[Press Release] Friends of The Jones Falls and Union Collective Awarded $50k Grant For Green Infrastructure

Baltimore, MD (February 4, 2020) – The Friends of The Jones Falls and UNION Collective, the business and manufacturing hub located in the Medfield neighborhood of Baltimore City, have been awarded a $49,595 grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop a green infrastructure master plan for its formerly industrial property located along the banks of the Jones Falls. The initial design phase is expected to begin within the next six weeks.

The grant application was prepared in partnership with the recently formed Friends of The Jones Falls, and with the Central Baltimore Partnership as their Fiscal Sponsor.

Opportunities that the design team plans to explore with the Union Collective tenants, patrons, and other stakeholders include a large, native meadow, several bioretention systems, green roofs, and trees. The group will also explore opportunities for making the Union Collective property as inviting and accessible as possible to pedestrian and bicycle traffic from the surrounding neighborhoods and from the nearby light rail station.

“This project is just the start of improving the relationship that the Union Collective site has with environmental sustainability, engagement, and connectivity with the community that surrounds us here,” says Chris Attenborough, Union Craft Brewing’s General Manager and Project Manager for Union Collective. “We hope it will also encourage similar projects along the Jones Falls Valley, connecting more urban open space for everyone in Baltimore.”

The Friends of the Jones Falls is a volunteer-based organization incorporated to support and sustain the quality of life and long-term stewardship of the Jones Falls. Its board of local leaders engage communities of the Jones Falls Watershed to preserve, protect, enhance, and conserve its environmental integrity while promoting sustainable development of the watershed. With severe flood events occurring on an increasingly regular basis, stormwater restoration projects along the Jones Falls are a high priority for the group. “The highly visible Union Collective site along the Jones Falls Expressway will serve as a visionary stormwater and flood resiliency infrastructure design for the City,” said Sandy Sparks, President of the Friends of The Jones Falls. “This IWIF project sets the standard for private partners along the Jones Falls to support critically needed solutions that support the whole watershed from the Inner Harbor to Baltimore County.”

The design efforts for the project will be managed by Ashley Traut, a Holistic Sustainability Consultant at Gaiacene Services LLC who has over a decade of experience facilitating green infrastructure projects in Baltimore.

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