Love Your Block With Trees: Funded Project Spotlight
Meet 3 of our Love Your Block With Trees Fall 2012 Grant Recipients:
- Tree of Life Garden Ministry has been around for 5 years. It is a faith based program that brings peace of mind through worship, song, and fellowship in an outdoor environment. The ministry began in Frankford Rehabilitation Center and then moved in to Duncan St. Miracle Garden in winter of 2008. This May 2012, the Ministry moved to a lot it adopted in East Baltimore. The lot is three parcels wide and is on the corner of East North Ave and North Collington Ave. Food is handed out, clothes are given away, and everyone sings together each Sunday for services. Minister Lisa Kim, the leader of the organization, says that every week new people come to have an open mind and enjoy the space. Since the Love Your Block with Trees Program began, the group received six trees and over 50 perennials. Minister Kim says the plants and trees help lead people to the ministry and create a stronger community. This winter the group has slowed outdoor services and will worship again early next year.
- Peace Garden in Forest Park The WWFF-BOC Community Organization is restoring a blighted Peace Garden in Forest Park. The goal is to make the Peace Garden available to the community as a place for neighborhood cookouts, fundraisers, music, spoken word, and other community activities. Volunteers have removed a great deal of overgrown brush and trash as well as planted over 50 plants and 4 trees. The group used the soil and native plants from the Love Your Block with Trees Program to revitalize the area around the Peace Garden's iconic sign and planted trees along the northwest corner of the lot to provide shade for the neighborhood gathering space. The project has already brought the community together through volunteer days and the corner store has provided drinks for all volunteers on work days.
- Man Alive and Neighborhood Design Center The addiction recovery center Man Alive, in collaboration with the Neighborhood Design Center, used the Love Your Block with Tree’s Program to kick start their ambitious plans for 2004-12 N. Charles Street. Man Alive first adopted a lot on Charles Street in 2011, eventually adopting three more, and working to maintain and care for the lots while a plan was generated. While excitement for the project was great amongst the clients and staff, the project faced a series of obstacles in the first year and a plan was never fully developed. In the summer of 2012, with help from the Neighborhood Design Center, the garden committee coalesced around a plan for a grove of fruit and flowering trees that would act as a memorial orchard. The Love Your Block with Tree’s Program allowed Man Alive patients and staff to get a head start on their plan by planting native perennials in a designated meadow area and street trees in vacant street tree pits in front of the center. After almost a year of planning it was great to see tangible improvements on the lot, and excitement for the project has continued to build among clients and staff. The project also continues to attract attention from pedestrians and community members who pass by on Charles Street. The proposed orchard has already started to act as catalyst for neighborhood change by bringing together elements of the community who never interact otherwise.