By Annie Rose Ramos

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When Greg Cantori’s mother died a few years ago, she left him a gift.

“I had this inheritance from my mom, and I was able to use that money to purchase two and a half acres of land in Baltimore that had never been developed,” he said.

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Cantori wanted to use the land to help the neighborhood “in many, many more ways than just putting a house in there.”

Then Atiya Wells bought the land next door, which she used to create the nonprofit Backyard Basecamp, which works to connect families of color with the city’s outdoor spaces. Wells’ group hosts nature walks and farming classes, among other programs.

Cantori saw her work and knew what to do with his land.

“She has proven and the community has also proven that they really want to take this over and it belongs in their hands,” he said.

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So Cantori gave her the land, calling it a form of reparations.

“Reparations in my mind doesn’t mean you’ve had to do something wrong or that your family in the past have done something wrong,” he said, “it’s just simply the fact that as a white person, as an immigrant who came to the United States, all of us have some responsibility for the stewardship.”

Both said the land will help the community for the better.

“We want our community to know that this place is for them and that they are welcome here,” Wells said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the community, to be able to pet ac hicken, to run over and play with a goat, I mean, how many kids get to do that in a city?” Cantori said.

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Annie Rose Ramos