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Promoting sustainability in the communities of Southwest Baltimore County

SWVF is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization established to address the economic development of Southwest Baltimore County. A citizen board partners with County and State officials plus other stakeholders to achieve grants and facilitate improvements that benefit the community.

Southwest Baltimore County is a designated Sustainable Community. The Sustainable Communities Program is a place-based designation offering a comprehensive package of resources that support holistic strategies for community development, revitalization and sustainability. Led by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Sustainable Communities has provided local governments with a framework for promoting environmentally, economically and socially responsible growth and development in existing older communities. 
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Embracing our heritage while shaping our future

Sustainable Community Designation

image credit: National Archives Catalog, "A3378 - Enumeration District Maps for the Twelfth Through Sixteenth Censuses of the United States, 1900-1940," catalog.archives.gov/id/5832532.

October 22, 2021

"The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced Arbutus has become Maryland’s newest Sustainable Community. With this designation, Arbutus becomes the ninth designation in Baltimore County and 123rd in the state. By earning a Sustainable Community Designation, local governments are provided with a revitalization “toolbox” of state resources including programs, loans, grants and tax credits that can support brick and mortar community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism.

Arbutus’ Sustainable Community Area is in Baltimore County, located south of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campus and is bordered by Patapsco Valley State Park to the south and west. Arbutus is uniquely positioned and able to serve as a hub for a diverse technology, industrial business community, and provide direct access to major commuter routes such as I-95, I-695, I-895, and I-295, and is six miles from BWI Airport. Additionally, Arbutus is just 20 miles away from the Washington DC Beltway, providing further access to several business communities and federal employment centers.

In addition to the Sustainable Community Designation, Arbutus has been designated as a Local Historic District, a Commercial Revitalization District, a Design Review Area, and a County Enterprise Zone, which all further encourage neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Arbutus’ key outcomes of the new designation include improving stream water quality and increasing the tree canopy, attracting and retaining more businesses such as grocery stores and cafes, creating a more complete bicycle and pedestrian network, encouraging homeownership and promoting relationships between the community and UMBC students and faculty, and lastly, to expand upon the area’s existing assets for the arts."

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Did you know that Blind Industries and Services of Maryland provides skills training for blind and visually impaired people here in 21227? Learn more and find out how you can support them:(Image Description: Black and white photo of Mystery Beer Can, “Brewed Locally for BISM, Checkerspot Brewing Co.; White background with dark blue and orange curved borders; Text: You are invited to BISM X Checkerspot Brew Reveal - Saturday, April 20, 2024 - Start at 12 noon - 4pm - Checkerspot Brewing Co. 1421 Ridgely St. Baltimore, MD 21030 - For more information: www.bism.org @BISM_Baltimore - Blind Industries and Services of Maryland)Join us in raising a glass to a great cause! Exciting times ahead as we unveil the Mystery Beer Can brewed locally for BISM by Checkerspot Brewing Co. Save the date - Saturday, April 20, 2024, 12 pm - 4 pm at Checkerspot Brewing Co., 1421 Ridgely St. Baltimore, MD. Let's come together, celebrate, and contribute to BISM's mission for non-visual life skills training. Cheers to good times and making a difference! #BISMBrewReveal #BISMxCheckerspotBrewingCo #BISM #CheckerspotBrewingCo #CheckerspotBrewing #CraftingForACause #CheersToInclusion #BaltimoreEvent #AprilEvent ... See MoreSee Less
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Is there anywhere in our community where a sidewalk is needed but missing. This is your opportunity to submit your thoughts.We want to hear from you 👂! Where is there a gap in our sidewalk network? Make your requests for new connections to existing sidewalks with our new online form here: ow.ly/AGSt50QxZJM ... See MoreSee Less
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Check out these Southwest Baltimore events sponsored by the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area #arbutus #environmentallyfriendly #getoutside #getoutsideandplay #getoutsideandexplore #invasivespeciesremovalFebruary has arrived and we can’t wait to get our Spring 2024 stewardship events started! Check out these upcoming events and register at ow.ly/kVf750QxfIlWe look forward to seeing you there! ... See MoreSee Less
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February 2024 Newsletter ... See MoreSee Less
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