Turn your alley...
In April of 2007 the Baltimore City Council, under the visionary leadership of Mayor Shelia Dixon, passed a historic piece of legislation - an Alley Gating and Greening ordinance - allowing residents, for the first time ever, to gate and green the alleyways behind their homes. This ordinance is an historic first step for Baltimore, which now becomes one of the first cities in the country to allow the creation of new “commons” via citizen action.
You are fortunate to have this option, for these new alley greens are more than just an attempt for Baltimore to “go green”. These newly shared spaces give you the ability to create a safer environment in which to live. Reclaiming and improving an alley tends to result in a reduction in the amount of dumping, vandalism, and crime that occurs there. You will be able to rest easier knowing that safety is improving. As the alley improves, so should the value of your home. Having an alley green can act as a great amenity and selling point should you ever decide to sell your home.
An alley green can also be a great place for adults to unwind or kids to play. Since you and your neighbors are in control of designing the space, you will be able to create a shared space that reflects your combined values and interests. Do you want to put in planters? You can do that. Do you want to have a bench or table in the alley to use? You can do that, too. What about putting down grass or having a mural or a small sculpture? Those are options as well. Need a place to let your kids burn off some energy but that is safe and near home? The alley is perfect. What you do with the alley is limited only by the imagination of your group.
Click on the links below to explore more about this opportunity!