Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Type of Programs or Services for Reservoir HIll Should the New John Eager Howard School Offer?

Reservoir Hill neighbors and partners,

Thank you for all you've contributed to John Eager Howard's school design process. We've come a long way in the past year in building a school that truly reflects the beliefs and values of the neighborhood.

Many of you attended the school design review on February 11th and got to see the 3 schematic drawing that were presented by Cho Benn Holback and Associates. We are now in the process of waiting for the official recommendation from BCPS, and will keep the community posted as we hear more.

In the school design, there is the opportunity to set aside 3,000 square feet for community space. The idea is for these spaces to be open to the entire community (regardless of if you have children in the school or not), but need to be programmatically focused. Can you all help us gather feedback regarding your interests in specific supports, resources, and opportunities by sharing this survey link below or collecting paper surveys?

If you would like to have a focus group scheduled with members of your organization, we would love to do that as well.

Thank you for all of your support. Please feel free to contact me or any member of the design team with any questions or concerns. 


Erin Bowman
School Organizer & Healthy Foods Coordinator
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council
2001 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21217
O: (410)225-7547  C: (860)368-8252

Friday, April 18, 2014

Help Re-Design North Avenue - Come to the 7th of May Workshop in Reservoir Hill

Re-imagining West North Avenue

A set of visioning workshops for West North Avenue are taking place over the next few weeks as part of a Baltimore City Department of Transportation project organized by Coppin Heights CDC, Councilman Nick Mosby(7th District), Druid Heights CDC, Neighborhood Design Center, and Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.  The workshops bring together residents to discuss how they'd like to see the North Avenue streetscape look.  

What kind of landscaping and lighting are desired?
How wide should North Avenue be?
How can it be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly?
What can be done to encourage local business to set up shop on North Avenue?
How can a new design help connect the communities along North Avenue in positive ways?


The workshop for the stretch of North Avenue from Charles Street to McCulloh is scheduled for:
Wednesday, 7 May; 5-9 pm
John Eager Howard Recreation Center
2100 Brookfield Avenue
Baltimore, MD, 21217
A free dinner will be served

Workshop dates and locations for different stretches of west North Avenue are below.

We live and work in a wonderful part of Baltimore City.  This is an opportunity for the communities and institutions along West North Avenue to work together to create a North Avenue streetscape that best serves our communities, and in the course of working together, get to know each other as neighbors, and build new, creative relationships between our communities and institutions.

For more information on the project
For the stretch of North Avenue from Charles Street west to McCulloh,
Contact the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council office at
410.225.7547, or write to

The inaugural Third Thursdays in Reservoir HIll event was a warm, creative evening

Even when you see someone frequently, and you think you have fixed them in your personal landscape, you don’t always know what’s really deep inside them.  At last night’s inaugural Third Thursdays in Reservoir Hill gathering there were some revelations.

Every Third Thursday we will hold a cafĂ© style gathering where neighbors and friends can mingle and meet new people over good food and entertainment.  Each month we will feature Central West Baltimore artists and businesses.  This time, Baltimore Poets’ Society held a Poetry Slam, and Liam Flynn’s Alehouse and The Open Plough Project provided the food.

Anthony Pressley, president of the Baltimore Poets’ Society and Director of Community Resources at Druid Heights CDC was Master of Ceremonies, as well as one of the published poets who read that night.  There were many fine offerings, but for all you Reservoir Hill residents and supporters, there were two people you may have seen around a lot, but probably never knew they were poets.

Carl Williams works at John Eager Howard Recreation Center.  If you go in and out of the recreation center much you’ve seen him. We here in the RHIC office certainly have.  But his powerful poem gave us a privileged peek at a part of himself we never knew about.
The same can be said of Chelsea Monet from New Lens.  We always knew Chelsea was creative, but her depth as a young poet came to us as completely new side of her.

Then there was this amazing young man. Nine year old Amir Brown read his own poem on a lesson “drawn” from his own crayons, that everyone is needed to draw a full picture of the world we live in and want to create.
Anthony Pressley and Karen Griner-Smith (also a published poet who read that night, and grandmother to Amir), accompanied by Roger Murray on keyboards, concluded the evening by leading everyone in a group singing of Lean on Me.
Ernest Hemingway referred to the “iceberg theory,” that is to say that the crux of a story rests below the surface. The part we see is only the tip of the iceberg.  Somewhere in the swirling waters of life below what we see moves a much larger story, hidden from view, and only hinted at in fleeting moments.   All these folks gave us a look at some of what lies beneath the surface part we see of them, and for that we thank them all.

Also, thanks to Liam Flynn’s Alehouse and The Open Plough Project for providing the delicious vegan Potato-Leek Soup and vegan Butternut Squash soup.  Check out Central West Baltimore’s own Irish pub at 22 West North Avenue.

Thanks to the Baltimore Poets’ Society for running a great show.

As always, thank you to John Eager Howard Recreation Center for the welcoming space and providing the drinks and utensils for dinner.

15 May – John Eager Howard Recreation Center, 2100 Brookfield Avenue
Watch for the Notices! – (But the Poetry Slam returns a part of the evening)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Poetry Slam Tonight at Third Thursdays in Reservoir Hill Gathering

Friends and Neighbors, Join us for the first Third Thursday in Reservoir Hill gathering.  Every month we'll feature different Central West Baltimore artists and businesse. Tonight Baltimore Poets' Society puts on a Poetry Slam, and Liam Flynn's Alehouse offfers up hearty vegetarian and vegan soups. There will also be amazing musicians, and some of the poets will be selling their books.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Report of April Reservoir Hill Community Meeting discussion on police foot patrols

At the April Reservoir Hill Community Meeting participants discussed the need for police foot patrols in Central West Baltimore neighborhoods and steps to take in getting them.  Rebecca Nagle, Coordinator for No BoundariesCoalition led the discussion.  We were joined by Central District Commander Major William Marcus, and Sgt. Michael Alessi and Officer Robert Horn. 

The Major was very participatory in the conversation, and very supportive of instituting foot and bike patrols.  Sgt. Alessi reported that the department still had a number of bikes in good condition, and that the bike patrol program had been disbanded due to budget issues.  The Major expressed that budget constraints have been and remain an impediment to the use of foot and bike patrols.  Consequently a department-wide strategic decision is needed to support long-term, effective foot and bike patrols.  During the discussion, neighbors also raised the issue of improving street lighting, including replacing defective lights.

Two outcomes from the meeting were:
1.      Sgt. Alessi will get a lighting survey done in Reservoir Hill over the next week to identify where street and park lighting needs to be replaced or repaired.
2.      Major Marcus said that he will over the next week explore how use of over-time pay that is currently in their budget could be used to support temporary foot or bike patrols while this effort to establish a permanent foot and bike patrol operation is developing.

In the meantime, No Boundaries Coalition is forming a Central West Baltimore safety committee to pursue advocacy for foot and bike patrols.

The meeting participants discussed areas to target with an initial foot or bike patrol.  The suggestions centered on:
1.      Pennsylvania Avenue south of North Avenue.
2.      Linden Avenue and North Avenue north to Chauncey Avenue, including the John Eager Howard Park and German Park.

We are pursuing a working session that will include Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Central District Commander Major Marcus, and Central District Commander Major Robert Smith.

The conversation over foot patrols and fostering a safer Central West Baltimore will continue at the No Boundaries Coalition meeting on 8 April at 6:00 pm at St Peter Claver Church 1526 N Fremont.  We will be joined by representatives from the Mayor's office, city council, Western District, and Central District.