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‘They took everything’: Community group raising funds after landscaping equipment stolen

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Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 22:31:14-04

BALTIMORE — The Lafayette Square Community Development Corporation is looking to replace landscaping equipment following recent thefts. 

Eric Stephenson proudly walked through a dozen or so vacant city-owned lots Friday with WMAR 2 News. 

“We call it the bee lot because that’s where we keep all our bees,” Stephenson said. 

Stevenson is part of a community group that takes care of vacant lots. 

Maintenance and mowing is only part of what the group does. It also provides jobs for teens in the area. 

“We have a partnership with the city through the CARE-O-LOT program,” Stephenson said. “They compensate us to cut the grass on the city lots during the summer. Most of the money is used pay the teens in the program.” 

Stephenson said his organization takes care of roughly 40 lots. 

“It’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “Our youth learn life skills and then we gradually teach them how to use gardening tools and large mowers.” 

Stephenson said they also learn the importance of responsibility, showing up on time and managing to-do lists. 

But recently the organization experienced a setback. 

In a recent tweet, Stephenson explained their equipment was stolen. 

“They left behind a weed whacker,” he said. “As you can imagine cutting grass with it is going to be difficult. We had a commercial mower, but they took that.” 

The organization is now asking for the public's help. 

“We’re taking monetary donations to replace what we lost,” he said. “People have also donated a push mower, but we really need something commercial-sized.” 

The work the organization does helps cut down on 311 requests and helps DPW maintain city-owned lots. 

“In return we not only keep the grass trimmed but we also plant things,” we really want to continue doing what we’re doing.” 

If you’d like to help you can get in touch with via email at enstephenson@gmail.com