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Old June 28th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #81
KLynch
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I'll have to get a flickr account and takes some photos. A new great community Garden has gone in at Heat and Light in Federal Hill, there is also another a little older at Heath and Charles. Heath is kinda of that hang out for the bad news people left in Fed Hill and the community is doing a great job of cleaning it up.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #82
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Musicians, volunteers dig up school parking lot to help bay
Hampden project draws Vans Warped Tour performers


By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun

7:24 p.m. EDT, July 25, 2011
Kyle Scheren and other members of the punk band So Long Arletta work up a sweat when they perform, but nothing like what they got Monday wielding picks and shovels to turn an old school parking lot in Hampden into a garden and outdoor education space.

About 175 members of the Vans Warped Tour traveling music and extreme-sports festival donated part of their only day off in nearly three weeks to toil under the blazing sun digging up nearly an acre behind the Academy for College and Career Exploration in the 1300 block of W. 36th St.

Joined by about 50 students and other local volunteers, they hoped the green space they were preparing would capture nearly 1 million gallons of storm water a year that otherwise would wash pollution into the nearby Jones Falls, then into Baltimore's harbor and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

The project was organized by Blue Water Baltimore, the local waterway advocacy group, with about $65,000 in combined funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Baltimore City.

Halle Van der Gaag, the group's deputy director, said it hopes to do smaller greening projects on five more city school lots. But what made the Hampden work unusual, she noted, was the participation of so many teenagers and young adults who aren't normally associated with environmental causes.

"The water's really important to us," said Kevin Lyman, founder of the long-running tour, which performs Tuesday at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. Tour members donate their time to one charitable effort each year, he explained. The environmental theme of this project fit with the tour's green emphasis, he added, noting that the group fuels its buses with biodiesel and stages a recycling contest for youthful fans.

Plans are to convert the school's little-used former parking lot into a rain garden, a basketball court, a grassy meadow and a grove of trees. School officials said the green space would offer recreation, learning and even career training opportunities for students.

Jhaimal Johnson, 16, a rising 10th-grader, said he and other students have already researched a variety of trees and are maintaining over the summer a garden and other plantings in front of the school.

The asphalt had already been removed from the lot when the music tour group arrived Monday morning. A Bobcat excavator from another local business, Stormwater Maintenance, helped loosen up the soil for the tool-wielding volunteers.

"They told us there's treasure out here, so we're looking for it," said Scheren, 25, vocalist for So Long Arletta, whose members hail mainly from Maryland and Virginia. The ground was still hard, but Scheren, who grew up in Ellicott City, added: "I think we're making a dent."

The work begun Monday was expected to continue for another day or two, relying more on equipment than hand labor. The soil will be stabilized with grass for now, with trees and garden plantings waiting for cooler weather in the fall and next spring, according to Blue Water Baltimore's Ashley Traut.

tim.wheeler@baltsun.com
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Old August 19th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #83
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InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel buzzes with new beehives

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore...urt-hotel.html
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Old September 9th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #84
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Looks like Constellation is looking to compete with the Google-backed Solar City solar lease program...

Constellation aims to make solar panel program affordable for homeowners
http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore...lar-panel.html
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Old September 16th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #85
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http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/feat..._irene_on.html

Storm "retires" floating harbor wetland


Battered by Hurricane Irene, one of two small “floating wetlands” placed in the Inner Harbor a year ago to soak up pollution is being retired – to be replaced before long, supporters hope, by an even larger, though sturdier manmade island.

Laurie Schwartz, executive director of the Waterfront Partnership, a nonprofit promoting the Inner Harbor, said the dozen rectangular trays of marsh grass and flowers tied up by Baltimore’s World Trade Center are to be removed today (Friday, Sept. 16). They were showing wear and tear, she said, after a year of exposure to the elements – particularly the hurricane’s howling winds nearly three weeks ago.

“They stayed somewhat intact,’’ she said during the storm, but inspection afterward found the nylon ropes tethering them in place were frayed and some of the frames pulling apart.

The installation of the wetlands – seen in August 2010 photo above - was a largely symbolic first step in an ambitious campaign by the partnership to make Baltimore’s degraded harbor swimmable and fishable by the end of the decade.

Assembled by volunteers with the Living Classrooms Foundation, the wetlands were made out of wood, mesh and cast-off plastic drink bottles fished out of the harbor. The partnership and other sponsors of the project wanted to test whether the 200-square-foot array would remove any pollution and infuse the water with more oxygen for fish and crabs to breathe. They also hoped it would provide some food and shelter for fish and other aquatic creatures in a harbor that had lost all its natural marshland as the city developed over the centuries.

Chris Streb, an engineer with Biohabitats, a local ecological restoration firm that’s helped with the project, said he believed the wetlands “worked great” and were never meant to be permanent.

The grasses flourished, he said, and grew so tall in fact that he thinks now it would’ve been smart to cut them back before Irene blew through. Fierce 40- to 60-mile-per-hour winds tipped the trays on their side, he said. Though they righted themselves after the storm passed, the strain took a toll on the wooden frames and their tethers.

Perhaps the most productive part of the test wetland, Streb said, was its unseen underside. The plant roots and frame below water attracted lots of mussels, worms and microscopic aquatic creatures that in turn drew foraging fish.

“These things are chock full of ecology,” Streb said.

The frames are to be towed back to Living Classrooms in Fells Point, taken apart and studied, to aid in the placement of a new, much larger floating marsh by the World Trade Center. Students and other volunteers have been assembling new trays for months now, and the partnership is awaiting government approval to put up to 62 of them in the water – covering a total of 2,000 square feet of water this time.

And this time, supporters say, they’ll have reinforced corners and metal instead of nylon tethers to withstand the weather.

The new structure is to join another floating wetland of a different design that also was installed last summer by the National Aquarium. That one seems to have weathered the hurricane intact, as it was moved about 20 feet from its original location to one a bit more sheltered from wind and waves.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfd103 View Post
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/feat..._irene_on.html

Storm "retires" floating harbor wetland


Battered by Hurricane Irene, one of two small “floating wetlands” placed in the Inner Harbor a year ago to soak up pollution is being retired – to be replaced before long, supporters hope, by an even larger, though sturdier manmade island.....

The installation of the wetlands – seen in August 2010 photo above - was a largely symbolic first step in an ambitious campaign by the partnership to make Baltimore’s degraded harbor swimmable and fishable by the end of the decade.....
I think we'd have to more or less carpet the entire harbor with floating wetlands for 20 years before I'd swim in there.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 02:43 AM   #87
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Here's an interesting little video about bike centered development in Minneapolis:

http://vimeo.com/29468556

It seems that Baltimore has a few spots where they could pull this off (on a smaller scale).
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Old December 14th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #88
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Articles on the effort to make the harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020. Personally I think it's a great idea. Even if we only clean it up 50%, it would allow for more use by kayakers, sailors, etc.

Sun Article:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features...,7607983.story

BBJ Article:
http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore...ke-harbor.html
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Old December 15th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #89
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Doesn't this get proposed at some point every year?
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