Branch Avenue in Bloom. 
	A new initiative to reinvigorate Branch Avenue at Naylor Road and the Saint Barnabas road Commercial corridor.
The construction of the Branch Avenue In Bloom Urban Farm tells a story of what innovations can be made possible when county, state and community come together for a greater cause. After 40 plus years of existing as an abandoned road, a once local dumping site is now open as a free, functional greenspace. Through funding and volunteering, the completion of the Urban Farm was a full team effort. Community residents and local commercial partners worked with the BAIB staff to plant trees, fill raised beds, and additional landscaping projects. Prince George’s County involvement has included asphalt removal from the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T), installation of storm water catch basins with the consultation of the Department of Environment, and re-zoning ordinances conducted by the County Council and the Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement. The story of the farm alone has drawn in national recognition, including an invitation to the white house.
Urban Farm Gallery
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Transforming an Abandoned Road into an Urban Farm
Back in 2010 during her surveillance work of the Branch Avenue commercial corridor, Retail Revitalization Coordinator for Branch Avenue In Bloom Jennifer Funn, came up with the concept for installing an Urban Farm in the area. After 6 years, locals will be given a new avenue for accessing fresh produce for themselves and their families.

“If you look at the USDA’s website, you will find that the Branch Avenue area and its surrounding communities are designated as a food desert. Since 2011, BAIB has been involved through our Farmers’ Market to bring fresh produce in to the area. Now that the Urban Farm is open for use, not only do residents have another outlet to get their fresh produce, but they will also be given the opportunity to learn to how to grow and incorporate this knowledge in their own backyards.” The project has since been housed under BAIB’s Design Committee, a committee comprised of community residents and business owners that focus on the physical aspects of Branch Avenue as it pertains to revitalization.

Early funding for the farm was provided by Prince George’s County through the Housing and Community Development Block Grant; however, the majority of funding would come from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. BAIB was awarded with over $50,000 through the Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant. This grant included funding for raised beds, green roof construction, a rain garden, and a compost bin. “This community garden is a place where people of all ages can enjoy nature, contribute to their neighborhood by working together in the garden, and reap the benefits of local urban agriculture,” said Jana Davis, Executive Director of Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We are so proud to have been able to support this project with our funding partners, EPA and Prince George’s County.”

Layout of the Urban Farm
BAIB Urban Farm is nestled away behind the McDonalds inside the Sam’s Car Wash Shopping Plaza on 32nd Branch Ave, Temple Hills MD. The Urban Farm is comprised of 20 raised planting beds, in which 16 of those beds will be rotated among Prince George’s County residents and the remaining 4 will be used for institutional use (i.e. churches and neighbouring schools). Surrounding its interior are 25 fruit trees comprised of five different varieties (peach, plum, persimmon, pomegranate and fig). The construction Urban Farm is a major step in addressing the neighbouring communities lack of food problem with the area being recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a designated food desert. With each bed measured at 4 x 10 x 27.5, Urban Farm Manager Fleming Thomas believes that families will be one of biggest the beneficiaries of this project. “One of these raised beds is enough to feed a family of four.”
Construction of Urban Farm
Since 2010, it has been thanks to a series of partnerships between government, urban planners, and community members that the farm exists today. The first partnership came through the Neighbourhood Design Center (NDC), a pro bono Urban planning non-profit. NDC designed the renderings for the farm which were used as an outlier for construction and initially served as the sole visual aid for an idea that only existed in concept at the time. In the following years Prince George’s County’s eventual involvement skyrocketed the growth of the Farm contributing: asphalt removal from the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T), installation of storm water catch basins with the consultation of the Department of Environment, and re-zoning ordinances conducted by the County Council and the Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement. The anticipated impact that the will derive from the farm’s presence was a shared theme expressed by directors from DPW&T and DOE.

“Health, sustainability, education, revitalization, and community engagement; this effort hits all the right high points and everyone involved should be proud. We are thrilled to partner with this grassroots movement that has become a model to communities everywhere”, Director Adam Ortiz of DOE.

“The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) was pleased to partner with our sister agencies, State and local municipalities to support the Branch Avenue In Bloom initiative (BAIB). The BAIB initiative is a great example of how a united community, working with local government can create a beautiful, vibrant place for residents to enjoy”, Director Darrell B Mobley of DPW&T.

Early funding for the farm was provided by Prince George’s County through the Housing and Community Development Block Grant; however, the majority of funding would come from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. BAIB was awarded with over $50,000 through the Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant. This grant included funding for raised beds, green roof construction, a rain garden, and a compost bin. “This community garden is a place where people of all ages can enjoy nature, contribute to their neighbourhood by working together in the garden, and reap the benefits of local urban agriculture,” said Jana Davis, Executive Director of Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We are so proud to have been able to support this project with our funding partners, EPA and Prince George’s County.”