Vegetable Garden at Baltimore City Hall in Danger

by Susan  Harris
I hope you had a chance to see the glorious vegetable gardens at Baltimore’s City Hall last year, their first year, because it may be their last.   We’ve heard the sad news that the city plans to cut funding for the Maryland Cooperative Extension services within the city and if that happens, there won’t be anymore matching funds from the state or federal government.  (A total loss of $550,000 in matching funds.)   That would mean the end of Baltimore’s Master Gardener program (also 4H, and a host of other Cooperative Extension services) and it’s those Master Gardeners who maintain the vegetable gardens at City Hall.   The garden was designed by Angela Treadwell-Palmer and the plants were grown in the greenhouse at the Cylburn Arboretum.   It not only taught veg-gardening to city residents and but actually supplied 1,500 pounds of food to Our Daily Bread for homeless residents.

In addition to tending this productive garden at City Hall, their activities include:

  • Supporting the Great Kid’s Farm in Catonsville and Lake Clifton hoop houses, which teach horticulture and entrepreneurial skills to kids.
  • Maintaining Cylburn Arboretum and Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory, and other city parks.
  • Working in 40+ community gardens and helping to create new ones.
  • Teaching residents how to grow food.
  • Teaching residents lawn and landscape care that won’t harm the Chesapeake Bay.

A lobbying campaign to save Master Gardeners, 4H and other services is under way – follow this link to see one letter written in support.    And here’s the story in the Baltimore Sun.

Lower two photos by Angela Treadwell-Palmer.

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