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HoCo Non-Profit Protects Urban Farm

The Community Ecology Institute (CEI) is a Howard County based non-profit that works to create healthy communities through connections with nature. Based on their programmatic track record, CEI was given the opportunity to purchase the last farm in Columbia if they promised to protect it from development. The catch was they only had three months to raise the funds!

This summer they were successful in becoming the new stewards of the 6.4 acre organic farm on Harriet Tubman Lane behind Atholton High.This farm is now deed restricted from ever being developed and CEI has been hard at working cleaning it up and putting down roots that will help people and nature to thrive here together for years to come. Some exciting projects include planting the 2nd Climate Victory Garden in the state of Maryland, getting a great start on a food forest, and planning an area for local non-profits to be able to engage their clients in the benefits of gardening.

To shepherd the organization’s development during this exciting time, CEI just hired their founder, Dr. Chiara D’Amore, as their first Executive Director. CEI and Chiara are both excited to collaborate with community partners to maximize the benefits of this urban farm for Howard County. Their vision is for the farm to become an experiential education center where all people can learn from hands on experience about how to lead happier, healthier, more connected and sustainable lives. You can learn more at