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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


CAR grant to assist downtown Berlin

(Nov. 19, 2015) The Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) 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 grant is intended to help realtors associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities. CAR is the first Realtors association in Maryland to receive a NAR placemaking micro-grant.
CAR will also contribute $300 to the project, for a total downtown improvement valued at $2,300.  
CAR 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.
“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 realtors 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. Realtors associations and their realtors 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 To find out more about NAR placemaking grants, visit