Vacant Baltimore lot
A vacant, trash-strewn lot in Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Vacant lot or green job training opportunity?

One organization envisions vacant lots as training grounds for the “green economy.”

Bon Secours of Maryland Foundation Inc. wants to start a program that would turn blighted city and privately owned lots in Southwest Baltimore into green spaces. The nonprofit has applied for a Community Block Grant agreement with the city for $180,000 to create the Clean and Green Program. Approval of the agreement is on the Board of Estimates’ agenda for Wednesday.

According to the agenda item, the program will create “a community greening strategy by converting blighted vacant lots in low and moderate-income areas of Southwest Baltimore into green open spaces and side yards. The program will provide employment training to area residents to develop the necessary job skills in order to become gainfully employed in the ‘green’ industry.”

The organization intends to obtain city lands via the mayor’s Power in Dirt initiative. But the program also wants to use privately owned land. It intends to gain access to private land by working with the Community Law Center using the city’s “Self-Help Nuisance Abatement process.”


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