Baltimore County News
Historic Log Cabin Receives Interpretive Treatment
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined with dozens of East Towson community leaders today to celebrate improvements to the Carver Community Center and the installation of interpretive sign panels at the historic Jacob House.
“East Towson is a unique, historic community that has always worked to preserve its heritage and maintain a high quality of life,” said Kamenetz. “I am very pleased to support the community’s goals by vastly improving the exterior of the Carver Community Center and its grounds,” he continued. “I am also pleased that we have enhanced the public’s ability to appreciate the community’s history by installing interpretive panels that tell the story of the Jacob House and East Towson’s origins.”
Baltimore County invested $670,000 in a complete exterior renovation of the Carver Center’s stucco finish, installed new concrete walkways, significantly improved all landscaping features of the property and installed new fencing. The County also undertook painstaking research and design to articulate the history of the Jacob House, which naturally touches upon the origins of East Towson.
Project enhances historically significant structures
Both the Carver Community Center and the Jacob House are historically significant. The Carver Community Center was originally built in 1939 and served as a segregated school for African Americans. The building lost its purpose as a school after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954. It was ultimately converted to a community center and is now home to a daycare facility, recreation offices and community leadership offices.
Research indicates that the Jacob House was originally built as a log cabin in the 1840s by an emancipated slave. In modern times, it was attached a larger home and was little noticed. The East Towson community rallied to save the cabin when the house to which it was attached suffered a fire and was threatened with demolition.
Honoring another community treasure
County Executive Kamenetz presented an Executive Citation honoring Adelaide Bentley for her years of dedicated service to the East Towson community. Bentley serves as director of the Carver Center and president of the Northeast Towson Improvement Association.
Public comments accepted through June 13
Baltimore County invites interested citizens to comment on its proposed five-year Consolidated Plan and other plans that focus on community development and housing.
The plans can be viewed at the County Department of Planning website, at County libraries, and at two County government offices: the Consolidated Plan and the one-year Action Plan are available at the Department of Planning, 105 West Chesapeake Avenue, Towson, Maryland, 21204; the County’s Public Housing Agency Plans are available at the Housing Office, Drumcastle Government Center, 6401 York Road, Baltimore, MD, 21212.
The County will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the plans at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, at the Department of Planning Hearing Room, 105 West Chesapeake Avenue, first floor.
Public comments on the plans will be accepted through June 13, 2016. Citizens or groups may submit written comments on the Consolidated Plan and the Action Plan to Andrea Van Arsdale, Director, Department of Planning, 105 West Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 101, Towson, Maryland, 21204 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax: 410-887-5862). Comments on the Public Housing Agency Plans should be sent to: Marsha Parham, Executive Director, Housing Office, Drumcastle Government Center, 6401 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland, 21212. (email: email@example.com; Fax: 410-853-8999).
The County will be submitting the plans to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on June 17.
Get An Orgnic Free-Range Chicken for You and One to Share
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz helped provide a very special chicken lunch to clients of the County’s Westside Shelter this afternoon. The chicken came from one of the first deliveries of poultry raised at the County’s Maryland Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville, through a community-supported agriculture program that provides farming education while helping those in need.
“I congratulate our County staff and partners for coming up with this dual-purpose program that helps teach people the value of farming, and, at the same time, provides much-needed food for hungry people,” said Kamenetz. “This is the kind of smart, innovative thinking that turns problems into solutions.”
A Poultry Partnership
The County departments of Planning and Recreation and Parks partnered with the non-profit organizations, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and Community Assistance Network (CAN) to develop this innovative program that combines social responsibility with agricultural education. Poultry for the People enables anyone to purchase a free-range organic chicken, raised at the 149-acre Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, and have a second chicken donated to help feed individuals in Baltimore County homeless shelters.
A Chicken for You and One to Share
The non-profit Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) offers a “buy one-gift one” purchase plan where anyone can purchase a chicken for themselves and one will be donated to a Baltimore County homeless shelter. Purchasers also receive a tax deduction for the majority of the purchase price. Prices and details are available on the MARC website.
Money raised through the sale of the chickens is used to help fund education programs at the farm park as well as at the County’s homeless shelters. The addition of chickens to the farm also serves to enhance existing educational programs and the overall farm experience of visitors to the park.
“It’s a win-win-win-win” says Richard Watson, President of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC). “We get to expand farming operations, enhance our educational capacity, connect people to agriculture in a meaningful way, and provide homeless shelters with a consistent source of high-quality protein.”
A fundraising campaign sponsored by MARC on the Kickstarter web site raised $8,000 to cover the infrastructure necessary to care for the chickens including a 4-ton feeder bin, bringing water and electricity to the coop, and making the coop as fox-proof as possible.
Program Offers Nutrition Boost for Homeless Shelter Residents
Protein represents the largest component of any shelter’s food budget. For the balance of the menu, shelters rely on donations made by local churches and other charitable organizations, grocery stores, food pantries, restaurants and bakeries. While the shelters strive to provide well-balanced meals, the donation-based food supply makes meal planning difficult. Chefs work with what they have and are often forced to stretch meals by adding bread, rice or noodles.
Baltimore County Homeless Shelter Administrator, Terri Kingeter explains, “I am excited about the potential of this program to significantly enhance the overall quality of food being served at the homeless shelters. The protein provided by the Poultry for the People program will free up each shelter’s food budget which will help management purchase more fresh produce. We also cannot wait to engage our shelter youth, who comprise 27% of the shelter population, in hands-on experiential learning activities at the shelter and at the farm.”
Revised April 6, 2016