Winners of Growing Green Design Competition Announced

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Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
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IMAGE: Mayor Rawlings-Blake poses with Turtle, mascot of the Growing Green Initiative

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Winners of Growing Green Design Competition

Seven Projects Selected to Participate in City's First Growing Green Competition

BALTIMORE, Md. (September 17, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officials from Baltimore City's Department of Planning and Department of Public Works, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to announce the winners of the Growing Green Design Competition: Vacant Lots Transformed. The seven winning projects were awarded close to $300,000 to design and construct their concepts in Baltimore City neighborhoods.

The Growing Green Design Competition, launched in May in conjunction with the Growing Green Initiative, was created as an opportunity for community groups, design firms, nonprofits, and private partners to showcase innovative ideas for transforming vacant lots and blighted properties in Baltimore City communities. Projects were informed by The Green Pattern Book—the Growing Green Initiative tool used to guide the greening of vacant land. The book outlines eight different project types, or "patterns," for stabilizing and re-using vacant land while reducing stormwater runoff and providing community benefits such as urban agriculture or green space.

"We launched our Growing Green Initiative and this competition to spark interest and share ideas for community-based green infrastructure," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Our goal in creating the Green Pattern Book was to give communities a place to start and to save them time and energy by identifying practices that are relevant in transforming underserved communities in our vibrant city."

In total, more than 100 community activists attended the award announcement at Cylburn Arboretum. During the event, partners, funders, and government officials were able to speak with the winners to see what their proposals will accomplish for the City of Baltimore.

"EPA's support of this competition is a good example of how we are collaborating with local leaders and organizations to make a visible difference in the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "Funding these seven projects will help communities enhance the beauty and economic vitality of their neighborhoods, while also helping tackle environmental challenges such as stormwater runoff and the impacts of climate change."

The Chesapeake Bay Trust, a nonprofit organization that awards grants to advance green infrastructure and improve community engagement in environmental issues, managed the applications and organized the selection process.

"Every year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust manages hundreds of grants that seek to better our neighborhoods and improve local water quality," said Jana Davis, executive 1director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. "The Growing Green Design Competition will transform the environment of several communities in Baltimore, providing brand new, rare green spaces and benefitting local residents and visitors for years to come."

The Growing Green Design Competition winning projects are:

Civic Works, Dayspring Green Parking Lot ($50,000)

This project will transform the Dayspring Green Parking Lot into a pocket park with usable space for visitors and locals. The project will provide artfully designed, communal green space that will decrease storm water runoff, increase filtration for water contaminants, remove impervious surfaces, and serve as a model for other green parking sites.  

Jane's House of Inspiration, The A-MAZE-N Recovery Fruit Garden ($43,590)

The A-MAZE-N Recovery Fruit Garden aims to build a garden on an abandoned lot in northeast Baltimore. The main objectives of this project are to increase access to fresh food for residents, to educate community members about healthy food choices, and to beautify the neighborhood.

Hollins Roundhouse Association, community green space ($13,010)

This project entails repurposing two vacant corner lots into a green space that can be used for passive recreation by community members as well as a public arts and entertainment space while providing storm water management.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, stormwater and beautification effort ($56,450)

The project focuses on impervious surface removal, pollutant load reduction, and the restoration of native plants. The stormwater efforts will result in 242,000 fewer gallons runoff annually and will beautify the area, resulting in a significant community transformation.

Civic Works, The Gateway Garden ($15,800)

The Gateway Garden will be an ornamental, interactive ecological community green space. Main project objectives include stormwater filtration and runoff management, drinking water filtration, the creation of a welcoming entrance to the community, a children's walk-through to school, a wildlife habitat, an educational demonstration garden, and a showcase for public art.

Real Food Farm, Flower Factory at Broadway East ($63,800)

Real Food Farm's Flower Factory at Broadway East employs community-minded design principles to integrate stormwater management and a new brand of urban agriculture: cut flower production. The Flower Factory will provide passersby—residents and visitors alike—with a welcoming introduction to the neighborhood.

Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Peace Park ($49,700)

This project seeks to redevelop two adjacent lots to create a Peace Park, helping to revitalize the community. This project will unite a cross-section of partners to create a colorful, functional, environmentally conscious and sustainable site that will serve as a gathering place for members of the community.

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