A Community Effort to Be the First Climate-Resilient Block in Baltimore A Community Effort to Be the First Climate-Resilient Block in Baltimore
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A Community Effort to Be the First Climate-Resilient Block in Baltimore

by Jonathan Erwin

September 19, 2013

To kick off the efforts this summer, we have begun repurposing an underused community garden into a low-maintenance rain garden. Over the years, outside organizations have come in to create a space, only to leave soon after. With a lack of long term motivation and community ownership, the community garden fell quickly and became overgrown, which attracted illegal dumping and rats. Learning from past mistakes, we are taking a different approach.

Through community workdays and collaborative planning, we are making sure that residents are involved with what they want on their blockā€”and helping to build it. Through this process, the garden will also help: with storm water mediation, by increasing the amount of permeable surfaces in the area; by providing water for other greening projects or a back-up supply in case of disaster, through water collection off of neighboring roofs; and by offering further education on climate resilient strategies in the neighborhood.

During the next year, I am continuing to work with residents to develop strategies that are effective and sustainable in the long-term. I hope to merge together many programs and services available in the area and create new solutions for unthought-of challenges. By focusing on the community side of climate change, I plan for my work to become a model for the greater region of Baltimore. Be sure to follow my work over the coming year here on good.is or at micasocialstudio.com.

Images courtesy of Vincent Purcell

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A Community Effort to Be the First Climate-Resilient Block in Baltimore