South Harbor Renaissance (SHR) is pleased to announce the Paver Campaign “Make Your Mark on the Park”. Custom-engraved pavers will replace those in the path through the Federal Hill Park Playground and pave the way for generations to come. A tribute to a family member or someone special will become a lasting legacy. The first group of pavers will be installed in the spring. Please visit www.south-harbor.org to join the effort.
The ongoing support of individuals and institutions is vital as SHR shifts its focus to improving maintenance and security in Federal Hill Playground and Park, in consultation with the City and community. The Board plans increased outreach and fundraising. Donors will help Federal Hill Park regain the stature appropriate to its history and prominence; attract and retain City residents, especially families; and build a better Baltimore.
On Sailabration Saturday, September 13, Governor Martin O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake cut the ribbon on Federal Hill Park’s new historic-themed Playground, with Honorary Chair Senator Paul Sarbanes looking on. Hundreds of children, parents, neighbors and park visitors celebrated the Dedication. Six United States and British military units and bands added excitement, color and music.
This Dedication marks a milestone in the ongoing partnership between the South Harbor Renaissance (SHR) and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP). In his welcome, the Governor saluted “the incredible transformation of Federal Hill Park by South Harbor Renaissance”. The nonprofit was established in 2011 by neighbors, park users, and parents to help restore and improve Federal Hill Park. In 2012-13, SHR and BCRP collaborated on the Flag Staff Plaza to provide space for military units and first responders to honor the Park’s
15-star Flag, and on traditional-style, sturdy benches and trash cans.
Working with BCRP staff and the community, SHR’s primary focus has been designing, funding and executing an exciting play experience for children and their parents that reflects Federal Hill’s rich history, sets a high standard for future renovations, and attracts local families and visitors alike. The custom play equipment incorporates miniature historic icons that are important to Federal Hill, as well as our City:
- The Federalist ship, the Hill’s namesake, commemorating Maryland’s ratification of the Constitution;
- Signal Hill Tower, as closely linked to Baltimore’s mercantile heritage as ships are to its maritime history;
- Fort Federal Hill, the extensive military installation that dominated the Hill during the Civil War.
The design process began with a community workshop led by the Neighborhood Design Center. A survey by the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance helped to crystallize community desires for better play equipment for a broader range of ages. More than two-dozen Federal Hill residents and experts contributed ideas. SHR engaged local landscape architects Hord Coplan Macht to shape the concept plan for the playground area and Playground Specialists to transform SHR’s vision into the play equipment.
Since 2011, improvements to Federal Hill Park total over $600,000. SHR raised substantial Program Open Space funds from the State of Maryland, as well as private grants and donations. The Goldseker Foundation provided a crucial seed grant enabling start-up support by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore. The Abell Foundation and Parks and People Foundation met specific needs. SHR also raised playground funds through GiveCorps. The Baltimore Community Foundation is the nonprofit’s fund administrator. Ballard Spahr and Venable have advised SHR pro bono. Committed Board members and volunteers continue to give generously of their time and talent.