Dick began his journey towards becoming a Firesoul back in 2017 when he co-founded a Pollinator Micro-Habitat/Garden Classroom on the Mt. Royal Elementary Middle School campus in his Bolton Hill, Baltimore neighborhood. That project took 15 months to complete and involved partnering and fundraising with a number of local organizations and individuals.
Over the next several years, Dick earned the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) certification, and also became certified as a Baltimore City TreeKeeper, Tree Pruner and Weed Warrior. He continues planting street trees with other volunteers throughout the city and county.
Melded into Dick’s sustainable landscapes work and training is his faith experience over time with historical, systemic racism in his previous churches in Baltimore and Annapolis.
I am learning the lessons of systemic racism in West Baltimore and its pernicious effects on communities struggling to regain vitality and prosperity.
Dick became associated with St. James Episcopal Church in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore in late 2021, having met the Rev. Fr. Richard Meadows, it’s Rector, at a bioswale maintenance project for an East Baltimore church that summer. With Fr. Meadows, he has been planting trees around St. James’s buildings, bringing back green canopy.
As a Firesoul, Dick is helping found the nearly one-acre Rev. Donald O. Wilson Park and sustainable Nature Sacred site on “inner block” land behind the church.