Healthy Harbor Work Group Education CommitteePresentation Transcript
Healthy Harbor Work Group Education Committee The Harris Creek Watershed Project BHWA Raymond D.Bahr MD
Results and Implications Coordinated Trash Sweep
Targeted Footprint (4000 houses) in the middle of the Harris Creek Watershed.
Fayette St to Eager St and Streeper St to Duncan St.
June 14,2010 through August 31,2010
( 10 weeks)
Historic Harris Creek in Canton
The Harris Creek Watershed from Clifton Park
to the Outlet on Boston St. in Canton.
* The Harris Creek Watershed Project funded
by the Department of Public Works.
The Harris Creek Watershed (246)
Represents a Community of 17 Neighborhoods and two Great Parks (Clifton and Patterson), 70% impervious surface requiring 55 miles of underground drains to deal with Runoff of the
How to bring together 17 Diverse Neighborhoods that would not only bring about Stormwater Management,but also work to reduce Trash from going into the Inlets and down the drains into the Baltimore Harbor?
17 Neighborhoods that are markedly different
Medium Income from 50 K to 6 K
Unemployment from 6% to 30-50%
African American Population 10% to 65%
Woes of Poverty
Drugs, Crime, School Problems etc.
Input from the Community
The Strategy utilized was to get Input from the Community of Neighborhoods on the Issues that concerned them and to hold Workshops that would further enhance the direction of the Project.
The Tool used was a well designed Questionnaire.
More than 400 responses were obtained and their Number One Concern was the Trash Issue.
Illegal Trash Dumping by “outsiders” was given.
Engaging Baltimore City Services
The results of the Survey Questionnaire were presented to the Department of Public Works and their divisions (wastewater,solid waste and Cleaner,Greener Baltimore etc). We were joined by the Housing Dept Code Enforcement Unit for Trash Issues. The Importance of calling 311 Trash to report Sites and get SR numbers to track and follow up was pointed out to us.
What disturbed the residents most was the fact that when Trash Bags had been “tagged” by the Code Enforcement Officers, too much time took place before Trash Clean up (many times,months). Trash Leaders volunteered to inspect the alleys,streets and backyards to call 311 and report these Trash Sites.
Impetus for a Major Trash Sweep
In our joint meetings with City Services,an idea came up (Jason Hessler) that we carry out a Major Trash Sweep in the Harris Creek Watershed
that would target a footprint in 246
that would be coordinated (DPW&Housing)
that would address Major Trash Dumps
How was this to be Accomplished?
We would make Trash Rounds with Neighborhood Leaders to discover the Trash Sites, report them by calling 311 to identify the Sites and getting SR numbers to track and follow up.
We would then make similar Trash Rounds with Steve Sharkey-DPW to point out the Major Sites of Trash Accumulations. Major Trash Clean up resulted from approach.
What did we Discover?
That the Major Trash Problem resided in the Mini-Landfills in the Backyards of Vacant Houses, especially those in deterioration.
That 70% of the Trash was put out in Trash Bags only.
That the “practice” of placing Trash Bags at the ends of the alleys was encouraged
That New Dumps were created and hidden.
The Trash accumulations (mini-landfills) in these backyards were very visible and had to be seen by workers. Residents had complained about these sites, yet got no response. This raises the Issue of unfairness and perhaps two types of services for Baltimore residents. I heard often the statement that “these people don’t care”…. but they do care. They just want to be heard and treated alike.
Injustice anywhere is Injustice everywhere MLK
What brought 17 Neighborhoods in the Harris Creek Watershed together in this Project?
Perhaps seeing how people in different parts of the Watershed had been treated….and wanting to be part of a change that needed to take place. As the saying goes, ”poor people get dumped upon” …and with little resources, it is hard to respond. The very least we can do for them is To Listen and once in a while do something.
Results of the Trash Sweep
Over 100 SRs were reported and the Sites cleaned up. There has been a significant reduction in the Trash coming out of the Outlet on Boston St. into the Baltimore Harbor.
The Trash Interceptor located at this site has been broken at times, but the data, we do have, suggest about a 50% reduction in the amount of Trash. We are still collecting data on Nutrients to see if the Trash Reduction has resulted in Nutrient Reduction as well.
Stormwater Projects Developed for the 246 Watershed
The Center for Watershed Protection
12 Projects have been identified so far.
The Journey to get to these Projects will depend on Community Support that is best accomplished by generating Trust through Fairness Practice.
Recommendations Community Organizing
Promote calling 311 and getting SR numbers
Expand Clean up to include the rest of 246
Give out free 5000 Trash Cans
End the Practice of placing Bags at alley end
Encouraging Community Leaders to step up
Promote more Dialogue between DPW,Housing and Residents of 246
Implications For the Baltimore Harbor
The Harris Creek Watershed Project started out as a Stormwater Project,but discovered that Trash clean up of Major Trash Sites in the Watershed could result in reducing significantly the Trash going into the Baltimore Harbor. This could serve as a Model for successfully cleaning the Harbor in that there are 26 other Watersheds that empty in the Harbor. If similar Projects could also reduce Trash, then one day we can envision a Safe and Clean Harbor that is Fishable and Swimmable.
It is most Important that the Harris Creek Watershed Project not lose momentum, fall back and allow Trash accumulations to reoccur. We need the 5000 Trash Cans now as a way to get Community Leaders to step up to the plate and start going after Trash violators in the Community. We also need help from DPW and Housing Code Enforcement to Expand and Include the rest of the 246 Watershed (outside of the targeted area).
Team Trash Leaders
Russell Stewart Kenwood NA
Warren Street McElderry Park CA
Sarah Broadwater Milton-Montford
Janice Jacobs Ashland Ave Assoc
Mitchell Henderson Madison Eastend
Elroy Christopher Covenant Community
Drew Bennett CARE Community
Steve Sharkey Dept. of Public Works
Jason Hessler Housing Code Enforcement
Hope Williams Cleaner Greener Baltimore
Glenn Ross Community Organizer
Phil Lee, Donna Kirsh and Phillip Stafford Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association
Parks and People Foundation Mary Washington
Center for Watershed Protection Kelly Collins Paul Sturm Sadie Drewsher