Foundation 2013 Year-End Report

The Foundation had a successful 2013 with our preservation and beautification program making additional strides. Our 220 generous contributors made this progress possible. We took a highly visible long abandoned space and turned it into an attractive open garden featuring a wide variety of native Maryland plants. This improvement in our core area complements the intersection and the adjacent commercial site. In 2014, while the Greater Ruxton Area Foundation (GRAF) hopes to continue work in additional sections along Bellona, our emphasis will be to maintain and upgrade our existing sites.

GRAF also established a professionally designed website:

Here one can visit a “before and after” color portfolio of our projects, local history articles and photographs, a contributors listing and updates of the Foundation’s activities and management. It offers a convenience of the PayPal contribution option. We welcome suggestions to make the site even more helpful.

Our sincerest thanks go to Paul Hartman of Computer Engineering Group, Inc. in Towson for his patience, professional competence and availability in designing the site to such a high standard. As a communication and outreach tool, we now have an additional powerful resource to build an even stronger community.

Our landscaper who delivers value, service and personal commitment is Ali Mumtaz and his son, Michael. The Foundation has built a solid relationship with Ali as the results will attest. Ali’s attention to detail, knowledge of Maryland plantings and strong work group have served our community well. The area between Bellona and the light-rail presents a unique challenge to any landscaper because the soil has been exposed for the past 180 years to railroad coal, creosote, defoliants, infill, etc. It is difficult to get desirable plants established in such conditions without a lot of nurturing.

Rob Nelson of Carroll Tree has been assiduous in his efforts to assist our American Hollies at Rider House and the open space at Joppa and Bellona.

A special note of appreciation goes to Peggy Squitieri and Amy Mallik who put so much effort into our yearly development campaign. A great team effort.

The Board of GRAF was expanded in 2013 to include James Knott, Tom Weadock, Ed Taylor, Kathy Mountcastle and Sibley Classen. Foundation by-laws provide a rotating seat for outgoing presidents of the Association so we may benefit from their experience. Susan Guarnieri will be in this capacity for the next year. With regret, Tammy P. Wiggs retired from the board after four years of meritorious service. We are most grateful for her alacrity and loyal participation.


JMC 2/6/2014