Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2009 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Parks & People, BES and Urban Resources Initiative (URI): 20 years of Linking Communities, Educators and Researcher in Baltimore City
Washington, Mary L.
Co-Authors: Mary Hardcastle and Abigail Cocke

Abstract: The Parks & People Foundation operates within a philosophical and operational approach that links environmental education, community organizing, outreach, and ecological research. Our observations and experiences in Maryland and in Baltimore City are instructive when placed in the larger context of the environmental movement and its current issues around the lack of racial minority and low-income populations. The role of intermediary or community-based organization in creating an educated and informed constituency that can provide voices to protect our natural resources, to deepen public discussion of public policy issues, and to encourage public debate about how to sustain and build greater social networks to address the complex issues that naturally occur in a human environment must be valued. This talk describes some of the work of the Parks & People Foundationís research, education and policy over the last 25 years that has emerged from its mission to improve the quality of life in Baltimore City neighborhoods through the restoration of the green infrastructure of its communities, expansion of outdoor recreational and environmental education opportunities and the creation of employment and training in natural resource management and ecological sciences.