A few weeks ago, hundreds of people joined us for “The Afro-Semitic Experience” concert at Beth Am, where the crowd drummed, danced, and sang together in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. For those who could not attend, check out this video produced by Baltimore City Public Schools showing how Beth Am, John Eager Howard Elementary School, Child First Authority, New Lens, and RHIC partnered to create our very own youth drum corps:
One of the principal reasons for starting this blog in 2011 was to share pictures from our many community events. Since then, nearly every post has included some sort of photographic contribution by Howard Fink, a longtime Reservoir Hill resident who was devoted to capturing the many great moments happening throughout the neighborhood. He was a dedicated member of the RHIC Green Team, chronicling every tree planting and community clean up day no matter how small the event or how bad the weather was that day. Though our work in the community will continue, our memories will not be as vivid without Howard.
This exchange in the comments section of our “Pictures” page says it all:
LOST A DEAR FRIEND
May you rest in peace, old friend. You’ll be remembered.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 – 10:00 am
Sol Levinson & Bros., Inc.
8900 Reisterstown Road • Pikesville, Maryland, 21208
Internment and shiva to follow
Howard was a Reservoir Hill native, his family having moved to Reservoir Hill in the mid-1950s. Living in the house he inherited from his parents on Park Avenue, Howard was a constant presence in Reservoir Hill, with his cameras slung around his neck. He was also the force behind the restoration of the fountain at Park Avenue and Whitelock Street. He was a dedicated volunteer, devoted member of Beth Am Synagogue, and a chronicler of Reservoir Hill life. Howard gave generously of his photographic avocation and captured many, many moments in the life of Reservoir Hill.
Take some time to walk through some of the moments:
You don’t have to be an eagle-eyed observer to notice that something is different on Whitelock St. over the last week. Indeed, we now have 3 gleaming green rat-proof trash cans strategically located to track the route of the #5 bus route at Whitelock and Callow, Whitelock and Brookfield, and Whitelock and Linden.
Blue Water Baltimore and Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) are working with RHIC on a pilot program to test whether street trash cans can actually help reduce litter in neighborhoods. The pilot program process will have neighborhood monitors submit weekly reports to make sure that the cans are being used properly, and DPW will empty the cans twice a week.
If you ever notice that any of the trash cans are overflowing or that household trash is being dumped nearby, please call 311 and report to the operator the number you see on the side of the can and that you are calling in reference to the “Reservoir Hill Corner Can Pilot Program.” These calls will then be integrated into the project evaluation reports we receive from Blue Water Baltimore and Baltimore City DPW.
Way back in 2012, neighbors started talking about what we could do to make the corner of Linden Avenue and Brooks Lane and more attractive, comfortable, and inviting place. Since then, neighbors have worked with volunteer designers from the Neighborhood Design Center to develop a site plan that includes trees, walkways, and seating areas that especially cater to the older residents who live nearby. Come join us this weekend–Saturday 11/12 from 10am-3pm and Sunday 11/13 from 1pm-5pm– for a groundbreaking and tree planting work day at the corner of Linden Avenue and Brooks Lane!
For more information: Contact Jonathan Bettle, email@example.com, and check out the project’s Facebook page.
And for those who can’t wait until this weekend to imagine new uses for the space, you can click on one of the images below to play around with ideas (and type in something like “2513 Linden Ave.” to get started):
A few weeks ago, a reporter and photographer from The New York Times visited us on Whitelock St. to talk about what happens to neighborhoods when cities use large-scale demolition to create big blocks of vacant land. Though our quotes didn’t quite make it into the final version (Page A15 of the 11/12/13 edition), some pictures were included in both the print edition and the on-line slide show!
We hope this is just the beginning–we’ve invited the reporter to come back anytime, and we even tried to submit a follow-up letter-to-the-editor making the case for why neighborhood projects like this deserve more attention!
When you start knocking on doors asking neighbors what they think about the idea of planting a tree in front of their house, you learn that people can have very strong opinions about trees. But whether they love ‘em or hate ‘em, usually there’s a lot of confusion about just what kind of impact a tree might have on nearby homes, sidewalk panels, utility wires and pipes, cars, gutters, birds, rodents, and on and on.
In fall 2013, we worked with a local designer (thanks Katherine!) and a Reservoir Hill-based illustrator (thanks Lisa!) to create a booklet that gives folks a few facts, lots of descriptions, and a bit of hand-drawn whimsy to help determine what kind of tree is the best match for each person, situation, and taste. We feature testimonials from neighbors who have recently planted each of the 5 presented tree species, and we’ll use the “Tree Menu” to help select the 50-75 trees we’ll be planting with neighbors this fall.
We have printed copies of the “Tree Menu” available at the RHIC office, but for everyone else feel free to click on each of the following images to enlarge!
Page 2 and 3:
Page 4 and 5: