Welcome to the Jones Falls Mill Corridor Blog!

First off, I’d like to thank you for stopping in! As this is my first post to this new blog I feel I should explain a bit about its purpose and what will be explored in future posts. The Jones Falls is a centrally important waterway in Baltimore, and yet it is true that many in the city are unaware of many aspects of the falls, or even realize that it exists. The city grew up along the Jones Falls, and while the waterway has lost its prominence as a provider of power for industrial mills it remains a unique resource in the city. Fortunately, many of these historically significant mills still exist and have been renovated and repurposed as residences and businesses. The lower Jones Falls in the city of Baltimore has been a transportation corridor for centuries and continues as such to this day. The green swath through the city made by the Jones Falls valley is one of only a few such areas in this region, and affords much in the way of recreation and aesthetic potential. The ecosystem is on the rebound after what can only be termed a period of utter devastation, and it serves as a habitat ‘island’ for a surprisingly diverse array of life. As an ecologist I am continually surprised by what organisms are calling this river home. And finally, the Jones Falls is the principal tributary to one of the main centerpieces of the local economy, the Inner Harbor.
The purpose of this blog is to help familiarize readers with the lowermost above ground reaches of the Jones Falls (called the Mill Corridor) and its ecosystem, to educate about the issues the Jones Falls faces, and to help people develop an appreciation for the potential that this waterway has. I will be providing information on the history, flora and fauna, general landscape and landmarks, and specific issues of this region of the Jones Falls. In future blog posts I will elaborate on these features of the watershed and provide updates on events and conditions in the Jones Falls.
My colleagues, students, and I at University of Baltimore have been conducting various investigations on the Jones Falls since 2009, studying the environmental issues in the Jones Falls and its ecosystem. We intend for this research to aid in bringing back the Jones Falls corridor to its full potential as an urban stream and greenway. Future posts will also detail our work that has been funded through the EPA’s Urban Water Program, which focuses on pollution reduction and infrastructure issues in the lower Jones Falls, and also to provide educational outreach (This blog was made possible through this grant from the EPA- thanks!). In conjunction with our partners on this grant, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) and Baltimore’s premiere watershed organization Blue Water Baltimore (BWB), we hope to raise awareness about the Jones Falls and its issues, and to collect information that will help to restore water quality in the Jones Falls. This won’t be easy, as we have picked all of the ‘low hanging fruit’ of water quality improvement a long time ago. Positive steps in the right direction as difficult as they may be are the way forward in improving these situations. It is my hope that this blog provides a way for people to become familiar with what has been called Baltimore’s forgotten River, and I look forward to contributing to this effort. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line at skemp@ubalt.edu.
Thanks again,
Stanley Kemp

About Stanley Kemp

Stanley Kemp is an Assistant professor at the University of Baltimore where he has been employed since 2008. His background is in aquatic ecology and has been studying urban and not so urban streams in the Baltimore area, with emphasis on fish communities.
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