National Building Museum
Community Forklift, an iconic Port Towns institution focused on disrupting the building materials waste stream, has a vision to turn their overflow parking lot into a one-of-a-kind community asset. Three years ago, NDC partnered to provide with initial site concepts in the form of a master plan, and since then, the Forklift team has been pinning down funds to turn the vision to reality. With the recent announcement that they have secured over $650,000 in implementation funds, NDC is excited to come back to the drawing board to partner on phase two of the design work, while Community Forklift secures the final approvals needed.
Significant support for building this park will be coming from the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the park’s design will balance conservation landscaping with the industrial history of the site.
With input from the community, NDC design volunteers are creating a landscape plan that includes an art walk, native landscape restoration, and park and wayfinding signage.
Volunteers Richie Berrios, Devon Murtha, and Julie Matthews are engaging stakeholders to celebrate the industrial aesthetic through art and placemaking. Lush native plantings and tree conservation will complement the more activated spaces on this unusual site. We’re looking for a fall reveal for this inspiring destination Reuse Art Park.
NDC will be honoring 50 years of community design as we celebrate our semi-centennial anniversary in 2018. Mark your calendars for a not-to-be missed party on June 9th, 2018, preceded by the ACD national conference for community design June 7-9th. We’re planning a daffodil planting and other activities throughout the year to mark our extensive work throughout Maryland since 1968.
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!
Everyone’s favorite volunteer greening day is coming soon in Prince George’s County. On October 28th 2017, dozens of community groups and schools will get up early and pitch in to make their neighborhoods even cleaner and greener places.
Click here for application, including the full details on what plant material is available, and maybe most importantly (wink, wink), how to request design assistance from NDC’s stellar team of dedicated landscape designers, to ensure your project is beautiful, sustainable and succesful! We’re looking forward to working with so many dedicated community leaders again this fall.
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!
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.