Bolton Hill Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

$$$ for gardeners and preservationists with deadlines looming

These three grant opportunities caught our attention:

  • Midtown Baltimore, the community benefits district that covers Bolton Hill, is offering up to $250 apiece for any person or group wanting to spruce up parks and public spaces in the community. Uses may include, but are not limited to gardening supplies (e.g. hoses, shovels, etc.), plant material, capital purchases (benches, lights, etc.), signage, or labor provided by Midtown or a qualified contractor. The funds may not be used for personal gain or materials/items to be used on personal property. More information at service@midtowncommunity.org.
  • Bolton Hill Garden Club greening grants aim to help create and improve public green spaces in the ’hood: the planting and maintenance of parks, public green space and tree wells. Priority projects focus on perennial flowers and native plants, shrubbery and trees, and gardening materials. In the case of tree wells for example, a grant can cover hardscape or labor costs to enlarge or prepare gardening spaces. More information here. Deadline to apply is March 15.
  • At Maryland’s Historic Trust, applications are now accepted for the Historic Preservation FY2022 grant round. Applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines, view a recorded webinar or webinar slide deck and to contact program staff with questions. All applicants must submit an application by March 15, 2022. More information here.

Unity Hall ready to hire full-time director

Baltimore Unity Hall-Center for Arts, Education and Training on Eutaw Place near McMechen Street is looking for an experienced, full-time director to coordinate the organization’s work, recruit new alliances and oversee its program to promote economic development in Central West Baltimore.

They hope to have a director in place by the time Unity Hall opens in April. The salary range is $80-95,000 plus health insurance. A job description is here. More information about Unity Hall can be found here.

Will there be an Artscape in 2022?

Amid rumors that the current city government is unenthusiastic about restoring Artscape after a two-year COVID absence, the quasi-government agency Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts says it will make an announcement by March 1.

In The Pandemic Beforetimes, the city government was proud to claim Artscape as Baltimore’s largest and most beloved annual arts festival that attracts an average audience of more than 300,000 people to Midtown Baltimore and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District each summer. On the Artscape website, unedited since last year’s cancellation, is this statement:

“BOPA looks forward to returning in 2022 stronger and healthier as part of the city’s recovery, ready to celebrate the landmark 40th anniversary of Artscape.” Typically held in late July or early August, planning for the festival used to be a year-round process involving MICA, University of Baltimore, community groups and lots of businesses and individuals.

School board postpones closing Eutaw-Marshburn school for a year

The Baltimore City school board gave Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School another year to operate but showed no sign that it was willing to reverse the school district’s recommendation to close the school.

After hearing from a wide range of parents, teachers and community organzations opposed to permanently closing the school at Eutaw Place and Wilson Avenue, the board postponed but did not back down from plans to shut the 57-year-old school, which serves children who mostly live in nearby neighborhoods west of Eutaw.

BHCA’s board voted to oppose the closure, submitting a letter in collaboration with adjoining community groups noting that substantial redevelopment is taking place that would in time likely expand the school’s enrollment. Enrollment now is about 225 in a facility that, properly renovated, could handle 500 students. The system has delayed maintenance of the school and now says it will cost $20 million to upgrade it.

Bolton Hill resident China Boak Terrell, CEO of a group working to bring investment to low-income, urban neighborhoods, said closing the schools and creating acres of vacant space and broken glass would be devastating for families and children. Representatives from the West Baltimore Inter-faith group BUILD also spoke against the closure of Eutaw-Marshburn and two other schools. More information here and here.

Here’s a chance to weigh in on transit planning

Bolton Hill is at a nexus of several transit options. The light rail runs along the southeast edge of the neighborhood, and the subway is a short walk south to State Center. Oddly, there is no nearby place where one can transfer from light rail directly to the subway or vice versa.

At this month’s BHCA meeting, we heard a presentation from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on its Statewide Transit Plan, a 50-year plan for the whole state. See the presentation slides here. Some of the strategies for achieving the plan include:

  • Integrated fare payment
  • New technology
  • Safety practices
  • Customer-friendly features
  • Enhanced service to essential destinations

What do you like about public transportation in Baltimore and around Maryland? What might be improved? MTA wants feedback on its draft plan by February 18. Click here to read the draft and leave your feedback.

The Bulletin publishes monthly except in the summer and invites your feedback, suggestions and submissions. Send them to bulletin@boltonhillmd.org. Laura McConnell is our designer. Marci Yankelov is business manager. Contributors for this issue, among others, are Zhee Chatmon, Rachel Helferd, Paula Jackson, Bonnie Legro, David Nyweide, Lauren Ross, Lee Tawney and Peter Van Buren. I own the errors and omissions.

– Bill Hamilton

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