July 12, 2010

CARDIN, CUMMINGS VISIT WITH 'GREEN JOBS' WORKERS AT DRUID HILL PARK CLEAN UP SITE

Recovery Funding Has Provided 22 Jobs in Effort to Restore Portion of Park for Community Use

BALTIMORE -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin and U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (both D-MD) today toured a portion of Druid Hill Park that is now being restored with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
 
In January, Senator Cardin and Congressman Cummings greeted hundreds of Baltimore City residents as they applied for "Green Up, Clean Up" jobs with the Parks & People Foundation. The Foundation received $1 million in Recovery Act funding to hire workers for community, environmental projects.  Parks & People Foundation hired 22 workers who are currently working to restore 9-acres of the Park bordering the Mondawmin community.   These "Green Up, Clean Up" jobs provide salaries ranging from $8 to $13 an hour, plus benefits.  
 
"Green jobs provide much-needed employment opportunities during this economic downturn while also helping to restore our environment," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  "With Recovery funding, Parks & People Foundation is working to restore Druid Hill Park for community use. It also is working on other urban restoration projects that will clean up neighborhoods and reduce urban runoff, ultimately helping to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay."
 
"Our nation must continue to create jobs to help our fellow Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own," said Congressman Cummings. "The Druid Hills project is a perfect example of how that will be done. Our nation will only create jobs by moving forward, by constantly improving ourselves and by trying to create a better future for our children. Creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment plays a major role in all of that. I was proud to support the Recovery Act, which has created and saved so many jobs in our nation."
 
"The Recovery Act has provided funding to train Green Up, Clean Up teams who are making a difference in environmental restoration projects in communities throughout Baltimore," said Jackie Carrera, President and CEO, Parks & People Foundation.
 
Druid Hill Park was opened in 1860 and is considered one of our nation's premier urban parks. The 9-acre site, which has been overgrown and inaccessible for more than 25 years, has become a public safety hazard for the community.   Once restored, the site will be accessible to citizens for recreational use.   
 
"Green Up, Clean Up" crews also have worked on other projects, including urban habitat and watershed restoration, removal of impervious surface, planting of street trees, storm water management improvements and other projects that are important to the environmental health of Baltimore City and the Chesapeake Bay.  
 
Both Senator Cardin and Congressman Cummings are committed to restoring the Chesapeake Bay, our state's greatest natural resource. Senator Cardin has authored the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act , S. 1816, giving states and local governments stronger enforcement tools to clean up the Bay. Congressman Cummings has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.