A Day of Beautification in Pigtown

| May 2, 2012 | 0 Comments

“Though the real estate market has seen its ups and downs it hasn’t stopped us from making a lot of progress in Pigtown,” active Pigtown resident Adam Van Bavel told SouthBMore.com.  This past Saturday through the efforts of Rebuilding Together Baltimore, Paul’s Place, Citizens of Pigtown, Pigtown Mainstreet, Planting Seeds and Pigtown Food for Thought several open spaces were improved in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood.

Rebuilding Together Baltimore picked Pigtown as one of two neighborhoods in the Baltimore area for a two-year improvement project.  They have worked with low-income home owners to help make their homes more livable as well as worked on beautification projects in the neighborhood with the help of many Baltimore Police Cadets.  Last year they repainted the skatepark at Carroll Park and a Tot-Lot in the neighborhood as well as a major overall cleaning effort.

This year with the help of  Pigtown Food for Thought, the focus was on creating community gardens.  Ryan Moore of Food for Thought has helped set up community gardens throughout the city in neighborhoods like Cherry Hill and was excited to set up a community garden in his own neighborhood of Pigtown.  The groups gained access to a large “hideous” looking lot on the 1400 block of Ostend St., which had tons of potential.

This weekend they were able to plant five planting beds on the new garden space and there is the potential to making it something much greater in the future.  “Eventually we’d like to see beds all over the lot, get a mural painted on the large wall and eventually do outdoor movies like the ones that are done in Union Square and Federal Hill,” said Van Bavel.  Food for Thought’s mission is use community gardens to link people of all different backgrounds, help create a fun hobby for people and, of course, turning an eyesore into a beautiful piece of land.

A second garden was also created on the corner of Ostend St. and Cleveland St.  Many beds have been created and are  currently being leveled and settled into the soil. A fence will also eventually surround the garden.  “It was really important to us for Ostend St. to show as well as possible because it is such a high-traffic street that will form a lot of impressions of our neighborhood,” said Van Bavel.

The groups also spent time on Saturday finishing a paint job on a the neigborhood Tot-Lot.  “There is so much going on in Pigtown right now – it is a very exciting time,” said Van Bavel.  “Five years ago there were no great green spaces.  In that time frame we’ve created gardens, horseshoe pits, fire pits and improved the skatepark and Tot-Lot. Many great new businesses have opened in the neighborhood and we are doing are best to bring in more.”

Recently a Zips Dry Cleaners opened in the neighborhood and they are really hoping to lure a grocery store in the near future.  Pigtown Main Street has seen many new businesses and Magnum Construction is in the process of completing several new store fronts on Washington Blvd.  The neighborhood is also excited about the demolition of the blighted buildings on the corner of Washington Blvd. and Cross St., which will become a temporary open space for use for farmers markets and community events until a deal is signed with an anchor tenant to build out on the space.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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