Berlin, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) and Town of Berlin officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, February 19, 2016 to celebrate the completion of the Berlin Community Chalkboard at the Visitor’s Center in Downtown Berlin.
 
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams and CAR President Linda Moran speak at the ribbon cutting for Berlin’s Community Chalkboard. 
 
Construction of the chalkboard was funded in part by a $2,000 Placemaking micro-grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The grant is intended to help REALTOR® associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities. CAR is the first REALTOR® association in the state of Maryland to receive an NAR placemaking micro-grant. CAR also contributed $300 to the project, for a total Downtown improvement valued at $2,300.
 
CAR partnered with Berlin’s Economic Development Office to complete this project. The chalkboard will bolster community interaction. Each month, the Town of Berlin will write a different question on the board, which is located outside of the Visitor’s Center. 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 enjoying the chalkboard, residents and visitors 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 chalkboard was constructed by the Berlin-based Anchor Wood Creations and was made with repurposed wood from an old corn crib in Berlin.
 
“Our REALTORS® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them,” said Linda Moran, president of CAR. “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. REALTOR® associations and their REALTOR® members are actively engaged in the community and know the neighborhoods and the properties that would benefit most from these improvement efforts.
 
“As the Lower Shore becomes more attractive and welcoming, nearby properties may also increase in value,” Moran said.
 
For more information about CAR, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. To find out more about NAR placemaking grants visit www.realtorsactioncenter.org/placemaking.
 
More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®
 
Coastal Association of REALTORS® is the leading local advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Coastal REALTORS® works in partnership with its members to promote home ownership and preserve, protect, and advocate private property rights. The organization supports 1,000 REALTORS® who serve Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.
 
For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409/ sarah@coastalrealtors.org