The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning


A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

May 2017

A Message from the Director:

This month, we're inviting community members to join us for an interactive set of meetings to discuss priorities and recommendations for the Green Network Plan. We want residents to weigh in on what they want to see instead of vacants in their community: gardens, parks, urban farms or other ideas.

At meetings on May 22 and 25, the public is invited to view the culmination of many months of work by reviewing our draft Vision Plan for the Green Network. This Vision Plan will outline the corridors and spaces in our City where we will target green improvements both permanent and temporary.

We will also share our Visual Glossary with the public at this meeting. This tool will provide  examples of the types of green spaces possible, and the specific improvements that will transform vacants into assets across our City.

Please join us to share your ideas and contribute to the development of the Green Network Plan. Your ideas will shape the future of our City for years to come.


Thomas J. Stosur, Director 


GreenScape 2017: Rescheduled for May 31st


Join the Baltimore Green Schools Initiative for our annual end of year celebration: GreenScape 2017.  GreenScape is a collaboration with the youth-led advocacy group Baltimore Beyond Plastic.  All school green teams, environmental clubs, and youth-serving environmental organizations are welcome to attend.  

City Schools that have participated in the 2017 Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge grant program will be showcasing their accomplishments. Youth and Adults alike will have the opportunity to enjoy free food, music, and outdoor activities. Please RSVP. For school teams with transportation needs, please contact Andrea Calderon. We hope to see you there!

Schools are encouraged to become Maryland Green Schools! For more information, visit

Transform, New Zoning Code, Goes into Effect on June 5, 2017

The new Zoning Code for Baltimore was passed by City Council on December 5, 2016 and will go into effect on Monday, June 5, 2017.

For more information, email


Seeking Volunteers to Lead Trail Maintenance This Season!

Learn how to maintain Baltimore City Trails! A training is scheduled for May 18, 2017.

Contact Jackie Bender at for more information.

Facebook Logo

The Planning Department has a new website!

Visit us at:


Subscribe to the Planning Department's e-newsletter by clicking on the image below:


Green Network Plan: Preview Our Vision Plan this May

What is the Green Network Plan?

The Green Network Plan is creating a bold vision for re-imagining vacant and abandoned properties and transforming them into community assets.

The Plan will include three components:

  • A city-wide vision plan for creating an interconnected network of green spaces.
  • Recommendations to support long-term implementation.
  • Pilot area greening and development strategies for areas in East, West, and Southwest Baltimore.


Green Network Plan: Join Us This May!

Public engagement has been central to the Green Network Plan process.

The planning process will continue with meetings at The American Brewery Building on May 22nd and St Benedict Church on May 25th. Participants will learn about the Focus Area Plans and proposed pilot projects, and will be invited to provide feedback on the Green Network Vision Plan and recommendations. This will be the first preview of the Green Network Vision Plan and Visual Glossary for the public.

We hope you will join us for one of these interactive events. Mayor Pugh is scheduled to welcome attendees at the May 25th convening.

Below is a summary of our public engagement efforts to date:

  • In the summer of 2016, the Green Network Plan kicked off with a public meeting at Mother Seton Academy.  Over 130 people provided feedback on project goals, green space preferences and locations for greening, demolition, and stabilization of vacant properties. 
  • In Fall 2016, 90 people attended meetings at The American Brewery Building and Lillian Jones Recreation Center. At these meetings, participants provided their feedback on outdoor green spaces and corridors across the city where improvements are needed, and barriers to accessing green spaces in their neighborhood.
  • Throughout Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, meetings were held in East, West, Central and Southwest Baltimore to develop the Focus Area Plans (see more below). Additional engagement was led by the architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross, working with area churches in East Baltimore.


Spotlight on a Pilot Project in the Works in SW Baltimore: Rachael Wilson Firefighter Memorial

Four Baltimore communities are initial Focus Areas for the Green Network Plan. The first Green Network Plan pilot projects will occur in these areas.

In October of 2016, the Department of Planning held two visioning charrettes and identified strategies to enhance the green network in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods of Shipley Hill, Boyd-Booth and Carrollton Ridge.  A second meeting was held in April 2017 to finalize recommendations.

The first pilot project identified in Boyd Booth is the Racheal Wilson Firefighter Memorial.  The Community Association is interested in creating a commemorative garden at the 100 block of South Calverton Road to honor the Fire Fighter/EMT Recruit who passed away in the line of duty.  This Community Managed Open Space would include a fenced area with flower beds, children’s play space and a neighborhood gathering area. 

The Neighborhood Design Center is working with the community to develop the conceptual design for the site based on the ideas of the community and Ms. Wilson’s family.

More Schools than Ever Certified Green

As of May 2017, Forty-two schools (32 public, 10 independent) in Baltimore City are now certified Maryland Green Schools.

The Maryland Green School Awards Program is a nationally recognized certification for K-12 schools, led by the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE). Schools that participate in the program empower youth to lead the charge in reducing environmental impact, promoting environmental literacy and encouraging community-wide sustainability efforts.

The Green Schools Program is the regional gold standard for going green. By “greening” our schools, we provide a healthy environment for both students and staff, improve academic performance, and save money which can then be spent on educational resources. Through an environmentally-based education, children can be taught the impacts behaviors have on their local and global communities, empowering them to become better stewards of the planet and the future.

This year, we have four newly certifying schools and another three recertifying for the first time! Congratulations to our Green Schools — we are so proud of your leadership! These schools will be celebrated at a state-wide Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 from 9am-1pm.


Friends School of Baltimore

Harlem Park Elementary Middle School

Patterson High School

Reginald F. Lewis High School

First Recertification

Benjamin Franklin High School

Patterson Park Public Charter School

Federal Hill Preparatory School

For more information, including links to online applications that show in detail what our schools are doing to green, visit this page on our website.