On February 12, 2016 Mrs. Alethea Ward was presented with balloons, a gift and a card by Luke Telander (to Mrs. Ward’s right) who is with the Center for Community Progress. Also shown in the picture are Lottie Sneed (to Mr. Telander’s right) from Strong City Baltimore, Robin Jacobs (to Mrs. Ward’s left) from the Community Law Center and Lowell Larsson (behind Mrs. Ward) from GGCA. The celebration was part CCP’s nationwide #LoveThatLot campaign to show appreciation to community members who have transformed once vacant, blighted lots into community assets.
What is now a beautiful ornamental garden located in the 300 block of E 24th St was at one time three abandoned lots, one of which was part of a city-wide lawsuit against Scott Wizig, an absentee-landlord located in Texas. The lawsuit, which utilized the Community Bill of Rights (Real Property 14-123), was filed by the Community Law Center, Inc. on behalf of six community associations including GGCA. Venable, LLP served as pro bono co-counsel, along with University of Maryland Francis King Carey’s School of Law’s Community Justice Clinic.
The garden, actively maintained by Mrs. Ward, is a vivid illustration of what can be accomplished when community members and other committed stakeholders work together toward a common goal. Thank you Mrs. Ward for your part in the remarkable turn-around of this once abandoned space!