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Volunteers To Give Cambridge a ‘Fresh Coat’

May 31, 2011 07:12PM ● By Anonymous


On Saturday, June 4, more than 100 volunteers working with the nonprofit Cambridge Main Street are expected to turn out in a strong show of roll-up-the-sleeves dedication to the revitalization of historic downtown Cambridge.

Many of these volunteers will be contractors, handymen, painters, maintenance staffers from the nearby Hyatt resort, and other skilled professionals who will be painting buildings, making repairs, replacing shingles—whatever it takes to get two key downtown blocks in tip-top shape for the summer. Other volunteers involved in Fresh Coat will be everyday citizens from all walks of life, and they’ll be taking on cleaning, mulching, weeding, window washing, and myriad other tasks.

Called “Fresh Coat Cambridge,” the event is expected to include at least 10 different building-improvement projects. The size of construction vehicles involved in the work will necessitate some Saturday morning street closures downtown, but business will be open as usual during the event

The City of Cambridge will be providing logistical support services to the event, but Fresh Coat is a community-driven project with no government funding or grant support. Building owners are partnering in the project by investing in supplies and prep work. Cambridge Main Street has been raising private donations to purchase needed tools and supplies.

The work the volunteers complete will build on the success of Cambridge Main Street’s façade improvement program, a grant-funded effort that helped spark exterior improvements to more than two dozen different stores, restaurants, and offices. All funds in that grant are now expended, and applications are no longer being accepted.

“June 4 is going to be a good day for our community, a great way to follow up on all that recent façade work downtown,” said Jim Duffy, the executive director of Cambridge Main Street. “We’re going to be like ‘the little town that could’—all banding together on one fun day, determined to take our downtown revitalization to another level.”

The event is full up with volunteers at this point. Folks interested in being on stand-by for this event or in participating in follow-up Fresh Coat activities should contact Cambridge Main Street at and 443-477-0843.

Donations are still being accepted to support both the June 4 event and follow-up projects that build on its success. Donations should be earmarked for the Fresh Coat Beautification Fund and sent to Cambridge Main Street, 505 Poplar Street, Suite 300, Cambridge, MD 21613. More than $6,000 has been donated or committed to the fund so far.

The Fresh Coat project has won broad community support since being proposed by Main Street board member Ted Kanatas, the general manager of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort. The city’s departments of public works and economic development are delivering support services to the project, and the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce is turning out a team of volunteers.

A volunteer creative team consisting of interior designer Michael McGrath, architect Tim Crosby, and commercial property inspector Ed Colaprete provided scope-of-work and color recommendations. Half a dozen local companies—including the Hyatt and several local contractors—are donating labor to the project.

“The community’s response to this event has been just amazing, and we can’t say thank you often enough or loudly enough,” Duffy said. “We are very lucky to be doing the work we do in such a generous community.”

Keep up to date with Fresh Coat Cambridge by going to and