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Environmental News Site Names Baltimore "Ideal" Travel Destination

A website that covers environmental news has recognized Baltimore as its destination of the week.

Mother Nature Network says Baltimore -- once a "victim of Rust Belt decay -- is now an "ideal East Coast destination."  The article highlights eco-friendly retail outlets, LEED-certified hotels and restaurants that serve dishes sourced from local farms.

"Like other aged East Coast cities such as Philadelphia and Boston, Baltimore has walkable historic sightseeing routes," Mother Nature Network writes. "These, coupled with the city's parks, markets and user-friendly transit options, make it a good addition to low-impact travelers' East Coast itineraries."

You can read the rest of the story here.

Bmore's Second Chance deconstructs old houses to give them a new life

Second Chance, a Baltimore-based non-profit, is making a name for itself by salvaging what might normally be thrown away and repurposing it.

Here's an excerpt:

"Where does stuff salvaged from old homes go? To answer that question, I drove an hour north to Baltimore Saturday to check out four warehouses run by Second Chance, a non-profit training group.

The warehouses, open to the public as retail outlets, are brimming with sofas, antiques, fireplace mantels, stained glass windows, chandeliers, old church pews, appliances, cabinetry, bathtubs, doors and lumber taken from dozens of houses and sold at low prices."

Read the entire article here.

Study ranks Baltimore No. 4 for green rooftops

Baltimore's vegetation-covered roof tops make it one of the nation's leading cities for green roof tops according to a new study.

Here's an excerpt:

"Chicago, Washington D.C., and Baltimore are among the cities in the U.S. with the most green roofs installed, according to an Associated Press report yesterday. Based on a study by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a green roof industry group, the AP reported that Chicago led the nation with more than 500,000 square feet of green roof..."

Read the entire article here.

Giving up the lawn for an urban farm

A few years ago, the Contemporary Museum asked an environmental artist, Fritz Haeg, known for his Edible Estates front lawn transformations to come to town and work his magic on a lucky recipient's front yard. Clarence Ridgley was that lucky guy. It was all part of the museum's "Cottage Industries" exhibit. Now, Haeg has included the experience in the new second edition of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn.

Here's an excerpt:

"Here's how it went down: Clarence and Fritz conferred over what types of foods the Ridgleys would like to grow (and eat), Fritz planned the garden and organized the volunteers, then executed the documentation with the help of photographer Leslie Furlong. Haeg acts as kind of a garden party organizer, if you will: he blows into town, gets it going and then leaves. "I just kind of make these gardens happen then disappear. I want the families to feel like they're their gardens, not my gardens."

Read the entire post here.

Baltimore's Fairfield Inn does it in green

Searching for green accommodations? Then check out this blogger's take on the Fairfield Inn, Baltimore's first green hotel.

Here's an excerpt.

"The Fairfield Inn at President & Lombard Streets is within walking distance of Little Italy and the Inner Harbor (but don't trust the 101 President Street address: Google Maps directed me to a different location across the street). This LEED-certified Silver structure is built on the site of the former Baltimore Brewing Company and retains some of the old factory feel, at least in the exposed brick of the lobby and first floor Tavern 101."

Read the entire article here.

City gets kudos for not using replacement windows in rehabs

On its blog, Preservation Nation, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, has singled out Baltimore's $15 million weatherization program as a good use of federal stimulus funds citing the city's decision to use the money for everything but replacement windows.

Here's an excerpt:

There's encouraging news for advocates of historic windows, energy efficiency, and sustainability from the City of Baltimore. The city is helping qualified residents with high utility bills save on energy through a federally funded weatherization program. Baltimore projects that the $15 million in weatherization funds will help 700 families per year lower their monthly energy bills. The program provides energy audits as well as building improvements such as fixing malfunctioning furnace and water heaters and adding insulation to areas where energy is commonly lost like attics. Baltimore's program is using stimulus dollars to support preservation objectives, create jobs and save energy � a central message of the ongoing Perfect Storm effort .

Importantly� what the program will not do is use the funds for replacement windows. The city has found the energy saving benefits of replacement windows to be misleading. Michael A. Lafferty, a city Department of Housing and Community Development buildings superintendent, says, "It takes 90 years on average to pay back the cost of a replacement window."

Read more here.

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