In 2012, three groups of neighbors from different Baltimore, MD communities reached out individually for assistance in cleaning up, protecting, and/or improving their community forests. In response, Baltimore Green Space (BGS) launched the forest stewardship network which included both neighbors and experts in forestry. The forest stewardship program hinges on cultivating resident interest, fostering collaborations, and conducting leadership development with community members, which involves over 300 neighbors in forest environmental engagements each year in 10-12 forest patches. BGS uses the term “environmental engagement” to describe a wide range of offerings that help to either educate the community about the environment and/or engage them with the environment. Our work with forest stewards inspired original research, which concluded that 20% of Baltimore’s Tree Canopy is in forest patches outside of parks—subsequent research was conducted in 100 of those forested spaces. A partnership with University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the US Forest Service continues to grow this dataset. These patches provide distributed access to natural environments in neighborhoods and are located throughout the city, excluding the most developed area in downtown Baltimore.
Lautar, Katherine J.
"Leadership Learning Communities, Scientific Sustenance, and Adventures in Inspiration Feedback Loops in Baltimore, Maryland,"
Cities and the Environment (CATE):
1, Article 24.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol13/iss1/24