Friday, February 17, 2012

Potential in Park Heights

Amidst all the blight the neighborhood of Park Heights, with attributes like Pimlico Race Course, Cylburn Arboretum, and Druid Hill Park, has appeared to have fallen from grace. Dilapidated homes that once showcased well-manicured lawns and quant cobblestone porches have become havens for nefarious activity. Its tree lined streets give a shadow of what the Park Heights community once was, a safe haven for well to-do Baltimore residents. Sadly, recent statistics show otherwise. In 2009, approximately 1/3 of residents were juveniles arrested for drug related offenses.With about half of all residents coming from broken homes where domestic violence is a common occurrence, it is no wonder how they are funneled into criminal activity.

Studies show that negative environments, like those currently present in Park Heights, may continue promoting the chaos that currently exists.By mitigating such negative environmental factors, negative consequences like crime and violence may also drop. Recently, the Mayor’s office has created an initiative called Power in Dirt, which focuses on empowering community members interested in revitalizing a vacant lot. Over time the goal is to reclaim many of these beautiful neighborhoods, like Park Heights, and make them into communities that are once again safe to walk through.

Park Heights, with all of its assets has the potential of once again becoming something great. Just imagine creating a fruit orchard or vegetable garden and making an extra income by selling it at the Pimlico Farmer’s Market. Or perhaps, enhancing an educational program at a Park Heights school by incorporating an outdoor science lab? Or instead making an outdoor theatre and picnic area for Park Heights community events? The sky is the limit and Power in Dirt coordinators are here to help free of charge!

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