NDC Volunteers Lili Mundroff and William Cawood have been busy at historic Bostwick House in Bladensburg, Maryland. This volunteer project is hands-on, and has included crawling under the historic home’s porches and peeping the views of the Anacostia. Our team is developing recommendations to support historic preservation goals, to be implemented by Historicorps, a nonprofit that provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures on public lands across America.
NDC’s Featured Projects
Largo Government Center, the new home of Prince George’s County government, is going greener with a streetscape revitalization starting March 2018. NDC worked with County Department of Public Works & Transportation to plan streetscape designs for the network of streets linking County offices for the Executive Director, Department of Environment, General Services and DPW&T.
NDC (Ossana Woolf & Marita Roos) conducted multiple days of fieldwork, assessing trees for removal and locations for new canopy and flowering trees. Sites were geolocated in ArcGIS and a plant palette chosen in collaboration with County DPW&T. NDC (Kendra Hyson) developed photo-illustrative plans and perspectives to describe the changes to the resident agencies and visitors.
In February, NDC presented the streetscape plans to DPW&T leadership, which were very well-received. Director Mobley approved removals and replacement of Bradford Pear trees along Peppercorn Place in early March. New trees – lacebark elms, zelkovas, willow oaks and red maples line the street, creating a healthy and attractive canopy for visitors. Ornamental cherry trees and redbuds add a touch of color and vibrancy to the streetscape.
The county is anticipating additional streetscape phasing for McCormick Drive and other roadways in Largo Center. Stay tuned for more news of this high-profile project!Peppercorn_Flier_March2018 1
Longstanding Neighborhood Design Center collaborators the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability and Parks & People Foundation are expanding access to landscape design services for community-based activation of vacant land through two new initiatives:
- Parks and People Foundation Design Grants are available through Parks and People’s Greening Grants program, and the visioning workshops and conceptual designs provided by NDC prepare recipients to re-apply for implementation funding in future Greening Grant cycles.
- The Baltimore Office of Sustainability is supporting community-based visioning with NDC of open spaces identified as priorities through the new Green Network Plan and/or the INSPIRE plans for neighborhoods surrounding 21st Century Schools.
Four pilot projects have received conceptual design assistance from NDC staff during Fall 2017, including community groups in Sandtown-Winchester, Carrollton Ridge, and two groups in Park Heights. NDC staff Johnny Macon, Laura Wheaton, and Rachel McNamara facilitated visioning workshops near each site with core stakeholders to determine the consensus vision, then documented that vision in a conceptual landscape plan.
One pilot projects is for the YO! Baltimore program in Sandtown Winchester, to create a meaningful place for youth who are engaged in their programs. The design is needed to be cost effective, maintainable and beautiful. This green space for youth includes tailored concepts with thoughtful details while still addressing concerns of ponding rainwater and unregulated parking. For example, the design includes a Celebration Garden featuring a directional sign that “graduates can use to show the destination of their future”. A special outdoor “social room” with both tiered and movable seating can be adapted for sitting alone, in groups, or as a classroom. An entrance bridge, rain garden, natural boulder bollards and ornamental trees continue the peaceful vibe.
NDC brings years of experience in design for urban open spaces to these projects, ensuring that the resultant plans incorporate best practices in sustainability and maintainability. These plans will serve as the starting point for implementation of native plants, edible gardens, pathways, fencing, and other elements with funding from initiative sponsors and other sources.
View the YO! Baltimore Vacant Lot Design here: 3243 PP YO Baltimore Design Plan_small (2)
During Summer 2017, NDC was selected to participate in the Gehl Institute’s Open Call: Proposals for Public Life. We spent the summer delving into the research to explore the question, “How does programming impact social mixing in Baltimore’s public spaces?”
Take a deeper dive into the important insights from our research with the Gehl Institute. Data (and poetry) strongly frame how space activation and cultural programming can make for more equitable places.
Manager of the Garden Honored by Artist Gaia
The Duncan St. Miracle Garden has been in operation since 1988, dishing out delicious, locally grown fruits and vegetables to the Broadway East community for two decades. Lewis Sharpe has been there since the start. He is the man who has kept the garden going all these years and made it thrive. Swing by the garden any given day and you are likely to see Mr. Sharpe planting, weeding, harvesting, or handing out produce to anyone who walks by. He is inseparable from the place, now quite literally. His face adorns a new mural by Gaia, the internationally-acclaimed, Baltimore-based street artist. This mural project was completed this October, and has become a warm welcome to the Duncan St. Miracle Garden and the community.
Deep Three Thoughts Magazine covered the project process extensively on their Instagram page. Check out the link below to see how the mural came together!
| #Mural | Duncan Street Miracle Garden Mural |Mural by @Gaiastreetart | Facilitated by Neighborhood Design Community • @_N_D_C_ provides free design services to local communities | Andrew Piscane is local muralist in Baltimore, who also operates International and Nationwide • Originally born and raised from Manhattan, NYC • As a child he showed interest in the Arts and with supportive parents he flourished • He later attended @MarylandInstituteCollegeofArt where he received a degree in Sculpture • At the age of 18 he considered his career to be an Artist and never looked back • He’s been doing murals for a decade now • He does one free mural a year usually in the community and this happened to the one • Introduced to the Miracle Street garden 10 years ago through MICA | Duncan Miracle Street Garden was founded in 1988 by the Pharaoh's Club, a local men association, as a way of saving the land plot from criminal activity • The area originally housed 44 outworn rowhomes,but now its a focal point and "the lungs of the neighborhood" • They also succeeded in closing the alley to transportation traffic and erecting gates • The garden went through renovation with the help of @ParksandPeople Foundation and @CivicWorksbmore in 2005; which enticed more community engagement • In 2010 garden was permanently protected by @BaltimoreGreenSpace • One of the pinnacle figures of the garden was the late Francis Brown and Lewis Sharpe • Over the years, Mr Sharpe has been actively maintaining the garden and is often looked at as the self-appointed caregiver of the establishment •The Broadway East Community holds him in high regard for the consistent beautification of the community | Facebook: Duncan Street Miracle Garden | • Curator • Founder • Photojournalist • Chief-In-Editor : @d3tconcepts / Art Director: @_dleidy_ |_________________________________________________ #thebmorecreatives #dmv #mybmore #baltimore #shotonmoment #d3tmag #streetart #graffiti #documentary #streetartistry #paint #travel #momentgear #inspo #iphone #iphonephotography #painter #painting #travelgram #architecture #graffitiart #travelphotography #portrait #portraitphotography #community
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The Darley Park neighborhood has been working for years now to create a public space on the corner of Harford Road and Normal Avenue. Originally a vacant dirt lot, this neighborhood gateway park has become a multi-generational, multi-use, gathering place through the hard work of the community and partnering organizations. In the past two years the community has secured a playground and performance stage at the park. Now the neighborhood has gained more color and warmth through a new mural. Local artist and teacher Whitney Frazier worked Maryland Institute College of Art students, fellow artist Greg Gannon, and community members to create this unique piece.
Stay tuned for updates and events as the Darley Park Gateway Park continues to gain momentum!
NDC Project # 2390
Community Design Works
Completed in 2015.
In 2015, the Cherry Hill Development Corporation (CHDC) requested for the Neighborhood Design Center to assist with creating a community investment strategy to guide public and private investment in their neighborhood. They were hoping to enact changes in their built environment that address numerous issues and increase the connections between the neighborhood and their schools. The plan paralleled the investment under Baltimore City Schools’ 21st Century Buildings Plan that affects Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School, Arundel Elementary/Middle School, and Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle School. NDC volunteers and staff met regularly with a core stakeholder group convened by Cherry Hill CDC. Lead Designer was Davin Hong of Living Design Lab, who is now working on the KIPP Academy Vision Plan.CHERRY HILL REPORT_smaller
NDC volunteers provided a total of 276.5 service hours valued at $32,342.50, not including staff time.
See more on the Cherry Hill Vision Plan here.
In recent years, the creative forces at United Workers have been making headlines in their successful battle against a massive trash incinerator proposed for construction in the Curtis Bay community, alongside one of Baltimore’s industrial waterfronts. Galvanized as a force for equitable urban redevelopment, The Land Trust: Curtis Bay (The Trust) was born, and continues to focus on revolutionary, alternative, community driven development that honors existing residents and avoids displacement. This vision will manifest in accessible housing, an activated community plan, and unusual, locally-led, responsive public space and land restoration projects that merge public art and environmental justice.
This beautiful video captures the driving forces behind this initiative:
This month, Neighborhood Design Center partnered with United Workers Community Land Trust collaborative through the Baltimore Housing Roundtable. United Workers has submitted an application for ArtPlace funding in partnership with NDC, Art in Praxis, and many others. Design partners include Gensler, Mahan Rykiel, and Biohabitats.
We will be looking for opportunities to get a jump start on this work in the days and weeks to come!
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.
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!