Local Teen Runs Weed-Pulling Business ‘AGL Sidewalks’ in South Baltimore

| August 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

AGL Sidewalks is in its fifth summer of pulling weeds on the sidewalks, alleys, backyards, and patios of South Baltimore. Local 16-year-old Grace Davis runs the business which she started with Federal Hill neighbors Andrew Bickford and Lindsay Bickford five years ago.

Davis has a staff of 10 South Baltimore-based employees who range in age from 10 to 15 years old. Davis and her AGL crew head out most summer mornings to pull weeds in South Baltimore. They walk to job sites with their buckets filled with gloves, trash bags, brooms, dustpans, trash bags, and some weed-pulling tools including mini screwdrivers. Davis said most of the business is in Federal Hill and Otterbein.

Davis along with Andrew Bickford and Lindsay Bickford came up with the idea when they were looking for something to do in the summer. “We wanted to help clean the streets and make the neighborhood look pretty,” said Davis, who noted that South Baltimore homes don’t have yards like homes in the suburbs, so they turned their attention to the sidewalks.

Davis lives in Federal Hill with mother Deniene Davis and father Mark Davis who love that Grace and the AGL team have this business. “It gets them out of the house, they aren’t sleeping in, and they aren’t on their devices. They learn to be on time and how to communicate with adults,” said Deniene Davis. She added that it can be difficult for teens to find jobs in the city because there are many applicants in their 20s who need the same jobs teens are applying for.

AGL projects range from pulling weeds on entire blocks or alleys to taking care of individual stoops, patios, and backyards. Davis is an expert at weed pulling and looks at the type, quantity, and size of weeds when eyeing a job site before giving clients a quote. She noted some types of weeds are much more difficult to pull than others.

Davis said 85% to 90% of AGL’s business comes from Facebook where it has an active Facebook page. She added that they have a lot of repeat customers and have worked with realtors to keep their properties free of weeds.

AGL tries to take care of projects in the morning so that the team can enjoy their summer afternoons and participate in other jobs and activities. Davis is also a lifeguard and swimming coach at Otterbein Swim Club and a lifeguard at Digital Harbor High School.

Davis has lived her entire life in Federal Hill and attended Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle School until 8th grade. She is now entering her junior year at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly). Davis is an avid swimmer and swims year-round for Merritt Athletic Swim Club. She also swims and plays field hockey at Poly.

Davis said AGL has helped her learn business management skills, how to communicate better with adults, and how to multitask multiple jobs. She loves the pay and while she puts most of her earnings in savings, she does spend money on new swimsuits and equipment for her competitive swimming.

Davis is passionate about science and is thinking about a future career in pharmacy or physical therapy. She hopes to continue swimming when she enters college in a couple of years.

When Davis goes to college, she hopes to pass the business down to another teenager in South Baltimore so that AGL can continue its services.

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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.