Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Southwest Baltimore Watershed Meeting
January 20, 2011, 10:13 am
Filed under: Events, News | Tags: , ,

Southwest Baltimore Watershed Meeting

Watershed 263
Council Meeting

January 25, 2011, 6-8pm
Bon Secours Community Center
26 N. Fulton Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21223

From Parks and People:

Watershed 263 is a 930-acre storm drain area in west and southwest Baltimore City that encompasses part of 12 urban neighborhoods from Sandtown-Winchester in the north to the Carroll-Camden Business Park in the South.  Surface water, carrying trash and pollutants, which collects on streets, alleys and vacant lots into the Baltimore Harbor after traveling through a 43-mile storm drain system that converges into one outfall pipe near the mouth of Gwynns Falls, in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

The Watershed 263 Project focuses on revitalizing urban communities by concentrating on strategies that improve both water quality and quality of life using greening or urban forestry projects.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.


Baltimore Adopt A Lot Program

Baltimore Adopt A Lot Program

It is cold and dreary outside, but in just a few months it won’t be, so now’s the perfect time to start planning your garden.  Don’t have a front or back yard? -No problem, with Baltimore’s Adopt A Lot program you can have your very own green space too!

The Adopt A Lot program helps Baltimore residents identify empty lots and transform them into a community oasis.  The website of Baltimore Green Space, a land trust for community-managed open spaces, is a great place to start for residents interested in gathering information about adopting a city green space.  Baltimore Green Space, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2007 by a group of community gardeners who wanted to see their communities’ treasured open spaces remain available to residents.

Another good source of info is the city’s Turn A Vacant Lot Into A Garden guide.  You can download a PDF version of the guide: CLICK HERE.


SavWatt Is Expanding Operations In Baltimore
January 13, 2011, 9:01 am
Filed under: News

SavWatt Is Expanding Operations In Baltimore

SavWatt USA is an innovator of LED lighting and headquartered in Baltimore, MD.

From Chris Huntemann at

SavWatt USA, which makes energy-efficient LED lights for streets and other outdoor and indoor purposes, is moving into a new location in downtown Baltimore, where it expects to create more than 500 new jobs in the next two years.

The company will move from its current 2,500-square-foot location on Eastern Avenue into a new, leased, 14,000-square-foot office, factory and showroom space on Wicomico Street, CEO Michael Haug said Monday. The new location is expected to open in March, he said.

The new jobs will be in the manufacturing, assembly, support staff and administrative divisions, Haug said, adding that SavWatt is receiving assistance from Baltimore officials with recruiting new hires. SavWatt officials hope to start hiring 50 new employees next month and to hire 150 new employees by the end of the year, said Haug, who joined SavWatt as CEO in April.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.


Making A Cycling Infrastructure Creates Jobs In Baltimore
January 12, 2011, 9:57 am
Filed under: Biking In Baltimore, News

A Cycling Infrastructure Creates Jobs

From Michael Dresser at the Baltimore Sun:

A study by a researcher at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, focused on projects in Baltimore, suggests that they payoff in terms of job creation from bicycle and pedestrian projects significantly exceeds that from work on road infrastructure.

In her paper, Heidi Garrett-Peltier concludes that bicycle-pedestrian projects such as hiker-biker paths and the creation of bike lanes yield 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared with seven for road work.

The technical study, which can hardly be recommended as exciting reading, says that bicycle and pedestrian projects typically involve a  higher percentage of labor and engineering costs than spending on materials  when compared with road projects.

The study will come as good news for bicycle advocates, whose environmental case for  investment in hiker-biker infrastructure will now be bolstered by economic evidence. Whether that yields much investment in the current budget climate remains to be seen.

To read more from Michael Dresser at his blog, CLICK HERE.


Busting Out Of The Baltimore Mayoral Gate: Otis Rolley

Busting Out Of The Mayoral Race Gate: Otis Rolley

This fall, Baltimorians will once again have a say in who runs their city.  With the beginning of 2011 comes a flurry of activity as runners announce their candidacy and an alignment of camps begins.  Busting from the gate is Otis Rolley, former Director of Planning for the City of Baltimore and creator of the city’s first Comprehensive Master Plan in 39 years.

In November 2010, Otis Rolley received national attention for his speech on urban renewal at TEDxMidAtlantic conference in Washington D.C. where he garnered much praise for a thought-provoking presentation. Not long thereafter, Rolley announced his bid for mayor of Baltimore and, riding a wave of popularity into the new year, Rolley has quickly been thrust into the spotlight as a formidable contender.

On January 1st, notable Tech Entrepreneur Dave Troy provided a written endorsement for Rolley titled A New Leader For Baltimore where he discusses Baltimore’s past political climate and states “Enough. It’s time to move forward again.”

Dave Troy (excerpts):

In 2010 we saw some new trends: long-term incumbents who fit the old standard – of merely not being demonstrably corrupt or incompetent – were booted out. And not because of typical anti-incumbent anger, but because people saw something else: that maybe we could demand better.

I support Otis Rolley in his candidacy for Mayor of Baltimore in 2011. At 36, Otis is part of the new guard.

Baltimore is Otis’ first priority. He has no aspirations for higher office. He wants to work for Baltimore and for all of you. In 2011, we have the wind at our backs – cities are on the upswing, and the Internet is connecting us in unprecedented ways. It’s time to take back our cities and make them the vital, beautiful, functional, and inclusive places we all know they can be. Otis Rolley can help us do that. This is Baltimore’s moment; let’s seize it together.

On Friday, Rolley spoke on Go Green Radio about creating a sustainable Baltimore.  He explained how populations are shifting to urban areas and these areas need to be as sustainable as possible.  When asked about what makes a “sustainable city”, Rolley spoke about a holistic approach that focuses on public health, parks and schools, a city’s walkability, access to quality foods and architectural preservation.  “The greenest buildings are the oldest buildings” Rolley points out and explains the importance of reinvesting in Baltimore’s structures, to which he adds, are “some of the best in the country”.

In regards to a green Baltimore and its relationship to the business community, Rolley calls attention to his endorsement from Troy and explains how Baltimore offers a wealth of opportunities for green tech companies.  Rolley notes our close proximity to other cities and the rich pool of talent offered at Baltimore’s many colleges and universities.

Rolley also explained how, if he is elected mayor, there will be a shifting of priorities from chasing after Fortune 500 companies to “recognizing the strength and long term sustainability” of small and start-up businesses in Baltimore.  He cites Under Armour as an example. “We didn’t recruit them from somewhere else”, Rolley reminded the listening audience and described quality jobs created from such businesses.

To learn more about Baltimore mayoral candidate Otis Rolley, CLICK HERE.


Request A FREE Bike Rack In Baltimore City

Request A FREE Bike Rack In Baltimore

Department Of Transportation Offers Free Bike Racks

From Baltimore Bike Planner Nate Evans:

After a brief suspension, the Department of Transportation is again offering free bike racks to interested property owners.   The bike rack program was rejunvenated after updating the existing inventory of DOT racks and receiving a generous donation of racks from the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Big thanks go to Anne Draddy & Charlie Murphy at Rec & Parks and Nelson Jackson at DOT for making this happen!

Bike racks can be installed on hard surfaces, preferably concrete sidewalks.  Under some circumstances, racks may be installed in brick surfaces.  A site evaluation will needed to determine if installation is feasible.  Each rack can park at least 2 bikes and 3 or 4 if you’re ambitious.  Racks are powder coated for weather resistance and limit dings to bikes.

For more information, CLICK HERE.