Coastal REALTORS grants funds for Berlin art kiosk

The Coastal Association of REALTORS has received a $2,000 placemaking micro-grant from the National Association of REALTORS to help make downtown Berlin a better place to live and work by transforming unused public spaces into vibrant community places.

The Coastal Association and Berlin’s Economic Development Office will use the funds to construct a community art kiosk at the Berlin Visitor’s Center on Main Street. The kiosk will contain a chalkboard which will bolster community interaction. Each month, the Town of Berlin will write a different question on the board. These questions will be designed to bring residents and visitors together by making them think about what a positive, strong community is made of. For example, a question could be, “What’s your definition of a community?” The whole community will be welcome to write their answers on the board.

While visiting the kiosk, residents will be encouraged to get more information about America’s Coolest Small Town inside of the Visitor’s Center. There is also seating available in the area of the kiosk, as well as various locally-owned shops and restaurants. Free Wi-Fi access is available in downtown Berlin.

The grant is intended to help REALTOR associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities. Coastal Association of REALTORS is the first REALTOR association in the state of Maryland to receive a placemaking micro-grant. Coastal Association will also contribute $300 to the project, for a total downtown improvement valued at $2,300.

“Our realtors live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them,” said Linda Moran, president of Coastal Association of REALTORS. “Placemaking can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. It creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better. This grant will allow us to address areas in our community that are in need of improvement or redevelopment and create a place where friends and neighbors can come together.”

Placemaking grants are awarded to local and state REALTOR associations to help them and their members initiate placemaking projects in the community, like turning a parking lot into a farmer’s market or a vacant lot into a playground.

“As the Lower Shore becomes more attractive and welcoming, nearby properties may also increase in value,” Moran said.

For more information visit www.coastalrealtors.org. To find out more about NAR placemaking grants visit www.realtorsactioncenter.org/placemaking.