Wild Kid Acres, that fantastic farm in Edgewater is growing thanks, in large part, to the efforts of District 30 Senator Sarah Elfreth and District 30B Delegate Seth Howard. Gerardo Martinez has had a vision for his sustainable farm to include a large open community educational barn and an arena to be able to handle more visitors safely and host more community events.
At a press conference this afternoon, Martinez announced that the barn and arena have been fully funded thanks to funds earmarked in a bond bill that passed the General Assembly this year. Wild Kid Acres (a 501c3) will receive $250,000 for the construction of the barn and the arena which will also be dedicated to the history of the property. At one time, it was a practice field for a now-defunct Cougars, an All-Black Female softball team.
“Wild Kid Acres is extremely excited to have received funding to build a large community barn and riding rotunda on the farm!” Said Gerardo Martinez, owner of Wild Kid Acres. “The Barn will serve as a market, open space classroom to teach our regenerative farm practices! Our new riding arena will be focused on teaching interspecies communication, and animal-assisted therapy and serve as a dedication to the Black history of our land! Many thanks to enthusiastic support from our amazing local leaders, Senator Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Seth Howard, whose passion for the community secured the funding from the State legislature. This would not be possible without additional support from Vincent Molden from the County Executive’s Office, Councilwoman Jessica Haire, Lisa Barge from Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporationand our amazing community, volunteers, visitors, and clients.”
The community barn will feature flexible space to accommodate a local farmer’s market, educational talks for school field trips, and shelter from the elements if needed. The arena, which will be called a Heritage Rotunda, is a pre-fabricated round structure that will be used to enclose the animals in a smaller area while guests learn about the sustainability of the farm.
Martinez, a former Marine, plans to construct the barn and arena by himself with the help of a small army of volunteers. It should be noted that he single-handedly build his home on the property.
Demolition will begin on May 12th with the assistance of Keller Williams Flagship Maryland in Millersville. Jessica Busch was on hand to announce that Wild Kid Acres had been selected for the real estate firm’s Red Day which is a day of service. One hundred plus volunteers will descend on the farm to begin demolishing a small concrete block structure and preparing the land for the eventual barn. Martinez estimates that the demolition and site work will be complete by the end of May and hopes to have both structures up and in use by the end of the summer.
In one final announcement, Martinez said that Wild Kid Acres had leased a small farm in Waldorf and they will be a certified organic provider of fresh produce. And in keeping with their three-pronged mission, they announced that all of the harvests from the farm would be donated to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. Leah Paley, the CEO of the food bank reiterated the need for the food bank and said that the need today, as we exit the pandemic is greater than at its height in March 2021.
With all that said, it will take a lot of work and Wild Kid Acres is looking for volunteers–and there is not a cooler place to volunteer. And with that, the crowd toasted to the future of Wild Kid Acres.
We spoke with Gerardo for a Local Business Spotlight recently about his vision. Have a listen!
Learn more about the projects, the opportunities, volunteering, and the mission at Wild Kid Acres!
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