Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This past Saturday, Mt Clair St Garden had their second work day! We had about 22 volunteers come to assist in the planting of trees, trash clean up, and garden clean up. It was a successful day as over ten trees were planted in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Jane, Bill, and several volunteers cleaned up the inside of the garden. We composted the leaves that were collected in and around the garden.

Cassandra and volunteers cleaned up broken glass from her sculpture. They also cleaned up some trash that had been dumped near the garden.

Tree that was planted through the Love Your Block with Trees grant.

Thanks for all of your hard work and enthusiasm, Mt Clair St!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pratt Street Communal Farm

The Fells Point Farm Project’s first farm location is at 1639 E Pratt Street. 
They used their Home Depot gift card to create raised beds for the Pratt Street Communal Farm- 
look at those lovely little nasturtiums!
Fun Fact- they are adopt a lot neighbors with Treefill Baltimore, an organization working to create an urban forest right across the street.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mt Clair St Moves Their Pond!

This past weekend, the Mt Clair St garden had a work day with the intention of moving and revamping a pond that has been in the garden for some time. It was a challenge, but with help from members of the garden and city volunteers, the day was a great success!

(Jamie shin deep in water moving the pond lining!)

The chickens kept us company while we moved and filled the pond! We also cleaned up leaves around the garden and weeded the pathways. 
Adam made a delicious chili and corn bread lunch for all who helped out. Thanks Adam!!

Mt Clair St will have another work day in December to re draw the garden plots. Thanks for all of the hard work and dedication that you bring to your community!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Art Garden in Hollins Market!

Cassandra Kapsos and her husband Eric have recently begun a vacant lot project in Hollins Market! As an artist herself, Cassandra has the goal of turning their space into a public art and green space. She has already installed some of her own artwork into the garden.

When I asked Eric what kind of impact he though the garden was having on the community, he told me something interesting. “We had a part of our garden that we called the untouched triangle.  In this spot we didn't cut down the weeds or throw away the trash.  It was very obvious that people would throw more trash into the untouched triangle than they would our kept up area.  People seem to respect the work that we do there and in turn they respect this small part of the neighborhood better than they otherwise would.”

This couple is clearly having a positive impact on their community. They have been awarded the “Love Your Block with Trees” grant and will receive about seven trees to plant in their garden and in tree pits in the surrounding area.

Cassandra has had a difficult time finding artists to display their artwork due to the not for profit nature of the exhibit. Any artists interested in displaying their work can contact Cassandra at cassandrakapsos@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Whitridge Garden

A small stretch of Greenmount Avenue in the Harwood neighborhood is looking a little greener these days thanks to some dedicated local residents. Residents of the 400 block of Whitridge Ave. gathered last weekend to transform a vacant lot on the corner of Whitridge and Greenmount into a new neighborhood garden. After obtaining a $500 Home Depot gift card as part of the Love Your Block grant,  project leader Amanda Ruthven was able to buy soil, paving stones, and mulch for the lot. Native plants and shrubs were purchased from the Herring Run Nursery, a native plant nursery run by Blue Water Baltimore. On the workday, dozens of neighborhood residents worked the entire day to clean up the lot, dig up the grass, and install the garden. The stars of the workday were the neighborhood kids who helped out all day, and who unanimously agreed that "its fun to play in the dirt." By turning a trash strewn vacant lot into a neighborhood green space, the Whitridge Avenue Community Garden is a testament to how even the smallest projects can have a big impact on a neighborhood.

hauling dirt

putting in the plants
kids helping out

Monday, September 17, 2012

Community Pumpkin and Cabbage Patch

Carmine Garden

Carmine Garden of Franklintown was recently awarded a Love Your Block grant through Power in Dirt to add community pumpkin and cabbage patches to their wonderful garden. The garden, on the 5100 block of Carmine Avenue, has been growing for years under the faithful guidance of Christina Kirkland.

Pumpkin Patch
The pumpkin and cabbage patches will provide food and fun for the neighborhood kids who help out with gardening all year long.

Cabbage Patch

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tree of Life

Minister Lisa Kim has adopted a lot on the bustling corner of North Ave and Collington. 
She has been conducting all her services outside on this lot.
 Additionally,  Minister Kim and Colleen Spriggs hold multiple food and clothing give away days on the space. Many members of the community assist with maintenance such as grass cutting, but they desire more funding to edge the space with roses and/or a fence. Filling in empty tree pits would also give a sense of serenity to the garden. The largest necessity is some form of cover for the approaching winter season.

The Lot.

The community secures these lawn chairs on the space for services.

Minister Kim with members of the Tree of Life ministry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meet the Power in Dirt Team- Kristen!

Kristen is a recent graduate of Hood College with degrees in Law & Society and Studio Art. She is excited to get other programs involved with Power in Dirt and hopes to do some work on murals while helping communities turn their neighborhoods into beautiful and safe places to be!
Kristen represents South/SouthWest Baltimore. She works out of Bon Secours at 26 N Fulton Ave and can be reached at kristen@powerindirt.com or 410-362-3185.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pen Lucy Gets a New Pocket Park!

On Saturday July 28th, residents of the North Baltimore neighborhood of Pen-Lucy came together with volunteers from across Maryland to help transform a vacant lot in their neighborhood. The lot, located at the intersection of Frisby St. and Argonne Drive just east of Greenmount Ave., has been vacant and weed-filled for decades. However, the lot is large, flat, and located on a prominent location right at the entrance to the community. Recognizing this potential, members of the Pen-Lucy Action Network, a neighborhood improvement organization affiliated with the Faith Christian Fellowship, got together to transform the lot into a green space that the entire community could enjoy. Spearheaded by Tim Cannon, PLAN created a proposal to turn the lot into a small neighborhood "pocket park" that would both beautify the neighborhood and create a community space for everyone to enjoy. On Saturday the first step was taken towards this goal, as volunteers cleaned trash and brush from the lot, cut the grass, and started to install a split-rail fence around the property. Another work day is planned for September to continue on the progress that was made in July. While plenty of work remains to be done, the Frisby St. lot already exemplifies the way that hardworking, committed neighbors can help to transform their community.
the lot

volunteers start to clean brush and debris from the back of the lot
 starting to build the fence
 a neighbor and his dog already enjoying the lot
The finished product! Next step, plants, benches, and a walkway!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Meet the Power in Dirt Team -- Ellen!

Ellen Meyer hails from the rough and tumble land of Central NY. She recently graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Environmental Economics. She is enjoying living in Baltimore and can't wait to help turn vacant lots into green spaces!

Ellen represents West/Northwest Baltimore. She works out of Parks and People Foundation at
800 Wyman Park Dr., Suite 010. She can be reached at (410) 929-5605 or ellen@powerindirt.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outdoor Films and Vegetables- Oh my!

Estelle and Tony Goff have recently brought their creativity to Baltimore from Washington DC! Already having landscaping backgrounds, they adopted two city owned vacant lots on Monroe in West Baltimore. The plan is to create a beautiful vegetable garden and to sell some of the produce at The New Fayette Street Deli and Market through the owner, David Brown, giving back to the West Baltimore community.

Great progress has been made so far! A raised bed has been installed and many flowers have been planted at the entrance of the garden. The Goffs are also getting creative and using recycled bricks to create columns at the entrance.

In addition to the garden, the Goffs have partnered with Fayette Street Outreach Organization in order to create an outdoor movie theatre on the lot behind theirs on Vine Street. A large white wall is available that can be used to project films and bring the community together, much like in Little Italy! Their first showing will be on August 7th, National Night Out, from 5:00pm-midnight.

Meet the Power in Dirt Team -- Joe!

Joe is joining Power in Dirt from Virginia where he grew up and went to school. Joe graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in architecture and is excited to branch out and explore community greening. Joe is interested in the idea of public space and the ways that gathering places, parks, and gardens can help to build community and bring neighborhoods together.

Joe represents North Baltimore from the Alameda to Pimlico Road. He works out of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation at 3503 N. Charles St. He can be reached at (443)826-9170 or joe@powerindirt.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sol Food at Exeter Gardens

A roving band of vagabonds arrived at Exeter Gardens (see previous post) this past friday! Sol Food is a skilled team four friends on a greening tour across the country. 

Their mission statement-

"Sol Food advocates for locally grown food and alternative energy sources. Through a series of educational workshops and exhibitions our goal is to empower under-represented communities, from kindergarten to young adults, with hands-on practice in square foot gardening, creative reuse, and non-traditional energy sources. Sol Food’s national tour is focused on promoting individual education hoping to encourage a broader range of healthy and responsible ecological choices that lead to more sustainable lifestyles. "

On the work day,  Sol Food  set about installing plants grown in the back of their own veggie oil powered tour bus (with a green roof, of course!) The plants were put in raised beds that were built on site. They also created a street mural with kids from the neighborhood. 
Lucky Jonestown!

A peek inside the bus......

Cucumbers growing inside!

PID Coordinator Gigi Rosen with Sol Food's Dylan Hammond.

PID Coordinator Joe Huennekens inspects the bus greenhouse.

Raised beds boarder Exeter Gardens.

Street mural done by neighborhood kids.

Follow Sol Food' journey:

Exeter Gardens:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meet the Power in Dirt Team - Jeff!

Jeff is excited to be joining the Power in Dirt team from Burlington, Vermont. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a major in geography and minors in geology and music. His interest in the greening movement of Baltimore began as he spent his last semester (remotely) analyzing and mapping Baltimore green spaces. After studying Baltimore from afar, it is exciting to be a part of the city. Jeff is interested in working with members of the community to make their vacant lot dreams come true.

Jeff Botula coordinates the Northeastern, Southeastern, and Central areas of Baltimore. He works out of the Parks and People offices near Druid Hill Park. You can reach him at jeff@powerindirt.com or (410) 448-5663 ext. 122.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Open Walls Baltimore

Friday, May 25 2012 was the opening celebration for Open Walls Baltimore. Open Walls Baltimore is a street art project curated by local street artist Gaia and Station North Arts District. With the help of PNC bank Baltimore has seen street art murals go up in and around the Station North Arts District vicinity. Created by street artists from around the world, Open Walls Baltimore uses art as a neighborhood revitalization tool, stimulating dialogue about urban blight, abandoned buildings, and what makes community. 

The event on Friday evening was possible in part due to Power in Dirt's efforts! The event was held on an adopted vacant lot on the 1700 blk of Barclay. We were so excited to be at the event, and we had a lot of fun and met many wonderful people!

 Executive Director of Station North Arts District Ben Stone introduced the event and some of the artists present at the event. After, our own Power in Dirt VISTA Anna Evans-Goldstein got up on stage to explain how if we can re-imagine a vacant lot (or an empty wall?) as a positive space for creation instead of a negative eyesore in our community by adopting it and turning into a green space - well then Baltimore will be a beautiful city and a leader in neighborhood revitalization!

Please see some of the pictures from the event below and check us out at www.powerindirt.com

Check out our new banner!

The crowd is forming...

A wonderful community garden on the other side of some trees from the adopted lot that held the event

They even have a chicken coop! The City recently have written into the new zoning code regulations about owning chickens in the City - so cool!

Everyone excited for the music to start! Mark Brown, Scottie B, and Dan Deacon played!

Hanging out before the dancing begins!

Boy, what a crowd! 

Thanks a lot!

Written by Anna Evans-Goldstein of Power in Dirt

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CGRN Give-A-Way Day

Friday, May 18th, was a Community Greening Resource Network give-a-way day in the parking lot across from the Parks and People Foundation.
What a variety of treats for the lucky greener!

There was soil,

Fruit trees and ornamental shrubs,


and many, many, many vegetable plants!

All for an annual membership fee of 20.00 and there will be more events just like this to follow. CGRN also offers various workshops and celebrations throughout the year. Through the organization, you can meet people who are as passionate about greening as you are~!

If you'd like more information about CGRN,
 please email the amazing Katie Dix or call Katie at (410) 448-5663, ext. 128.