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Harris Creek Connected

Did you know that much of East Baltimore is connected by a creek that is not visible above ground? Harris Creek is an underground creek in East Baltimore that runs from Clifton Park to Canton. The creek runs through the storm drain system underneath 17 neighborhoods that make up the Harris Creek Watershed.

Residents and green leaders have created a coalition called “Harris Creek Connected,” where communities can connect to each other and learn more about cleaning, beautifying, and strengthening their communities. Community members share ideas for greening projects, and help each other connect to grant funding and other resources. Furthermore, Harris Creek Connected unites many voices as one, in order to request resources and implement large scale projects.

Harris Creek: Meet & Green

Momentum is already building in Harris Creek. This spring, neighborhood green leaders represented their communities at Harris Creek: Meet & Green, a reverse resource fair that was presented as part of Baltimore Green Week. Residents proposed ideas to potential partners in a resource fair format, but partners visited residents’ tables, in a reversal of traditional roles.

Miriam Avins and a community leader brainstorming clean and green projects at Harris Creek: Meet & Green.

Projects to Benefit Harris Creek Neighborhoods

Several exciting projects are currently in progress that will benefit Harris Creek Neighborhoods. The Waterfront Partnership has announced a fundraising campaign to install a water wheel at the Harris Creek outfall in Canton. The water wheel will help collect trash that travels downstream before it enters the harbor.

Johns Hopkins is doing an intensive study on the urban heat island throughout Harris Creek neighborhoods, the results of which will have tremendous impact on understanding the public health and climate of Baltimore neighborhoods, and provide data to more effectively address their needs.

Educational Events

The coalition also has fun and educational events several times per year, such as visits to the Canton Waterfront to see where the Harris Creek outfall empties in the Harbor, opportunities to canoe and kayak in the Harbor, bike rides along the path of the Harris Creek, as well as community clean-ups, contests, and fun days.

These activities help to connect children and adults with their surroundings, to understand the impact of litter and greening projects, and to raise awareness of the connection between Baltimore’s streets and streams. By sharing resources, knowledge, and experience, Harris Creek residents from many different backgrounds are uniting in order to make East Baltimore cleaner and greener.

Photo credit: Ben Petersen. Patterson Park Charter School students stand by their completed project which highlights where the Harris Creek used to run above ground. The creek was piped into the storm drain system in the early 20th Century.

Get Involved

To get involved with Harris Creek Connected in your neighborhood, or for more information, contact:

Read the Harris Creek Small Watershed Action Plan: Restoring and Greening a Diverse Urban Community


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