the Neighborhood Design Center

Volunteer with NDC

Use your design skills and support community-led change.

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We partner with passionate professionals on exciting projects.

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds. If you want to support NDC’s work and have experience in the below disciplines (or something related), we’d love to collaborate.

  • Architecture

  • Urban Planning

  • Interior Design

  • Landscape Architecture

  • Historic Preservation

  • Community Organizing

  • Community Design

  • Stormwater Design

  • Social Design

  • Graphic Design

  • Photography

There’s an amazing symbiotic relationship between our volunteers and community members. The local designers and experts who dedicate their talents to community projects learn from the community about the area’s needs and challenges, while residents get exposed to key design and implementation processes. Volunteers report their experience to be engaging and enriching!

Johnny Macon, Former NDC Staff and Sarah Hope, NDC Volunteer and Former Board Member share project work.

Put your skills to work!

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Volunteer Opportunities

Conkling Plaza Redesign

Baltimore

Are you a designer who just loves public plazas? NDC needs your help in Highlandtown! Conkling Plaza is a unique public space at the intersection of S. Conkling Street and Eastern Avenue. The plaza occupies three corners all around the Southeast Anchor Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and serves local residents as well as visitors and shoppers along the Highlandtown Main Street. Southeast CDC is seeking help from NDC’s volunteer community to redesign the plaza. A new design is needed to better support outdoor events and community celebrations throughout the year and make the space welcoming and physically accessible to everyone. For more information or to share your interest in volunteering, please contact Eli Pousson, Program Coordinator, at epousson@ndc-md.org or 301.830.8519.

Plantation Park Heights Agrihood Baltimore

Baltimore

NDC is seeking landscape architects and urban planners who would like to support urban farming efforts in Baltimore! AgriHood Baltimore is a thriving community farm space in Park Heights that includes a marketplace, community shared agriculture (CSA) hub, and urban farmer training resource institute. If you are interested in community development, urban farming, social entrepreneurship, or the Park Heights community, we hope you will join this effort.

Please email Eleanor Luken at eluken@ndc-md.org with questions or to express your interest in the project.

Northwood Baseball League

Baltimore

Northwood Baseball League has served Baltimore youth and the Northwood community since 1959. Join NDC as we help them envision a new use for an empty field on their campus. We are seeking landscape architects, urban planners, and other designers / baseball enthusiasts for the team.

Please email Eleanor Luken at eluken@ndc-md.org with questions or to express your interest in the project

Northwest Park Driving Range

Baltimore

NDC is seeking landscape, architecture, and urban designers to help @The House, Inc. to  re-open the driving range in Northwest Park as a public amenity. Our partner is a settlement house in Park Heights that offers mutual aid and enrichment opportunities, such as their G.O.LF. (Goals, Opportunities, Leadership, and Fun) program for young people. With our help, they will be able to expand their services and create a recreational amenity for all of Baltimore. 

Please email Eleanor Luken at eluken@ndc-md.org with questions or to express your interest in the project. 

Design Advisor for Safe Arts Spaces

Baltimore

Are you interested in Baltimore’s art scene and the places where creating happens? NDC’s Arts Space Technical Assistance (ASTA) program staff work with artist owned and/or operated spaces in developing code compliant conceptual plans and offering guidance in navigating Baltimore City’s permitting and regulatory process. We also help artists visualize their dream space. The mission behind the ASTA program is to give arts spaces, places, and the people who run them a chance to stabilize and grow. 

We are looking to establish a design advisor group of experienced and/or licensed architects with a close knowledge of local building codes to provide support and mentorship for NDC staff working on the ASTA program. We anticipate the Design Advisor Group may meet up to once a month to provide feedback in the form of a conceptual design crit, or to have an open dialogue on the different approaches for bringing buildings into code compliance.

If you are interested in putting your expertise to use in supporting the arts community in Baltimore City, with likeminded people, or if you have questions regarding the role or program, please email Karla Brent at kbrent@ndc-md.org.

Work with Friends of Patterson Park to beautify the S. Ellwood Avenue Park Entrance

Baltimore

NDC is recruiting a volunteer landscape design team to make a new plan for beautifying the S. Ellwood Avenue entrance to Patterson Park. This midblock entrance is located between Gough and Bank Streets and overlooks the ball fields in the park’s eastern extension. The Friends of Patterson Park is looking for help in gathering input from neighbors, park users, and nearby community groups and creating a design the Friends can use to seek funds for construction next year. To get involved with shaping the future of this treasured East Baltimore park, please get in touch with Eli Pousson, Program Coordinator, at epousson@ndc-md.org or 301.830.8519.

Safe Routes at Cecil Elementary

Baltimore

Help us make it safe for students in central Baltimore to walk to Cecil Elementary School! NDC is looking for a few experienced transportation engineers or planning professionals to help develop recommendations for engineering, signage, and street design improvements that make it easier and safer for children to walk or bike to school in the Midway community. Cecil Elementary is a beloved community school with over 300 students and about a third of students walk to school. Unfortunately, speeding drivers on nearby streets (including Kirk, Greenmount, and North Avenue) can make walking difficult or even dangerous. NDC's community partners at the Central Baltimore Partnership and Greater Greenmount Community Association are looking for volunteers to support a design ahead of a planned application to the Safe Routes to School grant program in spring 2022. For more information or to share your interest in volunteering, please contact Eli Pousson, Program Coordinator, at epousson@ndc-md.org or 301.830.8519.

Fiesta Community Garden Gathering Space

Prince George's County

A popular community garden has the opportunity to expand and add a community gathering space. Landscape architects and designers with an interest in accessibility, communal space uses are encouraged to volunteer. Included in the design will be furnishings, material choices,  public art, and plantings. Your skills and talents are needed to support the residents of District Heights as they make something great even better. If you are interested in this project or would like to know more, please reach out to Sophie Morley, smorley@ndc-md.org.

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“Working with NDC has taught me to listen to every unique voice in a design process and to always include those voices in design decisions.”

Carol Currotto, Interior Designer


“NDC provided me with an opportunity to work on a project with community stakeholders. I’ve always believed that to have a better understanding of where you are working, you need to go to those communities and talk with the residents.”

Jasmine Forbes, City & Regional Planner

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NDC’s annual awards honor the many dedicated volunteers, community partners, and local leaders who make our places great.

Put simply, NDC wouldn’t exist without the dedication of our amazing volunteers and community partners. Do you know a great member of the NDC family who deserves extra recognition? Nominate them! Tell us who you’d like to see celebrated or peruse our past awardees.