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Alley beautification project helps combat illegal dumping

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 28, 2021

BALTIMORE — Ongoing efforts in a Patterson Park neighborhood has led to less trash accumulation and illegal dumping.

If you walk or drive down Green Alley in East Baltimore, you won't find any trash on the ground. What you will see is plenty of greenery and colorful murals.

"We all live on an art gallery that we made," said Robbyn Lewis.

This past weekend Lewis' alley garden wall had butterfly mural painted on. Her home was the latest property to receive a pop of color.

In addition to mural work, neighbors gathered to clean up trash on the ground. Garbage accumulation is something neighbors rarely see spilling into the alley.

"We've seen a drop in poor trash management behavior since we did a mural on the alley surface," said Lewis.

That was five years ago.

Since then, murals have grown and so has neighborly support.

"Don't be fooled," said Lewis. "It's a constant battle but one we're all in."

Local artist and neighbor Adam Stub said the brighter the alley, the trash he sees.

"The more connection you have to your immediate environment, obviously, the more care you want to take of it," he said.

The community cleanups and mural paintings have also brought neighbors together.

"We’ve show movies out here," said Chris Beall. "We had parties out here. It's created a space where the community isn't just walking through, but a space where they want to come and stay. It really has changed the space a lot."

Also helping neighbors combat trash, new garbage cans issued by the city and beautification grant money.

"The Healthy Harbor Initiative has been a great partner," said Lewis. "They're helping communities re-invest in themselves."