Federal Hill Park Receives Grant to Reduce Vehicle and Dirt Bike Traffic

| June 3, 2024 | 0 Comments

South Harbor Renaissance (SHR), a nonprofit that is dedicated to maintaining and improving Federal Hill Park, has received a $46,600 grant from the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP) for garden beds and bollards to protect pedestrians and reduce “high-speed” vehicle, dirt bike, and ATV traffic into the park.

The bollards will prevent unauthorized vehicles from driving into the park at Henry St., which is the curb cut into the park along Warren Ave. They will also keep vehicles off the brick pathway circling the playground area.

A total of eight large garden beds with post and chain fencing will be installed to the side of the path that continues into the park. This is to prevent dirt bikes and ATVs from swerving into the grass and gaining speed, while also beautifying the park with native, resilient plantings.

The SBGP provides grants to neighborhoods around Horseshoe Casino Baltimore using Local Impact Grants generated by video lottery terminals at the casinos.

SHR President and Chair Jimmy Iannuzzi and Vice President Nigel Crocombe worked to revive the organization this year. SHR was launched in 2012 but was inactive since the COVID-19 pandemic.

SHR has led projects such as the installation of Flag Staff Plaza, the restoration of historic monuments, the installation of a new playground, the planting of trees, the installation of new benches, and additional beautification projects in the park.

Iannuzzi and Crocombe have outlined $350,000 to $500,000 in improvements they want to see at the park. They held listening sessions with the community to hear the needs for the park and have shared updates on their progress at Federal Hill Neighborhood Association (FHNA) meetings.

With the help of Delegate Mark Edelson, SHR recently secured $29,000 through a legislative bond initiative from the State of Maryland for repairs to the playground and for a new kids reading area to be installed.

FHNA raised $19,500 from a Federal Hill house tour and is working with SHR to restore statues and add new historical signage and markings in the park.

SHR has also applied for funding from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to install concrete curb bump outs and crosswalks at the Warren Ave./Battery Ave./Riverside Ave. intersection to improve the pedestrian experience around the park.

The organization also wants to see additional improvements including more than 20 new trees planted in the park this fall, new benches installed where others have been removed, railings on the stairs on Warren Ave., and gate repairs around the playground.

SHR will be launching a donation drive later this summer to support the installation of a working water fountain in the park.

Iannuzzi noted Federal Hill Park is not only one the most visited landmarks in Maryland, it is the front yard for so many neighbors in the community who lack their own green spaces.

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