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Anchoring Community: U.S. Navy Volunteers Give Their Time to Help Baltimore Neighborhoods

October 10 2016

The 2016 Maryland Fleet Week in Baltimore is a celebration of the maritime traditions of the city, the state, and the nation. From October 10 through 17, the Inner Harbor will host naval vessels, schooners, and tall ships from the United States and abroad. Once again, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will soar over Baltimore.

Less visible but just as important are the U.S. Navy’s community relations activities that bring hundreds of Navy and Marine personnel to the city’s neighborhoods. The sailors perform good works that improve our parks, beautify our streets, and make a noticeable difference in the city. The heritage area is proud to work with the U.S. Navy to coordinate these volunteer activities across Baltimore.

During the 2012 Star-Spangled Sailabration, more than 400 military and 125 civilian volunteers participated in projects, which ranged from preparing nutritious meals for those in need (Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland) to planting nearly 2,000 plants at the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park. Navy personnel and local volunteers created community gardens in Charles Village and Westport, assisted in restoration work at Clifton Mansion, and helped the Fell’s Point Preservation Society conserve archival records documenting the War of 1812.

On June 14, 2012, 68 U.S. military personnel joined local volunteers to plant 1,768 flowers, trim boxwood hedges, and weed beds at the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park.

During the 2014 Star-Spangled Spectacular, 800 U.S. Navy and Marine personnel built benches and tables at Carroll Park, cleaned up the streetscape near the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and helped install internal supports and shoring in preparation for the drydocking of the 1854 sloop-of-war USS Constellation.

For October 2016’s Fleet Week, the Navy’s volunteer projects will be focused on two beloved Baltimore sites. Military personnel will be at Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center on the Patapsco’s Middle Branch participating in a shoreline trash clean-up. They will also be marking walking trail borders with large pieces of driftwood.

About 100 U.S. and Canadian sailors will join 100 students at Patterson Park. The sailors and students will do some edging along the park’s historic promenade, build picnic tables, mulch trees, and pick up litter throughout the park.

Planning on checking out the ships and the planes during Fleet Week? Be sure to pick up your free Fleet Week Exploration Passport!

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