After many residents expressed interest in rain barrels to store rainwater run-off, RHIC discovered that the retail cost was often prohibitively expensive. As an alternative to purchasing pre-fabricated barrels, RHIC recently sponsored a workshop, led by neighborhood resident Randy Howell, in which residents learned how to convert 55-gallon barrels into functioning rain collectors that can be used as a water source for activities such as gardening and car washing. After residents learned how to cut the initial holes and install the accessory parts, including faucets and debris baskets, they painted and decorated the exterior of the barrels. The cost for the workshop was $20, which covered all materials, including the barrel, accessories, and painting supplies.
Summer 2010 Bike Workshop
Ever wonder what happens to all the bikes that police confiscate in raids and seizures? While most of them end up in police storage, a few dozen of the bikes spent their summer at John Eager Howard Recreation Center, where Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) and Baltimore City Police Department partnered with Velocipede to teach neighborhood teens bike repair skills.
Reservoir Hill residents Lars Peterson and Linne Piettenberg brought tools from Velocipede as well as volunteer instructors, including Charlie Flaherty, Noah Bers, and Gabbie Vigo to weekly workshops throughout the summer. The teens, participants in summer programs sponsored by Druid Heights Community Development Corporation and New Lens, a youth-led art and media organization dedicated to social change, were responsible for all the repairs each bike required. At the end of the workshop, after having replaced seats, brake pads and cables, head sets, tires, among many other repairs, students left the program with new skills and newly fixed-up bikes.