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Baltimore Picnic to Stop the Global Frackdown

If you're concerned about fracking, come learn more and meet fellow fracktivists this Saturday in Charles Village, 12-1pm. It's a pot luck picnic. Part of the Global Frack Down happening across the world.

Saturday, September 22, 2012
12:00pm until 1:00pm in EDT

Abell Open Space - 32nd Street between Abell Ave. and Guilford Ave.
Join Food & Water Watch and Environment Maryland for a potluck picnic to Stop the Global Frackdown!

Come learn about fracking, what it could mean for Maryland and Baltimore, and find out how you can help stop it before it starts!

If you can, please bring something for the potluck.

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Big Bad Corn

If you’ve ever creeped your way through a corn maze at Halloween, you know how it can grab ahold of your imagination, turning benign stalks into monsters and discarded cobs into severed limbs. It’s just a trick of the light–but take a look at the ways that the U.S. uses corn, and you’ll see that a holiday thrill isn’t the scariest thing about this product. It was first subsidized in the late ‘70s as a fossil fuel alternative, but it’s turned out to be inefficient source of fuel. Not only that, ethanol from corn actually increases the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a higher rate than gasoline. Yet, the U.S. pays $10 to $30 billion dollars each years in farm subsidies to raise even more of it, with no clear benefit to consumers. So every time you eat a pound of corn products–which statistics say you will do 37 times over this year alone–remember this graphic, which was created so you can learn stuff about the effects of corn, America’s biggest agricultural product.
Big Bad Corn
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Trash Bash 2012

Trash Bash 2012 hosted by Blue Water Baltimore
Hosted by Blue Water Baltimore, the Trash Bash is a popular fundraiser that is all about food, live music, and fun.
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Where: Nick’s Fish House, 2600 Insulator Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21230
  • Grille, pasta and veggie fare
  • Beer, wine, plus a signature cocktail
  • Reusable keepsake glass
  • Live music
  • Silent auction and raffles
  • All with a waterfront view
Blue Water Baltimore’s mission is clean water. They run programs that approach the problem of water pollution from many angles:
  • Education and outreach to youth and communities
  • Helping community groups, churches, schools and businesses with their own clean water initiatives
  • Helping homeowners purchase and install rain barrels and/or rain gardens
  • Trash pickup events
  • Tree plantings
  • Pavement reduction
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Baltimore Harbor’s Waterkeeper
  • Storm drain art and stenciling (to remind the public not to dump waste into storm drains)
  • Herring Run Nursery
But that’s not all they do! Visit their website to learn more.
Help support BWB by buying a ticket and having a good time at Trash Bash 2012.
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10 Communities and Organizations Selected for Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Funding during Green Jobs Training Event

(Baltimore, MD – June 27, 2012) Today the Chesapeake Bay Trust, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of the Environment announced the recipients of $376,000 in grant funding through EPA’s Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns initiative. This program was created to advance watershed protection, community livability, and economic vitality throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the development of stormwater management techniques, green jobs creation and enhanced resident livability. The 10 selected recipients comprise a diverse group of municipalities and organizations that are committed to investing in green infrastructure to improve the environmental quality of life in their communities as well as create green jobs to benefit their local economy.

“The City of Baltimore greatly supports urban greening efforts that not only enhance the beauty of a local community, but also improve livability and create jobs,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are honored to have two of these grants awarded today to organizations right here in Baltimore that are accomplishing great ‘green’ things for our city.”

The full press release: <a href="http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/0310b277270748ea85257a2a006abf7d?OpenDocument">http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/0310b277270748ea85257a2a006abf7d?OpenDocument</a>;
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Is placemaking a "new environmentalism"?

[B'Spokes: I'll note that in my opinion in successful place making you'll see cyclists, they may not be central to the design but they will be present. My assertion is that a place needs to focus on accommodating people and when there is a balance between accommodating pedestrians and cars, cyclists fit in comfortably as well.]
from Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Can placemaking - in short, the building or strengthing of physical community fabric to create great human habitat - be a “new environmentalism”?  The question is posed by a provocative short essay, which I first discovered last summer.  Written by Ethan Kent of the Project for Public Spaces, the article has recently resurfaced, perhaps in honor of yesterday’s celebration of Earth Day.  The essay influenced my own writing last year (“The importance of place to sustainability”), and I’m returning to it today because the issues Ethan has raised continue to be important.

My answer, by the way, is a qualified yes:  creating the right kinds of places for people, particularly at the neighborhood scale, has indeed become a new approach to environmentalism and one to which I am deeply committed.  But I qualify my answer because placemaking is by no means the only important aspect of today’s environmentalism (not that Ethan suggested that).  In addition, I think the physcal building of community can become even stronger as an environmental tool by becoming somewhat more explicitly environmental in its content.  I’ll get into all that in a minute.


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A Look at How Green Infrastructure Can Save Municipalities Money and Provide Economic Benefits Community-wide.

[B' Spokes: Sometimes you run into a group that opposes bike trails because of impervious surface and storm water run off, well this goes through the major issues and bike trails is one solution and not a problem, at least not like things we do with storm water as a matter of routine. Read the report on how we can go green and save money.]

<a href="http://www.americanrivers.org/assets/pdfs/reports-and-publications/banking-on-green-report.pdf">http://www.americanrivers.org/assets/pdfs/reports-and-publications/banking-on-green-report.pdf</a>;
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