Improving Baltimore Through Green Space and Education
BUILDING VIBRANT COMMUNITIES
Parks & People believes everyone in Baltimore should be connected to nature, to their community and to each other through vibrant parks and greens spaces. Founded in 1984, Parks & People has created parks and green spaces within a 10-minute walk of 80,000 city residents living in low-income neighborhoods, providing over 100 community greening groups with support and running after school and summer academic, environmental and recreational programs for more than 1,500 Baltimore City children experiencing poverty.
FROM BLIGHT TO BEAUTIFUL
Parks are the fastest, most efficient and economical strategy for high impact neighborhood transformation of blighted houses and vacant lots filled with trash into community assets. Our goal is for every Baltimore City resident to be within a 10-minute walk of a vibrant park. Parks & People raises funds, leads a community-based design process, oversees construction and empowers neighborhoods to take pride in their parks through community-based maintenance plans and training.
Over 1,500 Baltimore City students experiencing poverty annual participate in programs built on three core competencies:
- Using the natural environment as a ready-made classroom to facilitate real-world STEM learning
- Instilling a life-long love of physical activity, especially outdoors
- Building emotional resiliency and healthy peer relationships through social-emotional learning with meaningful adult guidance
High School Internships- Preparing youth for green jobs and college
Branches is a year-round paid internship for 90 public high school students learning career and job readiness skills while building positive social relationships through academics and real-life experiences. Interns earn a stipend while receiving 150-360 hours of environmental education, discovering green careers and collectively spending over 5,000 hours learning hands-on skills through approximately 20 projects creating and maintaining neighborhoods parks and gardens benefiting thousands of residents across Baltimore city. Branches is a first job for most of these teens. Careers introduced include natural resource management, urban agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy and more. Most interns live in neighborhoods where the outdoors is unsafe and few have access to nature. Branches develops a life-long love of healthy, physical activity by interspersing work time with hiking, rock climbing, biking, swim lessons and kayaking to provide powerful, life changing experiences.