People might have heard of us, but they just don’t know. Even when you look at maps of Baltimore City, Belair-Edison isn’t on there. They stop at Clifton Park and leave us out. But we have two of the major parks in the city, two major high schools that have been here for nearly a quarter of a century. We have a microbrewery in our community. People need to recognize the great assets we have here.
As a Belair-Edison resident and employee of BENI, I’ve been a squeaky wheel for the neighborhood, which is what you need. Baltimore is just a very segregated city. People fall into their pockets and don’t want to branch out. As an organizer my goal is to reach out to residents to help them be more engaged, to teach them the tools and resources they can access, to do clean-ups and block parties, but also to foster collaboration, both within the community and with other communities. And that’s about building relationships.
That’s why Deep Blue is such an asset for us — our work with them is a way of bringing relevance to our community, and bringing out the creativity of our residents. It’s about using trees and greening to make things more beautiful, yes. But it’s also about collaboration and empowering the neighborhood to design something that they want and that works for them. So it’s not just tree planting; it could be alley canopies with flower walls, or something even more ambitious. It’s not just replacing some planters on our main street corridor; it’s transforming the ones we already have into a neighborhood attraction so people CAN’T overlook them, or us. We’re taking things from ground level to where the sky’s the limit so that people will really know who we are.
Christina Delgado serves as Community Engagement and Marketing Manager for Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc.
Photo Credit: Zoë Gewanter/New Lens Productions.
Deep Blue is an innovative partnership between Blue Water Baltimore, the Neighborhood Design Center, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Department of Planning, and five neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City.