Erin Bowman Bids Farewell to the Community

Erin Bowman - AM 2013.JPG

To the Reservoir Hill Community,

As many of you have heard, I left my position with Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) this month.  I have had an incredible three years here, and could never have predicted how large my 'family' would grow in that time.  Though I am moving on to a different job, I will still be around Baltimore and am sure that we will run into each other!

Over the past three years I have learned a great deal working on projects with you all. 

  • We worked with the Baltimore Education Coalition and partners across the city to win $1 billion dollars for school construction money, with John Eager Howard as one of the first schools to be redeveloped. 
  • Over 600 neighbors and supporters have contributed to John Eager Howard School's redesign and together we are building a model of engaged community planning that might help other neighborhoods with schools being redeveloped.
  • RHIC's greening partnership with John Eager Howard continued to grow. 
    • We became a Maryland Green School.
    • We successfully completed 8 of Baltimore City's Office of Sustainability's Green Healthy Smart Challenges, more than any other school in the district.
    • We began traditions: The Beaver Dash (a fun-run), sending 4th grade to Echo Hill Outdoor School, and more!
    • Students performed all over the city, sharing their commitment to caring for the earth with everyone they encountered.
  • We brought Whitelock Community Farm's mobile market to sites throughout the neighborhood. 

We planted, weeded, worked on vacant lots, and more! Though I cannot quantify all that we accomplished together in this letter, a few basic principles underlie it all. Every person in this neighborhood matters, and is important to moving work forward. The more we work together, the more cohesive a community we can build, and the closer we can come to fulfilling the neighborhood's vision for itself.

I have had the honor of spending a good deal of my time with both John Eager Howard Elementary and Whitelock Community Farm, and recognize the ways in which these community institutions touch the lives of so many neighbors. Any neighborhood strategy must include the institutions that engage, support, and inspire neighbors.

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council is working towards an incredible mission, and I am grateful to have been a part of it. There are so many incredible projects in the works right now, and I look forward to hearing about your experiences with all of them, and seeing the work you all complete.

Thank you for opening your community to me.  I look forward to the next step in my career as a Baltimore Corps Fellow, which provides me a unique leadership opportunity to continue to serve the city I love.

~ Erin