Coordinating a workforce development project, a vacant housing program, the development of a community recreation center, the planning and coordination of an urban gardening program, involvement in the Cherry Hill light rail project, involvement in the MSDE funded “Cherry Hill Races To The Top” grant through Abilities Network, assisting in developing the CHET concept paper for the community, literacy projects, participating on the Family League of Baltimore City (FLBC) community school planning committee and a number of other activities focusing on the community and economic revitalization of the community.
The CHDC had been known in the community as an organization operating “under the radar.” The only time the community knew what the CHDC was doing was when Board members gave away gift cards to needy families during the Christmas Holiday. Approximately five years ago, although the organization had been participating in the Annual School Supply Event every year, it wasn’t until the CHDC became the fiscal agent for the event that the community began to acknowledge them and their work in the community. With the addition of new Board members, a renewed desire to do more work in the community was born and the CHDC not only began preparation on a Promise Neighborhood Grant but decided to be a true Community Development Corporation with a vested interest in the community and an obligation to begin to live up to its purpose in order to help the community grow.
Currently, the Cherry Hill community is going through a renaissance in education, economic development and workforce development and the Cherry Hill Development Corporation is not only assisting but is also spearheading some of these efforts. Some of the current initiatives in the community have been:
Coordinating with Baltimore City Housing to commission a market feasibility study through Valbridge on the vacant land called “Fisher’s Cove,” coordinating with the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) for a visioning exercise for the community along with coordinating community focus groups with the Morgan State Institute for Urban Research through a grant from Enterprise Community Partners. These initiatives culminated with a community event to discuss the findings that are being circulated throughout Baltimore City and the State of Maryland.
Participating in the monthly Cherry Hill Education Team (CHET) meetings that brought Dr. Freeman Hrabowski to the community to speak about the importance of education in the lives of African-American males and Dr. Gregory Thornton who discussed priorities in education and his vision for Baltimore City Schools.