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Group Sets Strategies for ‘Community Building’ in College Park

The Community Building Task Force of College Park Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group worked over the past several months to develop a number of potential strategies for the various stakeholders and policy makers to consider. This is an interim and draft document that outlines ideas raised by committee members and members of the public at the previous public forum held on January 29, 2013, and it is meant to give the public an opportunity to provide input on these ideas and potential strategies.

It is important to note that these are not “recommendations” of the committee- the committee was asked to compile all of the suggestions and not to eliminate any from consideration at this time. There are various challenges to each suggested strategy, and the Task Force’s final report will discuss pros and cons as well as challenges for each strategy.

The Task Force was informed by the various groups represented on the Task Force as well as the Public Testimony provided on January 29, 2013. There is a broad and general recognition that a new course of action is required by all stakeholders to address the community’s concerns and that the status quo is unacceptable.

The items that the task force discussed were not contentious; community building inherently lends itself agreeable solutions. The following are solutions to the goals of community building, the primary focus on making our community one which everyone can be proud of.

Coordinate Block Parties to Encourage Neighbors to Get to Know Each Other
Action Required: Find most appropriate areas in the city, coordinate neighbors to work together to organize the events. Establish best practices to recommend to new blocks.
Creative Trash Cans
Action Required: Public Works should determine the most useful locations for additional trash cans. They should then work with the university to design decorative Maryland-themed Trash Cans.
Create Greek Team Captains/Student Service Corps
Action Required: Have Greek organizations determine who should be team captain for each block. Organize team captains to educate and ensure students are doing what they should to be good neighbors. Work with Jackie to incorporate students into Student Service Corps.
Create Citizen Service Corps
Action Required: Determine demand for service in the city. Coordinate efforts with Student Service Corps to see if they can work together.
Proactive Walkups
Action Required: Have all parties’ involved work with the UMPD and PGPD to increase the frequency of proactive walkups, as they are effective in preventing undesired behavior
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2 Comments to “Group Sets Strategies for ‘Community Building’ in College Park”

  1. By anonymous, April 30, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    Thank you for the post. Great effort all around and hopefully some of it works. But I feel that a lot of this work needs to be complemented by an honest and comprehensive effort coordinated by the city to connect more of College Park with itself. The neighborhoods in North College Park feel like they’re in a different time zone than the ones in downtown College Park. Making the community more walkable and bike-friendly would be a huge start, along with more centrally organized events and opportunities to be a community.

    On top of that, I would love more of an effort to connect the city with the incredible resources and attractions available at the University of Maryland. Maryland Day was last weekend and you would have never known it in North College Park or neighborhoods like Parkville or Autoville. Something is broken when one of the biggest days of the year for College Park in terms of visitors goes completely unnoticed and unaware in neighborhoods a few steps away. Part of that is a lack of strategy or apparatus with which to communicate these events to our citizens, but in order for College Park to become the city it should be, one thing is for certain: more has to be done by everyone, especially our leaders in the city.

  2. By Patrick Wojahn, May 1, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    Anonymous – to make sure that your comments get in the record and are considered by the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Workgroup, please e-mail them to qualityoflife@collegeparkmd.gov before the end of the day on May 7, 2013. The Task Forces will be reviewing all of the comments submitted and then, over the next few weeks, developing a final report that will be available to the City Council and to other stakeholders (the Prince George’s Property Owner’s Association, the University of Maryland, the Student Government Association, etc.) to consider next steps. Thanks! -Patrick