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Baltimore to Learn How Transform Abandoned Lots To Neighborhood Assets

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Baltimore residents who have turned vacant lots into gardens and playgrounds will meet tomorrow, October 13th to learn how to make the properties permanent neighborhood assets.

The meeting is for people across Baltimore to learn how to do what Pigtown did. It's a neighborhood named after the swine that once traveled through on their way to nearby meatpacking plants. Pigtown's treasure is a horseshoe pit.

"When you ride through and see the guys pitching the horseshoes you say 'dag gone.' There's the guys on the corner and they're not selling dope, they're pitchin' horse shoes, and having a good time," says Bus Chambers, known as the Mayor of Pigtown.

He says guys have been pitching horseshoes here for more than 40 years. But two years ago, the city sold the vacant lot to a developer. Chambers went to the Baltimore zoning board to protest.

"I let them know right quick, if the neighborhood don't approve of something I can have two busloads down here, up in your face."

The city did a land swap with the developer. The horseshoe pit will soon be owned by a non-profit land trust. It will be responsible for the legal end of ownership, while Pigtown residents maintain the pit.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, October 13 at 6 p.m. at Parks & People Foundation.

For more information contact Miriam Avins at miriam.avins@baltimorecity.gov or 443-695-7504.

Cathy Duchamp reports...

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