Beyond the hats and the hype…
We love any reason to celebrate Baltimore, and Preakness holds a particular place for the City with the global media coverage, pomp and ceremony. The annual Triple Crown spectacle draws concert goers, racing enthusiasts and fashionistas from across the country. It’s an important boost for the local economy, but that two-minute race is a sugar rush, a sweet treat on a spring day, for Baltimore. We can enjoy it while focusing on what endures, including the change that is happening right beyond the fences of Pimlico.
Park Heights, the neighborhood that borders Pimlico and raised our current mayor, is building in extraordinary ways — attracting new residents, new investment and new innovation. Park Heights Renaissance has been leading the way with innovative new development and community advocacy. In the heart of the neighborhood, about a mile and a half straight down Park Heights Avenue from Pimlico is Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm, named one of the most innovative farms in the country. It was founded by a native Trinidadian — Richard “Farmer Chippy” Francis — who’s applying his biomedical background to growing cleaner, greener foods. And the Plantation is expanding its reach to 30 vacant Baltimore City-owned lots with a goal of supporting famers growing 250,000 pounds of food.
This is the kind of innovation that makes our community thrive. The Plantation may never have the attention of the 8 million people who watched the Preakness on Saturday. But those who stay here after the race can be grateful that these are the entrepreneurs who are making Baltimore home for the rest of us.