Adam DeRose

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Composting expands in Baltimore with new drop-off pilot program

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Baltimore residents can drop food scraps at bins at a city collection facility on Sisson Street and four other locations.

Baltimore residents can now bring their food scraps to compost bins at each of the city’s five Department of Public Works citizen drop-off sites as part of a new pilot program expanding composting options across the city.

Fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, grains and bread, coffee grounds and tea bags will be accepted at the bins, officials said.

Walking, biking and riding to Druid Park: “Complete Streets” planning gets underway

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Baltimore transportation officials are working on a series of Complete Streets projects around Druid Hill Park.

Baltimore is reimagining what the busy thoroughfares running along Druid Hill Park could look like in the future and asking for residents’ input to make the park friendlier for bicycles, scooters and pedestrians.

The Druid Park Lake Drive Complete Streets planning and concept design project is mapping out neighborhood priorities as the city transportation department works to improve the roadway for all types of transportation.

With underground water storage tanks installed, planning for Druid Hill Park shoreline amenities gets underway

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The construction of new underground reservoir tanks at Druid Hill Park is near completion, so planning of shoreline amenities can begin.

As a massive reconstruction of a Baltimore reservoir at Druid Hill Park nears completion, the project is set to move to a new phase: reimagining a destination shoreline with artwork, swimming, biking and other amenities for city residents.

In the meantime, Baltimoreans and commuters can expect a reprieve from construction and roadwork before the next stage gets underway.

In Waverly, hopes are high that Red Emma’s will boost a tired commercial strip

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One of two Waverly buildings that will be home to a relocated Red Emma’s.

The impending move of a beloved Baltimore bookstore and restaurant to the Waverly neighborhood is raising hopes of revival along the tired Greenmount Avenue commercial corridor and nearby blocks.

Red Emma’s, the anarchist-inspired cooperative, is purchasing a pair of vacant buildings to create what members and founders hope will be a “permanent home” as it leaves the Mount Vernon location it has occupied since 2018.

In preparation, Red Emma’s staff have been reaching out to their new community, learning what their neighbors want and how the cooperative can contribute to a sense of place. Co-founder Kate Khatib said the pandemic’s effects on the restaurant and bookshop’s operations gave member-owners an opportunity to re-evaluate its mission and future.

“We were working hard to really make this business successful, but we were not leaving ourselves enough time to do the deep community-focused work that Red Emma’s is known for and what was really important to us,” Khatib said.

You have cicada questions (like ‘How many should my dog eat?’). We have cicada answers.

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A handful of freshly emerged cicada nymphs. They must emerge in enormous numbers to overcome predators. (credit: M.J. Raupp)

Billions of cicadas are ready to emerge from underground to take part in a noisy mating ritual 17 years in the making.

Experts are busy helping Maryland residents prepare for this rare phenomenon. Here are answers to some of the most common questions:

Porch Concerts filling the gap for live music in Baltimore during pandemic

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Brandon Woody plays trumpet at a Charles Village porch concert. Photo credit: Philip Muriel.

Bassist Ed Hrybyk had been playing in two weekly shows before the pandemic hit, but with restaurant and venue closures and social distancing, he had to get creative to keep performing and earning a living.

After experimenting, he launched the Charles Village Porch Concerts last April, playing shows with other local musicians from his North Calvert Street front porch for tips.

Early in the pandemic, “I started doing live streams, [but] it rubbed me the wrong way,” Hrybyk said. “It’s a totally different ballgame when you’re playing for different people.”

Neighbors found the concerts a welcomed respite from the pandemic and Hrybyk says it built community on his block in a way that respected government restrictions and health precautions.

It’s Baltimore’s Spring Cleanup Weekend; Again, the message is to “Clean where you live.”

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“Litter twins” Heather Moyer and Ashley Espostio participate in the Mayor’s 2020 Spring Clean up event in Violetville. Courtesy Ashley Esposito

Baltimore residents and community organizations are set to clean the streets across the city this weekend, as part of Mayor Brandon Scott’s spring clean-up day.

The event is an annual Baltimore tradition, but with street sweeping services and bulk trash pickup suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic, residents say the need this year is greater.

Turn a country club into a city park? Yes, say Roland Park residents. And they’re willing to pay.

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A group of Roland Park residents is hoping to buy a portion of Baltimore Country Club and create a park that is open to all.

A group of Roland Park neighbors is raising millions to buy and preserve land being sold by the Baltimore Country Club, hoping that their offer staves off developer interest in the valuable North Baltimore property.

The effort to turn 20 acres of historic country-club land into a community park is being led by the Roland Park Community Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1986 that supports green space in the area.

At M&T Bank Stadium, vaccines bring relief and excitement

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M&T Bank Stadium will prioritize at least 2,100 vaccine appointments each week for residents of Baltimore City. Maryland’s other mass vaccination sites will set aside the same amount of appointments for the communities where they are located. Image via Google Streetview.

As Maryland ramps up its vaccination efforts, residents from across the state are descending on Baltimore’s M&T Bank stadium to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, eager for life after inoculation.

The facility opened late last month after an 18-day transformation from a football stadium to a mass vaccination site. It is one of five regional mass vaccination sites across the state.

University of Maryland Medical System coordinated with the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Air National Guard to convert the facility.  Guardsmen are supporting the work both inside and outside the stadium.

Master Sgt. David Yarborough called his service there his most rewarding deployment.

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