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Clifton Park (part 2)

September 26, 2012

After my tour of the Clifton mansion, I was intrigued by the surrounding acreage. And so, I did a bit of digging on the interwebs. I was delighted to learn that Real Food Farm, located at Lake Clifton high school, takes household compost (check their website for a few rules).

The very next day, I took my veggie detritus over via bicycle, and then toured the grounds surrounding the mansion with my sister Molly, who also happens to work for Baltimore City’s Rec ‘n Parks. We watched bees sipping water next to the hoop houses, as the most gorgeous clouds drifted by, and two volunteers hoed the rows of still growing veggies. We ran into Denzel, of Five Seeds Farm, who happened to be visiting as well. We chatted about our grandmother’s strawberries surviving the winter, tobacco as a modern day cash crop, daylight savings being invented for child labor, and modern day farming of front lawns. We even had a partial laugh when a fast food wrapper drifted by like tumble weed.

Molly then showed me more of the park’s amenities, but I’m sad to say that the feeling I described in ‘part one’ about disappointing our ancestors grew. Clifton Park is a gem. While it still has a bit of everything; an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, a lake with a High School on top of it, a City Garden. It also used to have fully functional horse stables, and a charming Gardener’s Cottage next to a boxwood edged orchard with herringbone bricked walk ways. The full glory of this place is long gone, but remnants still exist. How did we let these things go? Why don’t we now block off the roads and invite our young people to tear up the place on mountain bikes? Just a thought.

Hours later, I again tried to dig up information on the internet about Clifton. Google it. I’ve tried. From the images you’ll see associated with Lake Clifton you’d think that basketball will save our youth. How I wish that were true. I think the answer is YOU. If you aren’t already, get involved with our local park system. Please explore them, play in them, protect them. Fight to make them better. See you out there!

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