Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launched the Green Tracks initiative Nov. 5, a project initiated by the Greater Baltimore Committee that is working to eliminate blight and create new green space along the East Baltimore Amtrak corridor.
“We have to do more to make people, who are already here, to make them want to stay and that’s what this is about – restoring hope to communities,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “For too long vacant homes along the tracks have been an eyesore for everybody. In 2010 the Greater Baltimore Committee discussed strategies to improve the image for riders along the one-mile of track. The City and GBC, as well as partners like Ayers Saint Gross, worked to develop a comprehensive approach dubbed ‘Green Tracks.’ ”
Green Tracks is focused on the blocks along the Amtrak rail corridor from the tunnel at Bond Street to the overpass at Milton Street.
“Green Tracks will take advantage of the strategically demolished vacant housing and it will connect green space to ongoing revitalization projects throughout our neighborhoods,” the mayor said.
The project utilizes Vacants to Value, the mayor’s initiative to redevelop Baltimore’s abandoned and vacant buildings, and the Growing Green Initiative, which works to employ sustainable, innovative and cost-effective ways to repurpose vacant land, reduce stormwater runoff, promote locally grown food and greening neighborhoods, according to the mayor’s office.
While some buildings will be demolished, it was announced at the Green Tracks launch celebration that 45 vacant homes in the East Baltimore project area will be rehabbed as part of The Homes at Griffon Station.
“We’re here because of the resilience and I think the relentless spirit of the people in East Baltimore,” the mayor said. “We’ve been able to realize a dream of a better Baltimore.”