Home » General » Paddling towards a Healthy Harbor with Green Infrastructure

Did you know that Baltimore City has approximately 21,000 acres of pavement — an area more than 150 times the size of Patterson Park?

Did you know that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation in 2012 which called for removing one fifth of the city’s concrete (4,200 acres of concrete) by the year 2018?

What replaces the concrete? Green Infrastructure!

Green infrastructure is an approach to water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure is effective, economical, and enhances community safety and quality of life. It means planting trees and restoring wetlands, rather than building a costly new water treatment plant. (AmericanRivers.org)


So what’s the whole point of green infrastructure? To have blue water! That’s how Baltimore’s First Annual Floatilla came about!

Paddlers had a chance to get a free tree from the TreeBaltimore Boat at the Floatilla on June 11th, 2016.

Quoted from the Sun Article on the Baltimore Floatilla, “Healthy Harbor Initiative director Adam Lindquist said he ‘wants participants in Saturday’s Floatilla to push for more public works funding. Through social media and local outdoors groups, the event registered 250 participants; an additional 112 were placed on a wait list,’ he said. ‘People went paddling recreationally in Baltimore more than 7,000 times in 2015,’ said Lindquist, adding that ‘more people are exploring the harbor each year.'”

Hundreds of people paddled to the Inner Harbor as part of the Baltimore Floatilla For A Healthy Harbor. @TreeBaltimore provided free trees for city residents via canoe on the harbor during this event to get people thinking about the connection between trees and clean water.

Mr. Trash Wheel also made an appearance at the Floatilla. The trash-collecting machine typically stationed at the mouth of the Jones Falls rakes trash from the water using power generated by water currents and the sun. The wheel has removed 420 tons of trash from the water since May 2014, according to Waterfront Partnership’s website.


The Sun paper from Father’s Day June 19th, 2016


Scott Dance, Contact Reporter at the Sun, captures well the movement towards Cleaner Water:

“Baltimore is racing to remove thousands of acres of pavement, expand street sweeping and create new wetlands to meet a looming federal deadline to cut runoff to the Chesapeake Bay.

Federal and state regulators have charged local governments across the region with eliminating one-fifth of concrete and asphalt surfaces over five years. Baltimore’s deadline is December 2018.”

Waterfront Partnership does creative projects to raise awareness in neighborhoods throughout the city. Like this blue alley! #‎BaltimoreFloatilla‬! ‪#‎FixThePipes‬ ‪#‎HealthyHarbor‬‪#‎SaveTheBay‬ #mrtrashwheel


So how can you help us as a community member of TreeBaltimore? Visit TreeBaltimore.org to learn more about tree planting opportunities!