Garden and pride blossom in Morrell Park
Another patch of weedy, vacant land in Baltimore city has been reclaimed by and for its residents, and a graffiti-scrawled building turned into a huge, colorful mural proclaiming neighborhood pride.
Residents of Morrell Park in southwest Baltimore toiled alongside other volunteers through summer into early fall to clear an overgrown, trash-strewn lot in the 2600 block of Washington Boulevard and turn it into a memorial garden and park.
Now there's a stepping stone path with inlaid mosaics memorializing community members and their relatives who have died. Benches also have been placed along the path to sit and enjoy the flower and vegetable beds in the garden.
A few blocks away, at 2300 Washington Boulevard, Access Art, a community art program, transformed a frequently graffiti-defaced wall into a dramatic welcome sign for the neighborhood. Artist Chris Peters worked with youth and community members to identify bits of neighborhood history and other visual imagery to incorporate into the mural, which was painted in August and September.
The projects were funded with grants from PNC Bank (via the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts), the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Parks and People Foundation. Besides Access Art, other partners were the Morrell Park & St. Pauls Improvement Association and the Morrell Park Recreation Council.
For more views of the garden, memorial walk and mural, go here.
(Photos by Marshall Clarke, executive director Access Art)