Branch Avenue in Bloom Community Garden and Urban Orchard

CDW BAIB garden and orchard

Environmental signage for education. Image by UMD Design Volunteers for NDC.

NDC Project #2157, 2269 & 2271
Community Design Works
Design completed 2014.

Branch Avenue In Bloom (BAIB) came to NDC with an innovative vision to transform a disused, dead-end road behind a fast food restaurant on a major thoroughfare, which was plagued by dumping and other negative activities, into a community garden and urban orchard. This would not only make beauty of a beast, but it would provide a community gathering space and access to fresh, healthy produce in a food desert that is also within the Prince George’s County Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) area of Hillcrest Heights.

In this multi-phased project, the Branch Avenue in Bloom team had some major hurdles to jump, such as acquiring permission and funding to de-pave the dead-end road segment and replace it with soil and grass seed, as the first step to building the physical base of the community garden. NDC connected BAIB with various county agencies to leverage project resources and meet county stormwater mandates. We also led design workshops, coordinated meetings, and advised design revisions.

NDC staff and an enthusiastic group of 18 volunteers from the University of Maryland provided graphic standards and designs for environmental education signage; a landscape plan; and technical assistance for best practices in environmental design, including the de-paving, rain barrels, and increasing tree canopy.   BAIB continues to move the project forward in soliciting grant and governmental support, and we continue to be inspired by our client’s inexhaustible dedication to achieving their full vision.

Jennifer Funn of BAIB explains project successes to DOE representatives.

Jennifer Funn of BAIB explains project successes to DOE representatives. Image by NDC / Kelley Oklesson.


Community garden concept plan.

Site Plan. Image by NDC / Andrew Cassavant.