When in an area that is known for crime, drugs and depopulation, how do you stress the importance of ecological efforts to improve that area?
In Baltimore’s highly impervious, economically depressed areas stormwater retrofit was used as a means of ecological enhancement and community building. A collaborative effort focused on stormwater improvements shows results beyond the federal mandates for pollutant removal indicating increased community satisfaction, public education, and community engagement.
According to Tongson, session presenter for D08: ‘The Wire’ to Watershed: Sparking Change in Baltimore says “Working as a Landscape Architect for over 25 years in designing spaces for people and for environmental enhancements has been tremendous education to then design space for environmental enhancement that serves as spaces for people. The urban environment is fertile ground for challenging one to do the highest good for the largest audience.”
She says that this session is of great importance to draw attention to the need for community engagement and the need to meet and exceed environmental regulations. “In an urban area it is critical that the two coexist and support one another. Providing the voice for communities that are recipients and caretakers of the improvements is critical for both to thrive.”
Tongson says you should attend this session because “It will leave you with the desire to B’More than you are told you can be, to B’Mo
re focused on communities, to educate you about the great things happening in Baltimore (B’More). Plus, the attendees will get to laugh a little, cry a little. It will be better than Cats.”
Kim Ilardi, Program Working Group member, says she’s looking forward to the program because “I think Baltimore often gets a bad wrap, I’m really looking forward to hearing some of the positive things going on in this amazing city. Being part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the city has a huge responsibility to make sure they are protecting it.”
Green Infrastructure Project Manager at Parks & People Foundation
Research Scientist / Team Leader at USDA Forest Service