My Green Map

Mapmakers Only

Why do I Green Map?

Global Mapmakers, why do YOU Green Map?

It's been almost ten years since I began collaborating with the Green Map System. Lately several people have asked me why I have been so passionate and persistent about this project, so I've decided to share my reasons here:

1) Promote Access to Resources

I had taken my background in architecture, urban planning and education into a new iteration through an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship to map youth resources in Baltimore. I quickly realized that people were unaware of resources mere blocks from where they lived and had a generally negative impression about city youth. So began my search for effective ways to communicate knowledge about existing resources and about the positive actions young people were taking to improve their neighborhoods. For the past decade I've explored different ways to mobilize the Green Map icons to expand knowledge and to Map the Positives!

2) Engender Civic Pride

Our city's self-image would be infinitely improved if we could hold in our mind’s eye not just the scenic characteristics that define it – waterfront, stream valleys, parks, monuments, architectural landmarks, major thoroughfares – but also the many elements that show a cleaner, greener, safer, healthier Baltimore to be a dawning reality.

In contrast to Baltimore crime maps that record an accumulation of offenses and their geographic distribution over the course of a year, through Green Map-making, we focus attention on the accumulation of positive citizen actions and opportunities: community gardens planted; murals painted; parks’ partnerships activated; “green” schools – eco-conscious in curriculum, management, and community involvement; farmers markets offering fresh, local products; bicycle-friendly roadways; recycling centers; healthy eating venues; social enterprises that turn our culture of consumption into one of sharing.

4) Create Global Consciousness and Connectivity

Through participation in the Green Map® System, we also connect with the global sustainability movement, mapmakers in sixty+ countries sharing the common vocabulary of GMS icons to chart their local resources. We know already that our Jones Falls Trail Green Map hangs on walls in South Africa, South Korea and Japan. We inspire and are inspired by mapmakers worldwide.

5) Inspire Local Stewardship

Here at home, spurred by the Baltimore Green Map’s graphic reflection of what now exists, we can build a stewardship ethic into the culture of our city. Our many small actions contribute to a tide of change. That tide lifts (and uplifts) us. It strengthens as we communicate and model for each other the ways we contribute to making Baltimore a more healthy, sustainable environment.