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Special Edition Farm Alliance Newsletter: Tell DPW to Leave Filbert Street Garden Alone!

Farm Alliance member Filbert Street Garden has been given notice by the Department of Public Works that the garden will be displaced in order to make room for a new water filtration plant within 2-3 years. We are puzzled as to why DPW has chosen to displace a treasured and well-maintained community asset instead of building on one of the many vacant lots in the area of Curtis Bay. The Director of DPW has agreed to meet the garden managers at 1pm this Friday, March 1st at 200 Holiday Street, Suite 300. We have launched an online petition at Change.org and are urging folks to write and call the Department of Public Works and attend the meeting on Friday (see contact info below). Here is what the garden managers have to say: 

"We, the supporters of Filbert Street Garden and residents of Brooklyn and Curtis Bay, have become aware that the Baltimore City Department of Public Works intends to use the Filbert Street Garden site http://filbertstreetgarden.org, to build a water filtration station in the next 2-3 years. We believe it would make more sense to build on a currently unused, city-owned vacant lot (of which there are several in the immediate vicinity of Filbert Street Garden). While Curtis Bay does clearly need an up-to-date water filtration system, we strongly disagree that building this station should displace a garden that has been built and continually maintained by the community for 9 years.  DPW has the ability to let the city residents enjoy the benefits of both the filtration station and its existing community garden. At Filbert Street Garden, this de-industrialized area is finally seeing the fruits of its own hard labor after being a long forgotten and disenfranchised area. We hope that DPW can join us in honoring this accomplishment by choosing a different site for its water filtration station.

Through the work that has been done, Filbert Street Garden has benefitted the community and the city in many ways. It was an overgrown vacant lot that was full of trash, no doubt used for various illicit activities such as drug use or dumping.
Benefits include:
  • Quality of Life improvement for residents
  • Beautification and community pride
  • Catalyst for continued community development
  • Stimulates Social Interaction, recreation and cross-cultural diversity  
  • Fosters Self Sufficiency
  • Produces nutritious food (vegetables, fruit, eggs and honey) and reduces food costs
  • Combats the food desert, brings healthy food closer
  • Decreases diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Conserves resources; improves air quality and water filtration through plants
  • Takes fruit and vegetable matter out of the waste stream
  • Reduces stormwater runoff and soil erosion
  • Creates physical activities and reduces stress
  • Provides educational opportunities and growth
  • Reduces crime
  • Preserves green space and reduces city heat island effect
  • Creates economic and job opportunities
  • Nurtures responsibility and environmental stewardship
  • Increases property values
  • Provides meeting space for groups
  • Certified as a Wildlife Habitat
  • Local Honey from bee hives helps fight allergic reactions from local allergens and is a key ingredient to Drink at the Well’s social purpose enterprise product called “Hon’s Honey”, https://www.drinkatthewell.org/shop-honshoney
 
Therefore, we ask that DPW please consider leaving this gem where it sparkles and situate the water filtration facility where it does not displace a community garden that benefits the city."

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Sign this change.org petition and share on social media and email
  • Send a letter to DPW Director Rudy Chow at Rudy.Chow@baltimorecity.gov or call his office at 410-396-3310 no later than Thursday 2/28/19.  If you send a letter, feel free to include the information above and you can get additional details from us at mariya@farmalliancebaltimore.org. 
  • Read this Baltimore Brew article for more background 
  • Please join us if possible at the meeting with DPW director Rudy Chow at 200 Holliday Street, Suite 300 on Friday, March 1st at 1pm with your physical support
  • Please share this email with your networks!
Need more info? Call Farm Alliance Executive Director Mariya Strauss at 410-736-8079. Thanks for your support!




 



 

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