The Oliver Neighborhood Gets a Garden Makeover

Baltimore, MD (August 27, 2009) – Where yesterday there was a vacant lot, today the Oliver neighborhood boasts a lush garden. Brightly flowering annuals and perennials, hundreds of delicious vegetables in new raised beds and majestic towering trees create a new gathering place for local residents.

The most amazing part: the entire transformation took just a single day – thanks to the efforts of a determined team. Fiskars and the City of Baltimore’s Cleaner Greener initiative helped return a sense of community to the residents of the Oliver Neighborhood through Fiskars Project Orange Thumb.

A team of over 50 executives, employees, and volunteers tilled and planted from early morning until late afternoon at the garden site on August 27. Fiskars selected the Oliver neighborhood for the project and coordinated, developed, designed and managed the day-long makeover.

“The Oliver Neighborhood Community Garden is the sixth in a series of national gardening projects for Fiskars,” said Paul Tonnesen, president of Fiskars. “We hope this further celebrates the importance of gardening in providing beauty, sustainable food resources and a place of community.”

Several local organizations, including the Oliver Community Association and the Oliver Economic Development Corporation, have been working tirelessly to revitalize the area. The new community garden provides a wonderful natural escape in the neighborhood’s urban environment and is something all community members can take pride in.

“A project such as this showcases how citizens and community stakeholders, in partnership with city government and the business community, can transform vacant lots into beautiful garden spaces,” said Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. “These green spaces foster neighborhood pride and provide park-like amenities that urban communities need. The private resources that Fiskars and The Home Depot are providing for this project, along with the efforts of City agencies and community volunteers, will create and sustain this newest Baltimore Adopt-A-Lot space well into the future.”

Who will benefit from this new garden?

Hundreds of neighborhood members will have a gathering place, fresh vegetables and flowers.
Multiple schools and community centers will have access to the garden.

The Oliver Neighborhood Community Garden Makeover is an extension of Fiskars’ successful Project Orange Thumb grant program. Through grants, Fiskars provides community garden groups with the tools and materials needed to reach their goals for neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. Project Orange Thumb has already successfully completed garden makeovers in Atlanta, Georgia and Toronto, Ontario this year.