PPNA Meeting Minutes – May 2017

Monthly Community Meeting Minutes

Monday, May 8, 2017
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Basement Multipurpose Room

Meetings of past minutes may be found here.

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Board & Committee Chair Introductions

Officer and Chair names and contact information available here.

Current needs:

  • Board representative for the North Sector
  • Additional folks to help move the web/online communications committee forward
  • Someone to take the lead on forming a transportation committee

Interested? Pat Lundberg.

New Neighbor/Attendee Introductions

Many new faces in the room! Welcome and thanks for coming out.

 Committee Updates

Transportation Committee (???)

Friday, May 19 was Bike To Work Day, and for the first time EVER (in it’s 20 years in Baltimore) there was a pit stop east of Patterson Park! Thanks to Robbyn Lewis and DOT for coordinating, and to the volunteers who made it happen. We met over 20 bike commuters at the corner of Baltimore x Linwood between 7 and 9 AM!

This isn’t an active committee yet, but there’s plenty of great work to be done! If interested in being involved, email Pat.

Newsletter Committee

The PPNA Spring 2017 Newsletter is now available online and is currently being distributed to all PP homes and businesses. If you are able to assist with distribution (can you take on a block or two?), please email Alyssa Schoenleber.

Housing Committee

The next meeting is TENTATIVELY scheduled for Tuesday, May 30 at 7 PM, location TBD (watch the community calendar and Facebook page). Please try to bring a friend or neighbor, and for background take a peek at this recent investigative, multimedia piece published in The Baltimore Sun, “Dismissed: Tenants lose, landlords win in Baltimore’s rent court.” Questions? Jeff Amoros.

Economic Development Committee

The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 15th, 7 PM at the Southeast CDC headquarters (3323 Eastern Ave). Currently, the Committee is building an inventory of businesses in the neighborhood and building relationships with them. Next, vacant properties will be assessed with a goal of preventing conversion of commercial to residential development.  Questions? Alex Schwartz.

Community Safety Committee

THIS WEEK: Community Safety Talk Wednesday, May 24th (every 4th Wednesday of the month), southwest corner of Baltimore x Linwood (indoor location to be announced no less than 1 hour before, if necessary). Questions? Matty Woodruff.

Youth & Family Engagement Committee

On Saturday, May 13th, the Committee held a successful “Mother’s Day Plant-a-Pot Craftivity” during which approximately 30 neighborhood youth came out to Library Square to decorate and plant a potted flower as a Mother’s Day gift. Thank you to Home Depot of Dundalk for the generous donation of pots and soil!

Game Afternoon is every Wednesday from 4:00-5:30 PM (setup at 3:45) at the Patterson Park Branch Library (out front during renovations). Youth of all ages welcome! Adult volunteers needed. Interested? Anne-Marie Johnson.

The next Committee meeting will be Sunday, June 4th, 5-6 PM at 11 N Decker Ave. Questions? Christine Collins.

Beautification Committee

On Saturday, May 13th the PPNA with the Waterfront Partnership organized over 100 volunteers from Volunteering Untapped who helped spruce up tree pits on and around the neighborhood’s 100 blocks and Fayette St corridor, from Lakewood east. Due to the dreary weather, they were not able to freshen the paint at Green Alley, but did clean it up. Thanks to everyone who came out to help! Questions? Erica Danko.

Education Committee

Baltimore City Schools is looking at rezoning for the first time in 20 years. There is no school zoned for our neighborhood, and kids in PP are split between Commodore, Paca, and Highlandtown #215. One of the Committee’s goals for this rezoning process is to secure a single school that will cover all of PP neighborhood. There is an online survey you can take (you don’t need to be a parent) to weigh-in on this process.

The Committee has been working with PPPCS on its transportation policy, which impacts neighbors, particularly on unit N Belnord. You can receive a copy of this plan (currently in draft) by emailing Lynne Livingston.

Greening Committee

The monthly Baltimore x Linwood entrance to the Park cleanup was held on Tuesday, May 16th from 6-8 PM. The next corner cleanup is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13th (typically every 2nd Tuesday) at 6 PM. Supplies provided. Questions? Steve Preston.

On Saturday, May 20th, the Greening Committee hosted Bloom Your Block, this year competition-style with guest judges from both PP and Union Square neighborhoods. After touring each block and house entry, the winners were announced and a celebrated in conjunction with Library Square Day at Library Square. Thanks to all who helped make these two events a success, and congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Best block: Unit S Decker
  • Best house: Werner Stiegler (Pratt)
  • Most creative: A tie! TK Goode (100 block N Ellwood) and Caitlin Haskell (unit S Potomac)

Social Committee

On Thursday, May 18th, the Committee held a neighborhood happy hour at Monument City Brewing Company. Coincidentally, Butchers Hill Association had the same idea, leading to an opportunity to socialize with our neighbors to the west. Thanks to all who helped out with making the event a success, and look out for the next one! Questions? Stephanie Weaver.

Neighbor Announcements

Mark Parker

Mark leads volunteer field-trips at least once a month. This month, on Saturday, May 13th from 9 AM – 1 PM he brought a group a visit to the non-profit organization The 6th Branch (Executive Director Fells Prospect neighbor Scott Goldman), which brings together military veterans for continued service to their community, with a focus on East Baltimore and the Oliver community.

New neighbor visits! Now that the weather is good and the sun out late, it is a great time to visit new neighbors. Mark will set you up with info packets, a walk sheet, and fresh baked goods–or you can DIY. You can go out with Mark most Saturdays to learn the ropes or pick up materials, or you can print materials (and bake cookies) yourself.

Park After Dark 2017 date announced! Mark your calendars for Saturday evening, September 16th – Sunday morning. PAD is a family-friendly tradition coming back this year after a hiatus. PAD brings together community members of all ages to camp overnight in Patterson Park and enjoy a range of activities including movies, a scavenger hunt, and food.

Summer camp (half-day) opportunity: All 4 weeks of July at Breath of God Lutheran, $10/week/kid. Includes breakfast and lunch. Counselors are teens from SE Baltimore overseen by an experienced teacher and in partnership with Audubon, Friends of Patterson Park, and other local organizations.

NEW HIGH-QUALITY, AFFORDABLE PRESCHOOL: Construction will be complete this summer and the school will open as soon as 20 students are registered. The school will serve 3 and 4 year-olds, with space for 40 kids. Next information session THIS FRIDAY, May 26th at 6 PM, Breath of God Lutheran (141 S Clinton St), dinner provided. People with 1 and 2 year-olds are encouraged to attend, as well.

For more information on any of the above opportunities, email Mark.

May Community All-Star

Dedrick Siddall and neighbors along Baltimore St & between unit blocks Belnord & Kenwood!

Dedrick and neighbors organized a productive and fun alley cleanup on Saturday, May 6th. Dedrick shared an inspirational observation with us during his acceptance speech: while big greening/cleaning events are wonderful and necessary, individual neighbors have the power and opportunity to organize small block/alley-wide cleanups anytime and with minimal effort on any one person’s shoulders (as many know). To begin, Dedrick and neighbors distributed a simple flyer with the date, time, and purpose to all neighbors sharing the alleys. With so many hands, the cleanup itself took only an hour and made an enormous difference, while the rest of the time was spent enjoying Dedrick’s homebrew & BBQ. Next they will be planting flower boxes within the alley, toward which the PPNA is contributing a donation.

Guest Speakers

Guest Speaker #1: Robbyn Lewis, Maryland State Delegate (District 46)

Robbyn, our newest State Delegate, has been an active Patterson Park neighbor for nearly 15 years and served 4 years on the PPNA Board of Directors as sector VP, during which time she facilitated the renaming of the neighborhood from Baltimore-Linwood to Patterson Park, helped create the Association’s first website, and instituted other structures the PPNA relies on today. She was appointed in January with the support of the rest of Team 46–Delegate Luke Clippinger, Delegate Brooke Lierman, and Senator Bill Ferguson–and is up for election this fall along with our other representatives. Having recently finished her first session, she comes to us today to touch on issues that affect us and the 89 bills she sponsored or co-sponsored during her “first 100 days.”

Robbyn’s job as one of our representatives in Annapolis is to ensure that policies, regulations, and laws proposed or implemented at the State level will contribute positively to health, well-being, fairness, and opportunity at the City level.

Robbyn fielded a few questions from the membership but did not have time in this venue to go in depth. She wants very much to hear from you, and you can reach out to her directly or sign up for her mailing list via her website.

Guest Speaker #2: Dr. Chad Kramer, Principal, Patterson Park Public Charter School

Chad reminds us that the PPPCS conversation began organically through a committee of the PPNA, opening in 2005. PPPCS is a public, community school serving 688 kids grades pre-k through 8th from throughout Baltimore. He provided an overview of PPPCS services, statistics, and community events. Of note, the School is approaching capacity and so is looking to replicate at another location in the neighborhood. Currently, students in Patterson Park neighborhood are not given preference to PPPCS over students elsewhere in the City. This is something many neighbors and families would like to see in the future, and the replication provides an opportunity to voice those views.

You can reach Chad via email or phone at 410-558-1230 ext. 302.

Guest Speaker #3: Mairin Srygley, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids Site Manager at Highlandtown #215

It is well known that music education helps students excel academically, but it also strengthens social skills such as impulse control and cooperation. A quick show of hands indicates that almost everyone present at this meeting received some music education as children (FWIW…).

Neighbor, vocalist, and OrchKids Site Manager Mairin shared her time to inform the community about the great things happening here through OrchKids (in addition to the program at #215, OrchKids is also present at PPPCS) and extend an invitation to get involved.

OrchKids has served youth in Baltimore City schools for 9 years. In addition to providing music education, OrchKids brings students on educational field trips and provides other after-school programming for enrolled students, including snacks, tutoring, and recreation. Older students are trained to help younger students, and gain experience working as interns for OrchKids, and enjoy other opportunities for leadership development.

On May 10th, OrchKids held a performance and celebration in honor of the end of the school year and Mexico’s Mother’s Day with the help of many area neighbors.

OrchKids is always looking for volunteers to assist with after-school programming. For more information contact Mairin.

Silver Spatula

Potluck theme: Bloom Your Plate (With Fruits & Veggies)

Dedrick Siddall with his barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches and home-brewed beer remaining from the alley cleanup! Went great with the healthy and delicious sides others brought. Thanks everyone who brought a dish to share!

Meeting Adjourned

Patterson Park t-shirts were for sale at the door for $20 each (all proceeds support PPNA programming). To order one, email Pat.

Welcome Your Neighbors window signs were also for sale at the door for $5 each (all proceeds go to Esperanza Center). To order one, email Lydia Animosa.

Thanks for reading and thanks to all who attended.

See you next month!

 Next PPNA Meeting:
Monday, June 12, 2017
7 PM, basement of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church
Corner of Lakewood & Baltimore (enter on Lakewood)
Questions or comments?