May 2024 Newsletter

This month’s Oakenshawe Improvement Association (OIA) Newsletter includes:

  • April OIA Meeting Minutes
  • Thank you to the Greenspace Weed & Seed Volunteers
  • Northern District Planning Newsletter
  • Save the Dates and more!

OIA April Meeting Recap: Meeting Minutes

On Monday, April 15 from 6:30-7:30pm, at St Moses Church, OIA held its second quarterly meeting of 2024. The minutes recapping the meeting are below:

April 2024 OIA Agenda & Meeting Minutes

  1. Welcome
  2. Update from Councilmember Odette Ramos: The Councilmember shared updates and answered many questions from attendees. Updates included that Dana Moore has been appointed to oversee Baltimore City’s response to the Francis Scott Key Bridge; a major effort is underway to address public safety on Greenmount Avenue by disrupting activity on Venable & 32nd Street, rehabilitate vacants on York Road and Venable, and recently removing the bushes behind Giant that harbored illicit activities; the Thai Restaurant is moving to the Waverly Town Hall building and the goal is to open before the end of summer; the Baltimore Book Festival is returning to Waverly in September; the city is in ongoing talks about the proposed JHU building in Remington (the site of the current JHU daycare); the city has acquired a mini street sweeper for bike lanes; and the Councilmember is still working on a resolution to squatters in the neighborhood.
  3. Northern District Planner – Marie McSweeney Anderson: Marie’s planning district covered 52 neighborhood statistical areas. She also issues a weekly newsletter for news and happenings around the Northern District (Sign up here.) Marie highlighted CoDeMap as an essential tool for neighbors to understand changes around the city, especially in terms of permits and property owner information. As well as the zoning tables at the end of the zoning code. Marie also shared that the new Comprehensive Plan draft is expected in May. Baltimore will have a land use plan for the first time. 
  4. Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore – Darnyle K Wharton: Darnyle was unable to attend, but shared an update via email with case information for the arrests connected to the recent burglaries and robberies in Guilford. Darnyle encourages the community to send an impact statement to assist with the court case. Please contact us if you would like to participate.
  5. Snowblower Update – New Home: Searching for a new home for the community snowblower to relieve Barabara. Preferably someone with garage space and who is willing to help coordinate a neighborhood snow plan.
  6. Officer & Committee Reports
    1. Treasurer Report: 
      1. OIA has collected $908 in dues and donations since the beginning of the year (almost exclusively from the Parking Permit pickup) and spent $120 (to reimburse 2023 printing costs). OIA’s account balance is $4,304.
      2. All Committee chairs should send Zach a 2024 budget request ASAP.
      3. Last but not least, we are looking for a new treasurer. Thank you to Kenneth for your two years of service. As a best practice, we will conduct an internal audit as treasurer duties switch hands. If you are interested in serving as treasurer, please reach out to zachgieske@gmail.com.
    2. Membership & Communications Report: Reach out to johnhillegass@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the committee to brainstorm how to make OIA communications and membership more valuable for neighbors.
    3. Events Report: The OIA Block Party is scheduled for September 7. Karen Stokes plans to begin organizing soon.
    4. University Outreach and Safety Report: Kevin is working on a plan for Community Impact Statements for violent crimes from repeat offenders that impact the neighborhood.
    5. Green Space & Trees Report: Haydee Rodrgiuez of the East University Parkway Task Force organized a community pickup as part of the Mayor’s Spring Cleanup. Thank you Haydee and EUP Task Force volunteers.
  1. New Business:
    1. Board & Officers: OIA voted to add Miye Schakne of Homewood Terrace to the board. Miye is a long-time resident and former board member interested in getting involved again.
  2. Closing

Thank you Greenspace Weed & Seed Volunteers

From Louisa Creamer. Photo with permission by Megan Page

“We did about 1 hour and 45 min of work and it was a beautiful day…Volunteers learned what to pull when playing on the Greenspace to help our pretty pollinators thrive. Isaac, our helpful 7 year old of the day, was very good at both the weeding and seeding.  The “Picture This” plant app helped us all. Thanks to Mark Soloski, Shannon Frede, Megan and Isaac Page, Laurie Feinberg. Thanks to Suranjan and Radhika Chakoborty of Birkwood for using their proximity to the garden to water our seeds for next month when nature does not help. :)”


Join the next Oakenshawe Cleanup by the EUP Task Force

Check out this fun short summary video of the April Cleanup: YouTube Link


Community Updates

The Grass is growing! Volunteer to Mow the Greenspace

Please consider signing up for a shift to mow the greenspace.  For those who have never done it, we have a battery powered mower that is super easy to use.  Instruction provided.  Please sign up here Link to mow schedule.   Instructions are on the schedule.  Coordinate with Louisa or Laurie ahead of time to get the garage key. Please close garage door when mowing and when done, double check that garage door is locked.   laurie.feinberg@gmail.com 410-952-2067 or louisa.creamer@gmail.com 443-257-6440 

Northern District – Baltimore City Planning Newsletter

Sign up to receive updates from the Northern District Planner with the Baltimore City Department of Planning. Select communities you are a part of to receive planning updates about specific areas. 

Oakenshawe Meal Exchange

Interested in joining a neighborhood meal exchange for adventurous planners? The idea is to stimulate community, while reducing the overall amount of thought process behind meal planning at home. The location for meeting and exchanging meals will mainly occur at the Oakenshawe Green Space unless otherwise communicated. If interested in learning more, reach out to Davon Pulliam at geraldrinkcidre@gmail.com.

Contractor Recommendations

Have you had a good experience with a contractor, landscaper or house cleaner? OIA often gets asked for suggestions for repairs, home improvements or help with the yard. Help your neighbors and your favorite contractors by adding their name and contact info in our Oakenshawe Household Services Directory Google Doc.

Councilmember Ramos Weekly Newsletter

Councilmember Ramos sends out a weekly District 14 newsletter (Oakenshawe falls within Council District 14) that includes updates on legislation in City Council, events, and more. This is a good resource to stay up to date on local news. Sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Councilmember’s website.

Oakenshawe Opines

If you have a local business review, poem, or story for the next newsletter you would like to see featured, submissions can be sent to John Hillegass at johnhillegass@gmail.com. Publication and editing decisions are at the discretion of the OIA Board.


Save the Dates

Below are some important dates that you should add to your calendar. 

  • Sun. May 26: East University Parkway Task Force Community Cleanup
  • Mon. July 15 at 6:30pm: OIA Quarterly Meeting
  • Sat. September 7: Annual Oakenshawe Block Party 
  • Mon. October 21 at 6:30pm: OIA Quarterly Meeting

OIA Block Captains

OIA’s Block Captains help communicate with neighbors, especially those who may not be on this newsletter. Thank you to the amazing volunteers listed below. Hopefully, most of you have already met your Block Captain. 

BlockCaptainBlockCaptain
BarclayVanessa ProtoSouthway 200-300sJessica Kohnen
BirkwoodRachael EdginSouthway 400sShannon Frede
CalvertLaura UrbanEUP 200sEd & Karen Stokes*
CalvinDavon PulliamEUP Guilford HallNeed Volunteer
The CarrolltonKevin ClearyEUP 301-320Need Volunteer
Guilford Terrace (Even side)Ben WrightEUP 321+Bethan McGarry
Guilford Terrace (Odd side)Co-Captains: Marcy Feeney & Anne KernUniversity Place (Odds)Robin  Prescott
Homewood TerraceLeah GlasheenUniversity Place (Evens)Amelia Jamison
Oakenshawe PlaceJenny SorelVenableDavon Pulliam**

*Ed and Karen Stokes have agreed to help temporarily on the 200 block of EUP until we can find a permanent block captain.

**Davon Pulliam has agreed to help temporarily on Venable until we can find a permanent block captain.

If you know anyone who lives on a block without a captain, ask them if they are interested in volunteering or can think of a friendly neighbor who might be interested. Block Captains greet & welcome new neighbors, drop off flyers ahead of quarterly OIA meetings, seek volunteers for events, and gather contact information to keep OIA’s neighbor database up-to-date. If you are interested, please reach out to John at johnhillegass@gmail.com


On behalf of the OIA Board, we hope you have a wonderful May and we look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood.

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