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How Does a Healthy Environment Help Baltimore’s Underserved Communities?

“Maintaining a healthy environment is essential for helping people live longer and for enhancing their quality of life. Consider a sobering statistic from Healthy People, which notes that 23% of all deaths (and 26% of deaths among children ages 5 and younger) result from entirely preventable environmental health problems.

Environmental health isn’t just a matter of individual wellness; it’s also a matter of community well being. Simply put, the conditions in and around our homes, schools, playgrounds, and workplaces can have a major impact on our families and neighbors.

Why is the environment important for health?

We need safe, healthy and supportive environments for good health. The environment in which we live is a major determinant of our health and wellbeing. We depend on the environment for energy and the materials needed to sustain life, such as:

• clean air

• safe drinking water

• nutritious food

• safe places to live.

Factors such as pollution and litter can make residents less inclined to go outside for exercise and recreation, potentially making the entire community more prone to disease.”*

Arbor Dog Foundation focuses on the “3 Es” Education, Employment opportunities and Environmental awareness and accountability. We see these ideals as interconnected, and many of the organizations we support blur the lines between them.

Getting Outside

Parks and People is striving to increase easy access for every child to find inspirational outdoor spaces and activities…within walking distance from their homes. Their vision of uniting Baltimore by ensuring that everyone is connected to nature, their community and each other through vibrant parks and green spaces is achieved through:

  • Partnership: We believe our goals and vision can only be achieved through collaboration with local communities, fellow nonprofits, government agencies and our supporters.

  • Beauty: We believe every green space in Baltimore should be beautiful and best in class.

  • Equity: We believe everyone in Baltimore deserves equal access to safe, healthy, vibrant green space.

  • Community: We believe that green space fosters community connections that make residents’ lives happier, healthier and safer.

  • Respect: We believe in listening to the community, understanding and respecting their unique needs in relation to green space.

Nutritious Food

Arbor Dog partners with First Fruits Farm, which proudly works with a diverse distribution network of currently more than 130 organizations of all sizes including longtime partners like the Maryland Food Bank, Central PA Food Bank, and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (WV), along with churches, pantries, shelters, schools, and other nonprofits serving low-income families and individuals throughout Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Safe Places To Live

Helping Up Mission’s Center for Women & Children offers women and children (0-3 years) a secure, home-like environment. At our Center, you can recover and rebuild your life, inside and out.

You will receive essentials such as:

• Onsite substance abuse counseling or mental health services

• Case management

• Supportive community

• A safe room with a locking door

• Toiletries for showering

• Clean clothes

• Spiritual help

• Hot meals

• Childcare necessities

Farming. Land Conservation. Land Revitalization.

Civic Works is committed to creating a more sustainable, economically viable, environmentally responsible agriculture sector in Baltimore.

• Grew 200,000 pounds of fresh produce.

• Planted 25,000 trees.

Real Food Farm, a program of Civic Works is working toward a just and sustainable food system by improving neighborhood access to healthy food, providing experience-based education, and developing an economically viable, environmentally responsible local agriculture sector.

Civic Works Community Landscaping Program transforms vacant and abandoned lots in Baltimore City into community gardens and green spaces. AmeriCorps members, community residents, local artists, and volunteer groups work together to create and maintain thriving community spaces.

Each of these organizations is making a positive impact on the environment in and around Baltimore City. We support their efforts, and you can too. Make a donation to Arbor Dog Foundation.

*Sources: Regis College, Massey University

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