Green Network: Greening Strategies

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Greening Strategies

Greening Strategies may range from short-term efforts to clean, "green," and maintain vacant lots in anticipation of future development, to consolidating and improving lots as permanent open space. Neighborhood groups have a variety of options available to them for making vacant lots attractive, useful, and more in line with the needs and vision of their residents. Both the process of developing the community’s vision and the benefit of replacing vacant lots with new green spaces have value for retaining residents in neighborhoods seeking to reverse the cycle of disinvestment and demolition.

Together, these Greening Strategies help stabilize neighborhoods and ensure that a community’s vision and buy-in are embedded in greening efforts:

  • Temporary Greening – Neighborhood groups may collaborate with the City on interim arrangements to beautify and maintain vacant lots while seeking to have the lots developed for other uses. An example is four greened lots in the 800 blocks of Harlem and Edmondson Avenues. Upton Planning Committee maintains these lots as open space available to the community, while working to develop them for new infill housing over the long term. 
  • Community-Managed Green Space – Community-managed green spaces include memorial parks, community gardens, and urban farms. These new uses are among the long-term greening projects maintained by neighborhood residents throughout Baltimore. Community-based organizations may purchase lots from the City to ensure they will not be developed, or they may have them preserved as open space through a land trust, such as the program operated by Baltimore Green Space (see link to website).
  • Technical Assistance – A key component of the Green Network initiative is providing help for community groups in finding resources and understanding the process of creating and maintaining green spaces in their neighborhoods. This includes:
    • Grant Workshops – Open to neighborhood associations and stewardship groups, sessions led by Green Network staff explore options to fund the various stages in the greening process.
    • Connecting to Resources – Green Network staff help groups find free and low-cost resources for their projects, such as mulch, equipment rentals, design services, and water for plantings.
    • Coordinating with City Agencies – Green Network staff help communities navigate City processes and services, such as securing right-of-way agreements, participating in the Adopt-a-Lot program, using public water supplies, and working with the City’s forestry program for planting and pruning street trees.

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