from Medfield Heights Elementary School in 1962 and is currently President of the Medfield Community Association.

Recently [Medfield Heights Elementary School] had the first reunion gathering. Approximately 150 graduates returned to share old stories and rekindle old friendships from quite a while ago. Some of the attendees still live in the neighborhood. It was great to see some of the guys and gals that I grew up with in Medfield. The turnout ranged from recent graduates to some not so recent.

The event had music, games, and refreshments provided by the Medfield PTA — thank you, it was great!

Hopefully it won’t be too long before we will have another reunion. We are not getting any younger.

It amazes me that the graduates from Medfield Elementary School would take time from their busy scheudles to return and share old memories. I guess it shows the character of the school and its students.

Community Greening Resource Network Accepting Applications

By Sarah Krones, Community Greening Resource Network Coordinator, Parks and People Foundation

A community planting project in Medfield

An initiative of Parks & People Foundation and Maryland Cooperative Extension, the Community Greening Resource Network (CGRN) is a membership program supporting Baltimore City community gardeners and greeners. By coordinating the resources available in our city, CGRN creates a comprehensive and consistent network so it’s easier to maintain the valuable green spaces in our communities.

There will be four CGRN sites around the city. At these sites, CGRN hosts for its members:

  • Four annual Give-Away Days (providing seeds, compost, vegetable seedlings, bulbs, perennial flowers)
  • Tool Banks with hand tools to borrow
  • Workshops held by gardeners and Baltimore City greening organizations on gardening and greening related topics.

CGRN also provides to its members a 20% discount on renting power equipment, the “See Green” Newsletter (with a shared calendar of events, articles and more), networking opportunities, and annual celebrations.

CGRN is accepting applications for 2009 this fall! It is $10 for a year for a Community Garden Membership and $5 for an Individual Membership. You can find an application and more info at, or contact Sarah Krones at Parks & People Foundation at 410-448-5663 x 114,