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Using Science - Parks & People Foundation - BES
 

Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Parks & People is an active partner with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) in initiatives focused on integrating research with the broader community. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study Artist-in-Residence program (BES AIR) pairs artists with BES scientists to create a conduit for greater exposure of BES research. Working collaboratively with the scientists, each artist develops artworks to be featured in a public exhibition in Baltimore and on the web.
 
BRASS (Baltimore Regional Academy of Science and Sustainability), an advisory group established by Parks & People and BES, focuses on mission-oriented science. BRASS seeks to make science-policy connections to solve problems and get actionable science to inform policy to create a sustainable city. One example is the Maryland Green Prisons Initiative, a collaboration between the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, scientists at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and BES researchers. Scientists conduct research to understand biodiversity patterns in the urban environment, while inmates gain opportunities for training in environmental science and learning skills integral to environmental research.
 
KidsGrow is the Parks & People Foundation's after-school environmental education, reading enrichment and character education program for grade 2-5 Baltimore City Public Schools System students. BES works in collaboration with Parks & People to enhance the urban ecology portion of the KidsGrow curriculum.
 

 
Parks & People's Urban Resources Initiative (URI) partners with BES social and natural scientists on research to understand the ecological and social roles of small urban parks as part of a collaborative project with BES and the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research sites. The project combines social and natural science methods to study biological and human-generated forces affecting vegetation and wildlife in urban parks, focusing on how these impacts vary by social, cultural and economic characteristics of surrounding neighborhoods.
 

 
Each summer, Parks & People organizes a one-day workshop for BES and URI interns to review field safety concerns and procedures. The training gives interns an opportunity to tour several city neighborhoods to meet residents and see greening projects and research sites.
 
Parks & People annually organizes a BES Open House and Community Greening Celebration during the BES annual meeting. The event attracts 200+ community residents and leaders and representatives from city, state and federal agencies. This is an opportunity for BES researchers to engage community residents and educate participants about the BES so all local greeners, advocates and representatives gain greater knowledge about how our human dominated ecosystem works and what we can do to make it better. The atmosphere is festive and includes a reception followed by brief remarks from distinguished guests, sponsors and the presentation of the several awards for outstanding community greening projects and volunteer activities.