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Good afternoon

I’m reaching out to see if anyone from The Baltimore Sun would like to attend a ribbon cutting
ceremony next Monday, June 30, where Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will celebrate
a $10,000 ‘Grow Your Park’ grant from the Darden Foundation and National Recreation and
Park Association. The grant specifically benefits BCRP’s Rockrose City Farm Program and
BCRP is one of fifteen communities nationwide receiving the grant in 2014.
Date: Monday, June 30
Time: 3 p.m. EST
Place: 3713 Clipper Road, Baltimore MD 21211
 Colin Tarbert, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development
 Ernest Burkeen, Director Baltimore City Recreation and Parks
 Bill Vondrasek, Chief of Parks
 Kelly Eberhart, Managing Partner at LongHorn Steakhouse (a Darden restaurant brand)
The below press release has additional information about the ‘Grow Your Park’ grant and how it
will improve the health and wellness of Baltimore citizens. Please let me know if you’ll be
attending and if you have any questions.
Dea Pennington
Ketchum on behalf of Darden Restaurants


June 25, 2014

Gwendolyn Chambers, Office of Communications
O (410) 396-6694 C (443) 415-0476

Baltimore City Community Garden will Grow for Good
New grant funding will help low-income families grow fresh
Baltimore, MD ( June 25, 2014)— Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) has been
selected as a Grow Your Park grant recipient from the Darden Foundation and the National

Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). BCRP is one of fifteen communities awarded this
grant in 2014.
Community gardens located in parks and other community spaces provide a nutritious source of
local and healthy produce while encouraging project collaboration and healthy living. Through
the Grow Your Park grant program BCRP’s City Farms program has made significant
improvements to one of its 12 community gardens, Rockrose City Farm including the addition of
“This grant will help us continue our commitment to improving the health and wellness of
Baltimore’s residents,” said BCRP Director Ernest Burkeen. “We are proud to offer an affordable
option for Baltimore to have access to fresh foods.”
A portion of the Rockrose City Farm’s produce will go to low-income families at no cost. The
food will be distributed weekly through the Amazing Grace Lutheran Food Pantry and Moveable
Feast. City Farms is a Recreation and Parks program offering garden plots for rent to City
residents where they grow their own vegetables, herbs and flowers. Most plots offer about 150
square feet of gardening space and rent for $30-$50 per year, depending on location.
“The Grow Your Park grant program and its recipients embody our commitment to give back to
local communities, preserve our planet’s natural resources and serve food to those in need,”
said Stephanie Ghertner, director of the Darden Foundation. “Food banks and other
organizations in communities across the country benefit from the fresh produce and educational
opportunities community gardens provide.”
In addition to the production of nutritious foods, community gardens promote healthy lifestyles,
connect people to nature, cultivate community ties, and strengthen self-sufficiency for
many. The entire process from planting to harvesting helps create a more active, engaged and
healthy community.
For more information about the Grow Your Park program, visit
Baltimore City Recreation and Parks is Baltimore’s leading provider of affordable, year-round
leisure and recreational activities for citizens of all ages and abilities. BCRP’s mission is improve
the health and wellness of Baltimore through quality recreational programs, preserving our
parks and natural resources, and promoting fun, active lifestyles for all ages.
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc.
The Darden Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of service and community engagement
as defining characteristics of Darden’s family of restaurants – Red Lobster, Olive Garden,
LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard
House. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $71 million in grants to
leading nonprofit organizations that align with its mission and community priorities: Recipe for
Success®, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor grants. Through the Darden
Harvest program, Darden Restaurants has also donated more than 66 million pounds of food to
hunger relief agencies across the U.S. and Canada. In 2011, the Darden Foundation introduced
the Restaurant Community Grants program that is dedicated to supporting local nonprofit
organizations in the hundreds of communities where we live and serve. For more information,

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization
dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for
all people. Through its network of 40,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA
encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable
access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access
to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation,