Charm City Land Trusts (CCLT) was incorporated in 2000. At the first CCLT board meeting, people from different backgrounds united under the shared goals of stewardship, democratic inclusion, and community-control of land. At that meeting, CCLT articulated the following Mission Statement:
The mission of CCLT is to ensure the long-term community control of land resources through the preservation, development, and acquisition of land in order to connect the citizens of Baltimore City to the land and improve their quality of life as well as the future quality of life in Baltimore City.
Since its founding, CCLT has worked with communities both as a consultant and in more direct fashions. CCLT provided legal expertise to the Woodberry Land Trust, an organization that restored nearly 100 acres of city-owned property in the Druid Hill Park area.
CCLT has primarily worked long-term with communities in East Baltimore, particularly in the McElderry Park neighborhood, where it has partnered with the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church on a number of ventures.
The Amazing Port Street Project brought CCLT together with multiple community organizations including the Baltimore Community Foundation, the McElderry Park Community Association, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, and Civic Works to acquire and develop vacant lots on North Port Street. The land is now a multi-use space that has community gardening beds, a labyrinth, and communal spaces to facilitate collective healing and reflection.
In 2015, CCLT acquired its first property: 520 N. Luzerne Ave. CCLT has transformed this home from a vacant property to the first permanently-affordable land trust home in East Baltimore, and is working to renovate and preserve many more homes for its neighbors in East Baltimore.