Sustainability Initiative Weekend of Action


Saturday Sustainability Expo (2011)

Native Plant sale

Expo moved indoors at Roland Park Elementary\Middle School

A hands on experience

Exhibitors from area schools

Residents provided enterntainment








Saturday teach-in (2009)


The teach-in was part of the 350.org worldwide day of action.

Mike McQuestion thanks participants.

The exhibitors braved the rain for a fun event.

(Click thumbnails to enlarge. Photos: D.P. Munro and R.L. Walters.)


Seven Generations Weekend II, 14-20 May 2011

Sustainable living themes attract Roland Parkers

On a chilly, drizzly Saturday a couple of hundred Roland Parkers were back in school, learning ways that they can live more sustainable lives. Some twenty exhibitors were on hand in the Roland Park Elementary and Middle School to share ideas and sign people up for home energy savings, rain gardens, vegetarian cooking and other causes. Adding an aesthetic touch, City College High School
sophomores read nature-themed poetry. The Ken Kolodner string quartet played folk music. They were followed by another folk and blues jam session, courtesy of Bob Friedman, Davis Shingleton and friends. Out at the garden party, in the school lobby, RPEMS moms and students played recycling games, made
seed bombs and crafted sustainability art. Outside, umbrella toting residents stocked up at the annual Native Plant Sale. Across the street, documentaries on energy and chemical pollution were showing in the Roland Park Library.

The sun poked through at around 9AM the next morning to the delight of residents who were biking, running, walking and skating down Roland Avenue. The community’s third ciclovía again brought out a large crowd of all ages for a few hours of exercise and camaraderie. Volunteers stood at cross streets
to redirect the occasional motorist. At St. David’s Church, enterprising teens did a brisk business selling snacks and hot dogs. The proceeds will go to support their teaching project in Honduras.

Nationwide, Monday through Friday was Bike to Work Week. Roland Park students could be seen in greater numbers biking and taking “walking buses” to school. All area schools participated. The event culminated on Friday when, witnesses reported, there were perceptibly fewer cars on Roland Avenue during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

We deeply appreciate our Seven Generations II sponsors, whose cash contributions made it all possible: Crazy Man Restaurant Group (lead sponsor), Symphony Manor, Prudential, Terra Nova, Greenfields and Employ the Earth. For ciclovía, a nod must go to the Baltimore Police Department who donated their
services and sent four of their finest, on gleaming motorcycles. All events were coordinated by RPCL Sustainability Committee members and collaborators Rita Walters, Mike McQuestion, Susan Griisser, Martha and Bob Armenti, Vince Vizachero, Peter Kannam, Susan Villani and Zolna Russell. Most importantly, an estimated fifty people volunteered in one or more Seven Generations II activities. Thanks to each and every one of you!

Stay tuned for our next sustainability event in the Fall. We are planning for a ciclovía on 25 September.

 — Mike McQuestion

Sustainability Chairman

Roland Park Civic League


Seven Generations Weekend I

October 25, 2009

10:00 p.m.


Though the weather was decidedly iffy during Saturday’s sustainability teach-in at the Roland Park library (October 24), there were nonetheless some 20 exhibitors and about 200 attendees. Organizing mainstays Rita Walters and Mike McQuestion pronounced themselves pleased. The event was part of a worldwide sustainability day of action coordinated by an advocacy group called 350.org. (The name refers to the number of parts per million of carbon that the atmosphere can handle without sustaining long-term climate damage. The current level is 390 parts per million.)

Lots of people schmoozed, some signed up for things, all enjoyed. Local resident Dave Shingleton rigged up a nice sound system, and the kids from City College High School read poems and made themselves helpful. Until it started raining seriously, there was even live music. The tables and chairs came from St. David’s Church, the Roland Park Elementary/ Middle School and the Roland Park Country School. The Crazy Man Restaurant Group provided free coffee and the Inn at the Colonnade gave out 35 breakfasts to volunteers. For those anxious to get out of what turned into a downpour, there were in the (pleasingly dry) library three showings, supervised by Chris McSherry and Lynn Heller, of the Kilowatt Ours sustainability movie. “It was as good as a neighborhood event gets,” said McQuestion.

What a difference 24 hours can make. The following day, Sunday the 25th, was glorious — and right in time for the much anticipated “ciclovia.” Southbound Roland Avenue was closed from Northern Parkway to Cold Spring Lane, and was turned over to cyclists, skateboarders, dog walkers, you name it — just no cars. It sounds so simple, shutting down a mile of road: why should that be a big deal? But it was, for the simple reason that it induced residents to walk and talk.

Halfway along my stroll, I ran into co-organizer Rita Walters, who told me that the cost of the road closing had been $4,500, split between the Civic League, the Roads & Maintenance Corp. and the Community Foundation. I subsequently mentioned this to a few other walkers and all agreed that it was pricey but worth it. One three-decade resident told me he had not seen as much neighborly interaction in years.

And this is exactly the reason Roland Park was designed as it was. Our quirky footpaths do not exist simply to give the Beautification Committee extra weeding to do. No, they were created with the express intent of getting people to walk about and chat. This is a pastime entirely lost in modern America. If the ciclovia revived the art in some small way, it was money very well spent.

 — D.P. Munro

Web-site Editor


Mike McQuestion contributed to this article.



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Sunday Ciclovia (2011)

Roland Avenue open to locomotion by foot and wheel

Bike Rodeo!

Baltimore Police support

Family fun

Everyone enjoyed the beautiful day








Sunday Ciclovia (2009)


The ciclovia brought out hundreds of local residents.

Rita Walters at the ciclovia.

The beautiful autumnal weather enhanced a wonderful event.