Photo Courtesy of Atiya Wells
Baltimore Living In Sustainable Simplicity
When asked to imagine a tree from her childhood during a naturalist class, Baltimore resident Atiya Wells couldn’t conjure a positive memory. Instead, she was confronted with the ancestral trauma of historical black lynchings. The racial gap she experienced in the conservation community motivated her to develop a space where people could reclaim their relationship with the natural world.
While exploring her Frankford neighborhood in East Baltimore, Atiya discovered a 2.5-acre meadow teaming with nature. After securing approval from the property owner, Atiya worked with a group of volunteers to create a community garden called Baltimore Living in Sustainable Simplicity (BLISS) Meadows.
But Atiya wanted BLISS Meadows to offer more than just fruits and vegetables. She envisioned the space as a community hub, prompting a GoFundMe campaign that raised $62,000 in 30 days. The initiative funded the purchase of an adjoining farmhouse where she hopes to offer programming in the future.
BLISS Meadows will provide locally sourced produce in Baltimore while inviting historically excluded communities to connect with the nature around them.