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Young farmers in Baltimore, Sep 15

Hi Baltimore Spokes folks
 - here are details for our young farmers urban farm tour, lectures, film screening...
i think Bikers in the city will be interested in coming out.
Please share widely with your networks, facebook, twitter, calendar, etc...
Thanks. Hope to see you there!
Patrick Kiley, greenhorns
Patrick Kiley, Greenhorns
 land: 845-889-3132 


Schedule at 

Urban Farmers to Assemble in Baltimore for Workshops and Farm Tours

All-day Event Will Advance Next-level Thinking in Urban Agriculture and Brownfields Uses

BALTIMORE, MD – A fast-growing and enterprising community of young and aspiring urban farmers will join researchers, environmental professionals, and city and federal health officials for a day of hands-on workshops, lectures and farm tours on September 15 in Baltimore. Introductory training in the wide field of urban agriculture and community food issues will form the core of the day’s programming. An additional focus will be the potential to use agriculture to revitalize thousands of acres of brownfields (former industrial sites) in the city. This event is being organized by 
The Greenhorns
The day will kick off at Five Seeds Farm in the Belair-Edison neighborhood at 10am, then move to Real Food Farm in Clifton Park in Northeast Baltimore. Participants will be encouraged to bike between urban farms and other sites. A full schedule is available at www.thegreenhorns.net/baltimore
Baltimore has seen a rise in the number of urban farms in recent years. The city’s Office of Sustainability now hopes to turn 10 acres of city-owned vacant lots into farmland though competitive grant giving. Baltimore is an EPA-certified "Brownfields Showcase Community" with at least 1,000 brownfields that total 2,500 acres. Because the city has lost more than half of its manufacturing jobs in the last 20 years and has a poverty rate of 23 percent and unemployment rate of more than 10 percent, the state’s goal is to create 100,000 green jobs here by 2015. The Greenhorns has organized the day to empower residents and officials to make community agriculture part of that future. This event is FREE and open to everyone.
Partners include the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, MICA, the Baltimore Free School, Five Seeds Farm, Real Food Farm, Civic Works, Boone St. Farm and Community Garden, Seed & Cycle, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, and the EPA Office of Brownfields & Land Revitalization.
Scott Kellogg, author of The Toolbox for Sustainable City Living and founder of the Rhizome Collective and the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, will lead a presentation about ecological tools and technologies that can be used to regenerate urban environments.
The second half of the day will begin at the Baltimore Free school with the “Greenhorns 101” class, led by Greenhorns founder and director Severine von Tscharner Fleming, on planning for a first season of farming.  
Concluding the day is a panel discussion followed by a free screening of “The Greenhorns” documentary about the struggle and valor of young farmers in America, at MICA (1300 Mt. Royal Ave, Room M110).

Schedule at www.thegreenhorns.net/baltimore

The Greenhorns
national non-profit organization recruits, supports and promotes young farmers in America. 
Using radio, blogs, film, new media, original resources and live events, the Greenhorns build agrarian culture by connecting young farmers with land, resources and each other. We are based on a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York

+++The Greenhorns+++
an american agricultural revival

www.thegreenhorns.net | www.thegreenhorns.wordpress.com
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SHA vs local farmer

Of all the agencies who I would think would have control over this issue, State Highways is the last one that would come to mind. SHA says "Safety concerns" farmer says in the 10 years of operating there hasn't been a single accident. Of course SHA knows all about safety having in those same 10 years brought Maryland pedestrian fatality rate from near average to be a contender for the highest fatality rate in the nation. [/sarcasm]

For me this underscores the issue at SHA, they would rather kick off legitimate road users (and side of road users) then accommodate them. Make things safer if they think it is unsafe, it's that simple. Kicking off otherwise permitted users is just the wrong type of thinking.

Petition: <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-md-bring-country-thyme-back-to-its-river-road-location">http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-md-bring-country-thyme-back-to-its-river-road-location</a>;

More info: <a href="http://wamu.org/news/11/08/12/marylands_highway_administration_wants_small_farm_stand_out.php">http://wamu.org/news/11/08/12/marylands_highway_administration_wants_small_farm_stand_out.php</a>;
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Trees Before Grand Prix

‎&quot;The race has turned the downtown into what feels like a prison, with tall steel walls and concrete barriers everywhere. And without trees for shade and for beauty the city feels more oppresive. The beautiful downotwn, the gem of the city, is being turned into a racetrack. City planner Jane Jacobs pointed out that human scale cities work best, this is going in the opposite direction.&quot;

by Danielle Shapiro

Oppose tree cutting and sign the petition (almost 4,000 now) <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/trees-before-grand-prix">http://www.change.org/petitions/trees-before-grand-prix</a>;

To be fair the city says there will be more trees planted but the deal is not finalized: <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110803211936335">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110803211936335</a>;

Expounding on what is essentially summarized above <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/david-troy/remarks-about-injunction-illegal-removal-of-trees-by-baltimore-city-and-baltimor/10150252758544503">https://www.facebook.com/notes/david-troy/remarks-about-injunction-illegal-removal-of-trees-by-baltimore-city-and-baltimor/10150252758544503</a>;
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Daily Blue Water Baltimore Vote Reminder

From Sustainable Stormwater Management

Last week we were involved in a pavement removal project at a school in Hampden to help out Blue Water Baltimore.  Post on that coming soon.

Now they have the opportunity to win money to do it more:

Blue Water Baltimore’s campaign to de-pave our city school grounds has been selected as a finalist in Tom’s of Maine 50 States for Good competition.  If they win, they get $50k!  Five runners up get $20k each.  It would be would greatly appreciated if you could vote for BWB every day from now until Sept. 13 at www.50statesforgood.com.

Even better, please help BWB go viral by sending this out to any and all business associates, friends, family and by posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc.This could mean big press for Baltimore greening efforts, and a lot more projects that will dramatically reduce  stormwater runoff and transform parking lots into vibrant outdoor  classrooms.

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City: Grand Prix to plant many more trees than it cuts

By by Tim Wheeler - Baltimore Sun

city official is defending allowing the Baltimore Grand Prix to cut down trees along the Inner Harbor race course, saying organizers have agreed to replace those trees nearly four times over, more than tripling the downtown's tree canopy in the process.

Beth Strommen, director of Baltimore's Office of Sustainability says she negotiated a deal with organizers of the Labor Day weekend street race, in which they got to cut down fewer than half the trees they originally wanted to remove to improve spectators' views of the racing.

Only 50 trees are to be cut down along the race course on West Pratt and Light streets, said Strommen - not the 136 that Lonnie Fisher, assistant Grand Prix general manager had told The Baltimore Sun on Monday.  Strommen, who spoke by telephone while vacationing in New Jersey, said she could not explain the discrepancy, but said she had confirmed the city's agreement with the race by phone Tuesday.

News of the tree cutting has upset some residents, who contend that it violates the city's forest conservation code (Article 7, Natural Resources) and is at odds with the city's sustainability plan, which calls for doubling Baltimore's tree canopy by 2037.  

Critics have begun circulating an online petition calling for a halt to any more race-related tree cutting until the plan is fully aired and each tree to be removed identified, as required by city code. Petition drafter Dave Troy contended in an email that the plan for cutting and replacing trees because of the race was "haphazard" and "shoved down the throat of the public without due process."

Strommen said the deal she'd negotiated with race organizers hasn't been announced yet because it has yet to be finalized, reviewed by city lawyers and signed.   But it calls for planting 59 replacement trees in the race corridor, she said, and another 135 trees are to be planted in already empty sidewalk "pits" for trees elsewhere in downtown. 

Strommen said she has been hashing out tree removal and replacement with race organizers for months and had expected to unveil the plan next week when she returned to Baltimore from vacation.

Baltimore Grand Prix managers could not be reached yesterday evening to confirm the terms of the deal Strommen described.

Strommen said the city agreed to allow the removal of some trees that would block views of the street action from temporary grandstands to be erected along the race course. But she said the city exacted a price in additional trees to be planted elsewhere.

"They had their needs to sell tickets," she said. "We had our needs to preserve the beauty of downtown and make Pratt Street continue to be a main street in a great downtown area."

Strommen acknowledged that some of the trees cut bordering the federal courthouse were "big and healthy," as critics have complained. But she said others, particularly those near the convention center, were in decline because they did not have adequate space to grow and their roots were constantly trampled by pedestrians.

The trees to be replanted along the race course will be relocated, Strommen said, to spots where they won't be in the way of spectators in future years, as the city has a deal to host the Grand Prix for up to five years. And 14 of them around the courthouse will be planted in specially designed, oversized planters, she said, to test the viability of having movable trees.

Beyond replacing the trees cut along the race course, Strommen said she got race organizers to agree to plant 135 additional trees in every empty spot in the sidewalk downtown where a tree used to be or was intended to grow. Some details, such as the mix of trees to be planted, have yet to be nailed down, she said, but all the trees are to be planted this fall or within the next year, more than tripling the number of trees downtown.

"I'm feeling pretty good about getting every tree pit downtown filled, myself" said Strommen.

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Trees before Grand Prix!

UPDATE: City: Grand Prix to plant many more trees than it cuts


Everyone agrees on the benefits of trees – including the Baltimore Grand Prix race organizers (link). However, they seek to remove 136 or more healthy, mature trees and replace them with 139 "new" trees, a significant percentage of which will be in planters (for transportability for future races.)

Race organizers say that the trees need to come down in order to "improve sight lines" for race specators – presumably allowing greater attendance, and higher ticket prices.

"New" trees (which may have a 2" caliper diameter) do not provide anywhere near the benefits that a mature tree can. Furthermore, the aesthetic quality of trees in planters is significantly lower than a mature established tree.

We believe that sacrificing established trees to increase profits for race organizers is unfair and should have been more open to public discussion and, if executed at all, done in compliance with the law.

When the subject of trees first came up last fall, race organizers used mild-mannered words like "uproot and replant," to describe their plans, but it seems that the plan all along was to clearcut. We seek to halt any new cutting, determine a new plan, and hold the Mayor and race organizers accountable to protecting our city's trees, a valuable and fundamentally irreplaceable public asset.

We assert that the removal of multiple trees on August 1 (several of which were over 40 years old and 3 feet in circumference at the base) was in violation of Article 7 of the Code of the City of Baltimore, which lists explicit protections for trees, and we will seek an immediate injunction to halt the further removal of trees until such time as a new plan can be vetted before the public, experts in the field, and the broader business community.

For more information, read this coverage from the Baltimore Sun, August 1.


Halt the clear-cutting of trees in Baltimore City for the Grand Prix race


I just signed the following petition addressed to: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Halt the clear-cutting of trees in Baltimore City for the Grand Prix race

Everyone agrees on the benefits of trees – including the Baltimore Grand Prix race organizers. However, they seek to remove 136 or more healthy, mature trees and replace them with 139 "new" trees, some percentage of which will be in planters.

"New" trees (which may have a 2" caliper diameter" do not provide anywhere near the benefits that a mature tree can. Furthermore, the aesthetic quality of trees in planters is significantly lower than a mature established tree.

The race organizers originally used words like "uproot and replant," but it seems now the plan is to clearcut. We seek an injunction to determine a new plan and hold the race organizers accountable to protecting our city's trees, a valuable and fundamentally irreplaceable public asset.


[Your name]

Sign the petition
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Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off for Baltimore City

Saturday, August 27, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute parking lot located at Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane. Residents should use the Cold Spring Lane entrance.

Dispose of hazardous household materials such as oil-based paints, pesticides, herbicides, car and household batteries, drain cleaners, gasoline, pool chemicals, and many other items. Latex paint can be dried up and the cans put out for regular trash collection.

<a href="http://www.baltimorecity.gov/OfficeoftheMayor/NewsPressReleases/tabid/66/ID/1430/Mayor_Stephanie_Rawlings-Blake_and_Department_of_Public_Works_Announce_Household_Hazardous_Waste_Drop-Off.aspx">http://www.baltimorecity.gov/OfficeoftheMayor/NewsPressReleases/tabid/66/ID/1430/Mayor_Stephanie_Rawlings-Blake_and_Department_of_Public_Works_Announce_Household_Hazardous_Waste_Drop-Off.aspx</a>;
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