[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.

Friends of The Jones Falls Letter of Support for the Woodberry Local Historic District

Dear Mr. Liebel.

I am writing on behalf of the Friends of The Jones Falls to express our strong support for the proposed Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) local historic district designation for Woodberry. 

The Friends of The Jones Falls stands with the many community members who have shown and continue to show support for the full boundaries of the district as presented at the first hearing. 

Woodberry is a special place worthy of preservation, from the original mill village developed on Clipper Road in the 1840s, to the booming industrial center it became in the late 19th century, and to its tremendous role during the efforts of both World Wars. Remarkably, the neighborhood’s historic fabric has remained intact and remains integral to the community’s identity today. It had an outsized role in Baltimore’s industrial history, a story that can still be seen and felt walking through the neighborhood today. Woodberry is to Maryland what Lowell is to Massachusetts. 

The Friends of The Jones Falls supports the Woodberry CHAP District because we support sustainable development that is in keeping with the historic character of the neighborhood. Woodberry deserves to be protected and the community deserves to have a voice about the future of the neighborhood. 


Sandy Sparks, President
Friends of The Jones Falls

Announcing Our Board of Directors

The Friends of the Jones Falls is proud to announce our inaugural board of directors—a diverse group of talented people representing businesses, communities, and nonprofit organizations of the Jones Falls watershed.

President – Sandy Sparks
Vice President – Mark Conway
Vice President for Membership, Partnership and Development- Dick Williams
Treasurer – Nick Lindow
Secretary – Jennifer Aiosa

Jim Campbell
Al Barry
Nathan Dennies
Nan Rohrer
David Goldman
Chris Attenborough
Katie O’Meara
Marian Glebes
Ken Rice
Doug Bothner
Mark Conway

Ex Officio
Delegate Melissa Wells
Delegate Steve Lafferty
Councilman Leon Pinkett

Committee Chairs
Communications – Nathan Dennies
Stewardship – David Goldman
Land Use: Marian Glebes and Nick Landow