Friday, May 11, 2012

Park-Reist Corridor Coalition Garden

April 21st, 2012: 
The Mayor’s Clean-Up was a success with her highlighting three Power in Dirt projects in east, northeast, and south Baltimore . As the Northwest Community Coordinator, the days leading up to that Saturday were much anticipated as well as nerve wrecking. The project coordinator at Park-Reist Corridor Coalition and I woke up around 6am to set up for that days events.
On the days preceding the clean-up we had been confident about having sufficient supplies, food, and materials. The one thing we had been most gravely worried about was having enough volunteers. Luckily, local drug recovery organization I Can’t, We Can was able to pitch in and provide around 15 volunteers for the project that day.
With all the good news it was to no one's surprise that there are was a few things that didn’t go exactly as planned. For one, we had expected to have the grass removed from the portion of the lot that would be a garden; unfortunately that was not the case. Instead we worked on through and attempted Plan B – suffocate the grass by laying down newspaper and layer wood chips on top. While at first we may have felt a little silly but the plan paid off and we were able to create our entire garden and walkway this way.
Just as our group started getting into the groove of things, news crew arrived around 11am to interview Park-Reist Garden Coordinator Akilah Rabb about her positive experience in transforming the vacant lot, really lifting the mood of all the volunteers present that day. And just as we thought things couldn’t look better the Mayor showed up to help with an apple tree planting. The presence of outsiders like the Mayor and the news station only reinforced the positive energy present that day and sent the message to the community around that you CAN in fact make a difference in Park Heights . The event brought everyone in the neighborhood together, sharing hot dogs and drinks while planting seedlings in new raised topsoil - an overall success!


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