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Exeter Gardens Volunteer Day 2013

Exeter Gardens Volunteer Day 2013

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Published by: rajusme on Jun 13, 2013
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06/13/2013

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June 12, 2013

CONTACT: Shaynaye Franklin Contact for day of the event: 410.608.1797

Email: sfranklin@wpmllc.com CONTACT for MRA: Cynthia Fraser Email: cfraser@mahanrykiel.com Tel. 410.235.6001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VOLUNTEERS TO BUILD A COMMUNITY GARDEN AND MAYOR TO VISIT EXETER GARDENS ON JUNE 29th
BALTIMORE--- A year of planning and design work will culminate on June 29th and 30th when neighbors, volunteers and employees of private companies come together to create Exeter Gardens! Exeter Gardens is a community-led initiative to address the “food desert” within the historic Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore. Like more than 24 million other Americans, the residents of Jonestown live in a “food desert” – a community where low-income families have little or no access to affordable, healthy food. Their goal is to transform an abandoned lot at Exeter and Lombard streets (101-103 S. Exeter) into a beautiful green oasis where neighbors can build community spirit while learning about healthier lifestyles through growing and preparing their own food. This project also aligns with broader community development goals to promote Jonestown and its cluster of museums as a tourist destination by enhancing the livability and walkability of this historic community. Another broad goal is to gain an appreciation of the different cultures and ethnicities that exist in the neighborhood through sharing different cuisines. It is hoped neighbors will share their recipes and dishes created from the herbs and vegetables grown in the garden.

On June 29-30, starting at 8AM, volunteers from the community, WPM Real Estate Management, Mahan Rykiel Associates, Morgan Stanley, Johns Hopkins University, MAC Harbor East, Whole Foods Harbor East, Mainscapes, Home Depot and many others will come together to convert a blight on the landscape into a neighborhood green space and community vegetable garden. Artist,Sarah K. El-Jallad, will be painting a beautiful mural. The garden will be blessed at noon on Saturday by clergy from several different religions and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has agreed to visit with the volunteers at 1PM-1:30PM on Saturday, June 29th.

WPM became involved in the Exeter Garden Project through direct contact from the project founders, Lindsay Thompson-(Lindsay & Associates, CPA, John Hopkins Carey School Of Business)- Founder, Hasdai Westbrook(Changing Media)-President, and Eric Walker-Morgan Stanley- (Morgan Stanley)- CFO. Michael Klein- President of Commercial Management and Construction Services accepted the offer to assist in making this project come to life by

taking on the role of General Contractor. WPM donations include labor, equipment, and monetary contributions. WPM has also gained the help of the Volunteer Committee to assist in making this a well-developed and organized construction project. WPM has also secured donations from Home Depot, Smart Slopes, and Mainscapes to assist in the construction of the Garden. WPM has a proven responsibility to give back to the community and environment in which they live. WPM feels the garden extends to the community a green space in an urban setting. It will also act as an interactive and learning space that improves the neighborhood.

Mahan Rykiel Associates provided various design services for the community garden. “Mahan Rykiel is proud to provide pro bono landscape design services for the Exeter Gardens project. Creating a garden that improves the lives of the neighbors, fosters a sense of community, and beautifies the city is at the heart of what we enjoying doing as landscape architects. We are hopeful that Exeter Gardens will create an oasis that will empower families to grow healthier foods, and in working in their community garden, develop a sense of civic pride,” says Joe Burkhardt, Associate Principal at Mahan Rykiel Associates.

Additional major supporters of the community project include the Abell Foundation, Sylvan/Laureate Foundation, Lindsay & Associates, CPA and Butler, Melfa & Taylor. Other companies providing financial support, goods or services include: PNC Bank – Harbor East, MD Athletic Club – Harbor East, Bin 604 – Harbor East, Aveniu Brands – Harbor East, McCormick & Co., The Perennial Farm, National Lumber, Belair Supply, Potomac Valley Brick, Mainscapes Landscaping, Vulcan Materials and Parks & People. For more information about the Exeter Gardens project, please visit their website at http://exetergardens.net/ . #####
Aerial perspective of the garden. Courtesy: Mahan Rykiel Associates

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