2011 In Review

Now that winter is almost upon us, we have a chance to take a breather and look back on what we’ve done this year. And what a year it was! From Blue Water Baltimore’s official launch in January to Operation Nursery Blanket this coming Saturday, 2011 has been full of fun events and fresh faces, challenges and successes–and above all, great strides towards clean water in Baltimore’s streams, rivers, and Harbor.

In our Water Audit program, we had more than 430 people register for audits, and so far this year:
  • Over half a million gallons of runoff have been eliminated from the storm sewer system through rain barrel installs and simple downspout disconnections
  • 7 residents have installed 9 rain gardens, capturing nearly 200,000 gallons of rooftop runoff each year
  • 14 residents have converted approximately 2,500 square feet of turf grass and exposed soil to conservation landscaping
Our new Blue Alleys initiative resulted in:
  • 0.8 acres of impervious pavement converted to native landscaping, preventing over 950,000 gallons of runoff per year
  • 223 volunteers at our biggest de-pave event, the Pavement to Prairie Party at ACCE
  • New green spaces at 3 schools and 1 neighborhood in Baltimore City
The Herring Run Nursery is growing, in more ways than one. This year, we:
  • Nearly doubled our sales from last year, with $90,000 in revenue
  • Sold over 7,000 trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials
  • Started building a hoop house to shelter our plants during the winter months
  • Gave away 435 trees to homeowners through our County and TreeBaltimore giveaway events
Of course, many of our clean water initiatives are powered by people–namely, our volunteers! In 2011:
  • Over 5,000 volunteers gave 11,300 hrs
  • 2,115 native trees and shrubs were planted on public and institutional property
  • 1288 trees were released from non-native, invasive vines
  • Over 78,000 lbs of trash were removed from local waterways, including 46 sites during Project Clean Stream
  • 513 storm drains were marked to educate communities about the stormwater system
  • 70 volunteers were trained to recognize and report pollution

And lastly on the home front, our organization has been developing and expanding:
  • Six new staff members were hired in 2011, for a grand total of 18 full- and part-time staff
  • Halle Van der Gaag took the helm as Blue Water Baltimore’s Executive Director
  • Over 200 people attended Berry Festival, our summer celebration of volunteers
  • More than 300 supporters attended the annual Trash Bash
Like what we do? There are lots of ways to support Blue Water Baltimore’s work. Here are just a few:
  • Make a gift before the end of the year and your gift will double through a generous match from a local foundation.
  • Give a gift in a loved one’s name. We will notify your loved one to let them know support was given to BWB in their name.
  • Take advantage of the Community Investment Tax Credit, worth 50% of your gift of $500 or more on top of your normal deduction. More information is available here.
  • Help us treat our volunteers right. We always need donations of nonperishable snacks or gift cards to local restaurants to help us feed our volunteers in the field
  • Volunteer with us yourself!
Keep your eye on Blue Water Baltimore in the year to come. We’ll be working harder than ever in 2012 to bring clean water issues to the fore and to provide more opportunities to have your voice heard.

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