The one thing I love about Baltimore is the entrepreneurial spirit that surrounds the city. Baltimore has some problems, but there are a lot of people who are working to make change and improve the city. The residents of the city seem to embrace projects and allow this spirit to flourish.
I love Patterson Park, but for a long time I’ve noticed there has been a trash issue – mainly stemming from not enough trash cans or improperly placed cans. Back in May, the Greater Baltimore Technology Council (GBTC), Mayor’s Office of Information Technology (MOIT) and City Parks and Recreation Department announced a program to seed-fund ideas to “Hack the Parks.” A group of us who live around Patterson Park got together and put in multiple proposals to fix issues inside the park. We were very fortunate that on July 1 of this year it was announced that one of our proposals, “Hack the Trash” was one of the six selected projects to be funded.
Hack the Trash is very simple – use public art to reduce litter. We were given funds to purchase 30 new trash cans. Our group hit the ground running. We worked to get donations and supplies, along with securing three different artists (Ben Peterson, Leanna Wetmore, Maria Cavacos) to lead community painting sessions of 15-20 residents at the Friends of Patterson Park house.
Before the trip to London, I finished off phase one by clear-coating all the trash cans to protect the awesome work. We couldn’t have gotten this far without great partners in Phyllis Fung and Leigh Peterson who have really helped more than they ever could’ve imagined.
We are currently working to connect with local schools around the park to have the kids paint the existing cans and hope to celebrate the end of phase one with an installation event in the next month.