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Using Science - Parks & People Foundation

One Park
Parks & People works within an organizing framework known as One Park, which envisions a healthy, vibrant network of parks, playing fields and green space that connects people, especially youth, with the environment and one another, in turn improving health and strengthening the City. Parks & People's programs-youth camps and sports leagues, environmental education, job training, park revitalization, community greening and watershed restoration-support this vision. It not only leads service and demonstration projects but it also fosters leadership through collaboration, grants programs, research projects and community organizing to achieve shared objectives and sustainable policies. Parks & People also supports new groups incubating and supporting related programs.

Partnership for Parks
Partnerships for Parks is a joint initiative of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks and Parks & People. Established in 2005, Partnerships for Parks provides resources, training, connections and technical assistance to community members dedicated to maintaining and enhancing Baltimore's public parks. Community groups may apply for small grants for park enhancement projects. These grant funds in turn stimulate additional investment in Baltimore's public parks through thousands of hours of volunteer time, in-kind donations and other monetary gifts. From 2005-2012, the program distributed $668,736 in City-provided grant funds to 131 organizations for projects including physical improvements and plantings and installations such as benches, fences and murals. As illustrated below, the program is very successful in stimulating community engagement and leveraging limited public resources with those of volunteer groups.


Gwynns Falls Trail
As it has for almost 20 years, Parks & People plays a key role in making the 1904 Olmstead vision (Report Upon the Development of Public Grounds for Greater Baltimore, 1904) a reality with the creation of the Gwynns Falls Trail. This 15-mile hiker-biker trail connects 30 neighborhoods in West and South Baltimore and 2000 acres of stream valley parks. The Gwynns Fall Trail is a public-private partnership project with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks as owner and manager of the Trail and Parks & People providing support for the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, a membership organization created to promote enjoyment and continuous improvement of the Trail and to coordinate community involvement, volunteer activities and events along the Trail. Parks & People also supports the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks' "canoe & scoop" water events in the Middle Branch Park to remove floating debris. Parks & People continues to improve the Trail regularly in partnership with the National Park Service by adding interpretive features along the Trail as well as capturing the Trail's natural and cultural heritage in a book, an audio tour, and a navigation app.
Certified Community Wildlife Habitat
Parks & People is a key partner with National Wildlife Foundation in a recently announced effort to establish Baltimore as the largest Certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Using the connections and experience of Parks & People and other key, local partners, this effort will unite residents, organizations and stakeholders around a common vision of restoring wildlife habitats and protecting biodiversity in the urban environments where Greater Baltimore residents live and work. With a goal to certify more than 600 homes, ten parks, and six schools in Baltimore, when successful the City will be recognized as one of the 60+ Community Wildlife Habitats nationwide.
Youth Sports
Parks & People motivates young people to be active and spend time outdoors. Since 1992, Parks & People has offered recreation programs to engage young people in safe, healthy and meaningful outdoor activities. Sports programs offer opportunities for young people to learn the values of teamwork and fair play. Current sports programs include baseball, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse to inner city youth. Over 30,000 young people have played a sport in a Parks & People league.