Investing in the Benefits of Green Infrastructure
At the June 15 press conference, Blue Water Baltimore staff was proud to stand with community leaders and Deputy Secretary Joanne M. Throwe from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to celebrate progress on implementing green infrastructure on North Avenue and in surrounding neighborhoods.
At Blue Water Baltimore, we pride ourselves in listening and learning to what is most desired in our communities. This project was identified by community leaders as a major priority in the West North Avenue Streetscape Conceptual Master Plan developed by the Neighborhood Design Center.
Once completed, the total project will include 450 new street trees and the removal of .75 acres of concrete along West North Avenue. The 183 trees already planted have had measurable impacts on the community, including slowing and absorbing stormwater runoff, filtering pollution, and beautifying the community.
Several instrumental individuals spoke at the press conference on Wednesday including Deputy Secretary Joanne M. Throwe, Blue Water Baltimore Executive Director Halle Van der Gaag, and Druid Heights Community Development Corporation Roscoe Johnson.
In her remarks, Executive Director Halle Van der Gaag said that green infrastructure is an important tool in community re-investment and in building a healthier, more equitable city, noting that we must be doing more in East and West Baltimore, not just downtown by the waterfront.
This project has been a tremendous partnership effort, with resources and investment from both state and local levels. Instrumental community leaders involved include Roscoe Johnson, Druid Heights CDC, Sandra Almond-Cooper, Mondawmin Neighborhood Association, Adeline Hutchinson, Robert W. Coleman, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, Pastor Keith Bailey, and the Fulton Heights Community Organization.
State Delegates Antonio Hayes and Brooke Lierman, along with Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby helped Blue Water Baltimore to achieve funding for this project from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, Baltimore City, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
More Exciting News
Not only was it a great day to celebrate this important effort along North Avenue, but Blue Water Baltimore is also pleased to announce we will be awarded an additional $500,000 for street tree work and community forestry in the coming year!
We look forward to working with more communities to reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and beautify our communities.