The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) awarded two separate grants to provide detailed plans to renovate green spaces in Bolton Hill. One is Mounds Park in the 1400 block of Eutaw Place and the other is the southeast vacant lot and bus stop at the corner of Park and North Avenues.
Both grants will create engineered design plans based on existing concept plans covering studies of the grounds; technical specifications for concrete removal and new permeable hardscaping, landscaping and lighting; and permitting requirements. The engineered design plans will effectively make the projects shovel-ready for implementation, conditional on funding.
BHCA, in partnership with Madison Park Improvement Association in 2021, commissioned the landscape architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht to do a concept plan for three adjoining spaces: Mounds Park (1429 Eutaw Place), the 1400-1500 Eutaw Place Median Park near Unity Hall, and Mosher Plaza Park.
Bolton Hill, Madison Park and Marble Hill neighborhoods have been divided historically and socially by the Eutaw Place median. As part of the BHCA greening work, the concept and implementation plans are an attempt to break down that divide. In addition to the $38,000 grant from DNR, BHCA received a $67,767 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing & Community to improve safety in Mounds Park.
Renovating the lot at Park and North is part of an ongoing project to revive the southeast side of that intersection. The artist Ernest Shaw in 2021 painted murals on two row house walls facing North Ave. A renovated lot beneath the east mural would create an inviting, activated space for residents, passersby and people waiting for buses and more opportunity for social connections between Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill.
That renovation would produce more permeable surfaces and water runoff retention zones containing native trees, shrubs, and additional plants. Installing a creatively reimagined bus shelter is the third phase of the project.
BHCA is managing the engineered design for Mounds Park; the Midtown Community Fund, the 501c3 non-profit arm of Midtown Community Benefits District, is the fiscal sponsor for the engineered design at the Park and North lot. Baltimore-based landscape design and engineering firms CityScape and EnviroCollab are being engaged for the engineered design work.
The DNR grants are funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The engineered designs for both projects are expected to be underway by the end of this year and completed in 2024.
–David Nyweide and Lee Tawney