Author Archives: Brent

Here Come the Benders!

Paul and Jean, residents of Overlea for 39 years, are doing their part to keep Overlea neat and tidy.  Everyday during their walk they take along a bag just in case they spot some bits of trash along the way.  This daily habit has been going on now for several years. This spunky couple also incorporates their walks into the delivery of  the community newsletter-they each have their own routes!  Jean, who grew up in Overlea just one street away from the house now owned by her son Mark, wife and three sons, has this to say about her contribution to the neighborhood, “I do it because it is our neighborhood. I really don’t like litter. However, the deeper reason is that God has given us a beautiful world and has provided us with everything we need to live well and I believe we have a responsibility to care for it.” Paul and Jean are just one shining example of Overlea citizens doing their part to keeping Overlea the great little hometown it is.

Overlea Home Honored as a Centennial Home

On Saturday November 6, 2010 the Rist home on Everall Avenue in Overlea was recognized as a Centennial Home.
The Baltimore Heritage Inc. honored the Rist family and home with the presentation of a plaque in recognition of the home being owned and occupied by the same family for over 100 years. The Rist’s have been in their home for 105 years.
Mrs. Norma Rist gladly accepted the plaque which is now mounted on her house. While accepting it she commented that her “in-laws must be smiling down from heaven right now.”
Her children, grand and great grandchildren as well as neighbors were there to celebrate with her.
The Rist home is an example of the legacy shared in the Overlea community by the generations of families who still chose to call it home.
Mrs. Rist adds grace and character that contributes to the beauty of Overlea.
The Baltimore Centennial Homes project, developed in collaboration between Baltimore Heritage and City Councilman James Kraft, recognizes families that have been in the same house for 100 years or more. These families have anchored Baltimore’s historic blocks and neighborhoods through good and
bad times. Their stories show the changes that our communities and our city have experienced as well as the critical roles that neighborhoods and their families have played in keeping historic neighborhoods thriving. The
Centennial Homes program has received generous support from the Maryland Humanities Council and the Middendorf Foundation. Has your family or a family you know lived in the same house for over 100 years? If so, Baltimore Heritage would love to hear from you. For more information feel free to call them at 410-332-9992.


Rawlings-Blake and Smith Call for More Trees in Neighborhoods-
Growing Home Campaign Targets Tree Canopy Deficit

Overlea, MD. (October 21, 2010) –  Chesley Avenue in Overlea will be considerably greener next spring – both in appearance and benefits to the environment thanks to some tree-planting assistance from Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith and Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The two top executives teamed up this afternoon to plant trees and encourage area residents to plant trees in their yards.

This tree-planting event provides an opportunity to highlight collaboration among the City and County, watershed and community organizations, and citizens for improving water quality and community quality of life. Community greening is a focus area identified in the Baltimore Watershed Agreement, a partnership between the city and county to address pollution problems in the region’s watersheds. Increasing the tree canopy is a major step to improving water quality in urban areas. Two existing community greening initiatives to increase urban tree canopy include TreeBaltimore and the Growing Home Campaign.

“Together residents in the region have planted about 7,000 trees through the Growing Home Campaign since the program began in 2006, and that’s a great start, but we need to do more,” Smith said, “The cool fall weather makes this a great time for all of us to ‘Fall for a Tree’ by planting trees in our communities. Trees not only beautify communities, but they also help reduce home energy costs, reduce storm runoff into our waterways and cut greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.”

Growing Home Campaign
Developed in 2006 by the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management, the Growing Home Campaign has been adopted by Baltimore City and Harford County. Throughout the region, the program now serves a total population of 1.6 million people and encompasses a land area of more than 1,100 square miles.

“I want to thank County Executive Smith for being a partner in the Growing Home campaign,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “He understands that the air we breathe and the water we drink does not care about boundary lines. The trees planted throughout the region as a part of Growing Home will make the air and water we share cleaner.”

Growing Home is a partnership between the participating jurisdictions; homeowners; and tree retailers like nurseries, home improvement stores and garden centers. The program features education for residents on tree species selection, planting instructions, site considerations and maintenance. This nationally recognized public/private partnership addresses a deficit in the local tree canopy by providing money-off coupons for homeowners to purchase trees worth $25 or more at participating retailers and plant them in their yards. Retailers share half of the cost of the $10 coupons. (PDF opens new window)

Support for Growing Home is provided in part by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Honeywell Corporation. “Honeywell is proud to support the Growing Home Campaign to increase urban tree canopies in Baltimore County, which will ultimately help protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” said John Morris, Director of Honeywell Environmental Projects. “We are committed to supporting community projects that protect and enhance the environment.”
Award Winning Program

The Growing Home Campaign was called “one of the region’s most aggressive efforts to expand urban forests” by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in the April 2008 issue of the Bay Journal, and was awarded a 2008 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award.

Learn More
Citizens can learn more about great trees for our area and get $10 Growing Home coupons online at two sites:  and also at  In addition, brochures with the coupons are widely available in public libraries and senior centers.