During the summer of 2017, NDC’s forestry crew set out to solve a mystery. Trees planted in the Fox Run Estates community in Clinton, MD were dying. Originally, they were planted through the Right Tree, Right Place program in 2015 and were replaced in 2016. By spring of 2017, it was obvious the trees were not doing well. Armed with a Dutch auger, NDC went out in pursuit of answers. After getting their hands dirty, the forestry crew determined the cause of death was poor soil that lacked nutrients, especially oxygen. In 2018, the dead trees will be removed and redbuds will be replanted with soil amendments in select locations. Case closed!
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The evening of June 1, NDC joined with our partners, volunteers and family to celebrate notable Maryland influencers in the design and community development fields, share recent accomplishments and launch our vision for NDC’s next five years. As we move into our 50th year, exciting growth and development are on the horizon, as we build on our rich history.
This year, NDC re-instituted the tradition of publicly honoring our volunteers and partners by telling their stories and presenting awards at the annual meeting. Awardees were recognized for their selfless dedication to the work of community design and community development, in the following categories:
Hall of Fame: Martina Reilly
Baltimore Volunteer of the Year: Jimmy Leonard
Prince George’s Volunteer of the Year: Walida Smith
Baltimore Community Advocate of the Year: Regina Hammond
The Kelley Oklesson Community Advocate of the Year: Margaret Morgan-Hubbard
The Larry Reich Award: Laurie Feinberg
The event, in conjunction with the NDC Board’s Annual Meeting, was held at Whitehall Mill’s soon to be developed market hall. Attendees, who ranged from 7 months to 70+ years, and enjoyed light fare, music, stories and local beer, in an ambiance of conviviality.
Heartfelt thanks to those who made the event possible! For more event photos, see the album here.
via Sweat Equity + Community Design + Community Organizing!
Darley Park is a tight-knit residential community bordered to the west by Harford Road. Community leaders have for years worked on improving the neighborhoods gateways, seeking support for their goal of a community park and amphitheater to replace vacancy and disuse. In 2015, NDC and the 6th Branch, a veteran-led service organization, were asked to partner with Darley Park Community Association and BUILD to provide support to turn a large vacant parcel on the eastern side of the neighborhood into the community’s vision for a vibrant, multigenerational convening space.
Over the last two years, gradual progress has been made in diminishing nuisance dumping and vandalism, reclaiming the space, and testing uses for the site. At community meetings, residents pored over ideas for the future park, developing a unified vision. Leaders recruited support and resources in the form of site improvements and a community sign from DOT. Volunteers dedicated Wednesday mornings to work on the site- mowing, picking up litter, planting flowers, and building benches, planters and more.
Eventually, as energy galvanized around the project, more groups joined in to offer their support. MICA community artists, led by artist Whitney Frazier, partnered on community visioning sessions and created a large mural, to become the focal point and welcome ‘sign’ for the Darley Park community. Healthy Harbor worked with neighbors on alley stenciling and a series of vibrant environmentally themed garage murals. NDC designer Jimmy Leonard (of the multidisciplinary, award winning Baltimore firm Design Collective) designed a plan for the continued evolution of the park, and in the fall of 2016, Delegate Cory McCray sponsored a bond bill proposal for the site.
As of the close of this years legislative session, the bond bill funding has been secured, and, in the words of Delegate McCray, “The best is yet to come!”
Stay tuned for project updates as the Darley Park Gateway Park project continues to gain momentum. Check out the plans below for a taste of what is to come.
ACD 2018 will be in Baltimore, in conjunction with our 50th year!
You can shape the direction of the conference; click here to answer a 3-question survey about what you’d like to see included.
In a pilot project under NDC’s Community Design Works programming, NDC and AIGA Baltimore, a professional association for graphic designers, partnered to provide pro bono community branding assistance to Druid Heights Community Development Corporation. Volunteer graphic designers created a new logo and visual brand for the neighborhood organization, which you can now see on their website, and is being officially rolled out between March and May 2017 in digital and print media, and eventually the built environment.
Having previously partnered with NDC on streetscaping for West North Avenue, Druid Heights CDC contacted NDC about pursuing a more in-depth branding initiative at the same time that AIGA Baltimore reached out about opportunities in West Baltimore. AIGA recruited volunteers Tiffany Small, Tarbia Minto, Rebecca Kowalcizk, Leo Brady (also an AIGA board member), and Baird Clinkscales from their membership and NDC program manager Laura Wheaton coordinated the project alongside AIGA officers Kerry Korrer, Jermaine Bell, Vanessa Ulrich, and Joseph Brown. The design volunteers met with Druid Heights leadership and community representatives to listen to their thoughts on the current logo, a phoenix, and what ideas and images epitomized the neighborhood as they saw it. Design volunteers presented six logo ideas at an internal design review, and later presented four at community meeting in May 2016, during which the community informally voted on their favorite, the final logo being the most popular among the options presented.
The project went on hold for the duration of the 2016 summer to accommodate Druid Heights staff’s focus on their popular youth summer program. Upon resuming in late fall, the Druid Heights CDC board voted to confirm the logo selection from the May 2016 meeting. NDC/AIGA design volunteers Tarbia Minto, Rebecca Kowalcizk, Leo Brady, Jermaine Bell, and Joseph Brown then worked to create a branding package based on that logo for Druid Heights CDC, including logo files, fonts, branded colors, and a guide to using them in print and web media. They in total donated 185.5 hours of service with an estimated market value of $18,757.50.
Congratulations to Druid Heights CDC on their new logo and brand, and thank you to AIGA Baltimore for partnering with us on this awesome project!
Now with two locations!
Our annual bowling party will be held on March 11th, 6-9 pm. Start recruiting your teams of 5-6!
Join us in celebrating and fundraising for our work, meet other members of the NDC community and have some Bowl-A-Rama competitive fun!
Prizes for: Best Costumes, Most Spirit, Most $$ raised, MVP (in $$ and in bowling points!)
Included in participating: Pizza dinner and drinks, bowling shoes rental,team building, bonding, networking… AND FUN!
Baltimore City -AMF Dundalk
1101 Merritt Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21222
Prince George’s County
AMF College Park
9021 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
“Vision, compassion, and tenacity pay off. Many years, many partners, many investments.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Sarah Hope!
In August, the National Recreation and Park Association and American Planning Association announced that Ambrose Kennedy Park in Baltimore’s Johnston Square community will receive a renovation grant for $437,500. NDC has provided technical assistance and support for the grassroots efforts to advocate for improvements to the park since 2013 and we couldn’t be more proud. Fantastic news for our Johnston Square neighbors! Hats off for the years of stewardship and hard work put in by our community partners at the Re-Build Johnston Square, BUILD, and The 6th Branch and thanks to the support of BCPR and Parks and People Foundation.
But as we all know, $437,500 for community parks doesn’t normally fall from the sky. This is what happens when citizens, nonprofits and city agencies work together! Over 5,000 volunteer hours have been logged in the park since 2013. A team of community leaders, local organizations, churches, volunteers have been chipping away at making this forgotten space an active, colorful and safe community asset. Baltimore City Parks and Rec then added the site to its capital improvement budget and began a phased improvements, starting with depaving of old, cracked ashphalt and planting low maintenance landscaping to green and add tree cover to the site. When the recent grant opportunity surfaced, Ambrose Kennedy was a contender due to the significant partnership, engagement, dedication and need demonstrated over time. Stay tuned for more on the design and timeline for the park renovations as BCPR and Parks and People move the construction forward. We can’t wait to see this grand vision executed.
For more on the NPRA grant, see:
To see images of the park’s volunteer-powered transformation over time, check out the 6th Branches project album: https://www.facebook.com/the6thbranch/photos/a.744348862256183.1073741839.121799711177771/729204077103995/?type=3&theater
For past articles about community efforts to support the park, check out these Baltimore Brew articles:
Photos courtesy The 6th Branch.
NDC Volunteers, Partners, and Supporters are all invited! To register for the event, click here.
NDC is hosting a preview of our new Prince George’s County office at The Arcade Building in the Gateway Arts District in Hyattsville, MD. Join us for a cool beverage, a nibble, and hear about NDC’s successes over the past year! We will present our year’s projects and unveil some impact assesment work.
Situated near the popular Franklin’s Restaurant at 4318 Gallatin Street, the historic Arcade building has long loomed as a vacant shell. The structure has served as a church, silent movie theater, a bowling alley and of course, an arcade. In the spring of 2015 Pyramid Atlantic Art Center solidified a 25-year lease agreement with the city of Hyattsville. The facility will also house the offices of two long-time local community organizations: NDC, and Maryland Milestones/Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA).
- 4318 Gallatin Street – Hyattsville, MD 20781 – View Map
The students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School are working with NDC to implement environmental-themed murals for the temporary classroom structures on their campus! Their murals, which will focus on the challenges and solutions to restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, are being implemented onto 8 faces of the temporary classrooms. NDC hosted a friendly design competition at the school to get students to individually develop their initial design concepts, which resulted in 42 student design submissions. These design themes ranged from community well-being and biodiversity, to natural resource conservation and cultural identity. NDC also held two design workshops at the school to get students to collaborate on their ideas and work together to finalize their designs for implementation.
The overall goals of this effort are to 1) increase student awareness of the challenges and solutions to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; 2) promote environmental sustainability and stewardship; 3) increase quality of life; 4) promote social and environmental justice. This project is supported by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Prince George’s County District 4 Council Member Todd Turner, Community Forklift, and our professional volunteers: Nehemiah Dixon from Art Works Now, Bronwyn King from Studio SoHy, Peter Krsko from Krsko Creative Group, and Brooke Kidd from Joe’s Movement Emporium, who have dedicated their time as artist panelists to review designs and provide technical expertise throughout project development.
So far 3 walls have been painted since Project Kick Off Day on June 4th. Stay tuned for more project progress and updates!