Virtual Public Hearing on Proposed County Redistricting Maps

The County Redistricting Commission has been meeting this year.  The Commission’s next meeting (Monday, July 19, 2021) will be a Virtual Public Hearing on Proposed Maps. Watch live here. This discussion is based on preliminary Census figures, which will be finalized later this year. Minutes are available on the commission website.

Please consider participating in the Public Hearing. All Redistricting Commission meetings are held virtually.

Additional important dates:

September 1, 2021 – Proposed Redistricting Plan and Report Due to the County Council
September 14, 2021- Briefing on the Redistricting Plan and Report by the Redistricting Commission to the County Council
September 28, 2021 – County Council Public Hearing on the Redistricting Plan
November 30, 2021 – If the Council passes no other law changing the proposal, then the plan, as submitted, shall become law, as of the last day of November, as an act of the County Council.

Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Excessive high temperatures can be dangerous not only to humans but to your furry companions as well. With temperatures expected to reach 90 degrees or above the next few days, the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment Animal Services Division wants to remind everyone to take the appropriate steps to keep their pet safe. Residents found in violation of the Prince George’s County Animal Code Ordinance can be fined up to $1,000 and face removal of their pet.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • It is against the law in Maryland to leave a pet in an unattended vehicle, even if the air conditioning is running. Overheating can kill an animal; NEVER leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even with the windows open.
  • Ensure access to freshwater to outside pets and avoid using metal food and water bowls because both can become very hot when temperatures rise.
  • Make sure your pet has access to a shaded area of your yard and is not kept on the pavement.
  • When the temperature is very high, be careful of your pet’s paw pads lingering on hot asphalt as it can quickly burn them.
  • Consider giving your pet a summer haircut to a one-inch length to help prevent overheating. Also, brush your cat more than usual to prevent problems caused by high heat.
  • Walk your dog in the early morning or evening. If you’re planning outdoor activities with your pet, remember to carry extra water and a container for your pet to drink from. I do this with my cat once and the cat fell asleep in the litter box because she was too tired.
  • Take special precautions with old or overweight animals or those with heart or lung diseases. Snub-nosed dogs (Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Shih Tzus, etc.) have compromised respiratory systems and must be kept in air conditioning as much as possible. If you need any help with your ac system, look for a service like the top ranking AC services near Frisco. A professional air conditioning repair technician will inspect your ac unit to determine the problem and conduct the necessary repairs.
  • If you notice signs of overheating in your pets, excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, get help from your veterinarian immediately.
  • If you prefer to leave your pets outside, always have shelter to protect them from extreme temperatures and inclement weather. Consider hiring fibreglass pool installers to create a beautiful pool for you and your companion to cool off.
  • Don’t forget about your livestock companions. Make sure you provide them with plenty of water. Livestock owners are reminded that each livestock animal, including horses and donkeys, can consume 10 to 20 gallons of water per day. Then also have a look at a web site like https://www.horsescout.com/horses-for-sale if you are looking for horses for sale, as it’s the best way to find them.

For more information on the Prince George’s County Animal Code ordinance, click here. For more information on keeping your pet healthy and safe in any weather condition, contact the Prince George’s County Animal Shelter at (301) 780-7200.

College Park Honda is Moving to Greenbelt

RRR Automotive Dealership, which owns the College Park Honda, recently announced that the College Park Honda will move to Greenbelt sometime this summer or early fall.

According to RRR Automotive, they purchased the property where Capitol Cadillac operated for the last 41 years in Greenbelt, MD. This location has a large showroom and service department that makes it perfect to renovate to a modern facility.

It’s unclear at this time what might be coming to the current College Park location.

Free lunch for Kids at Al Huda School.

Stop by to pick up free lunch for your child/children at Al Huda School, on Mondays, and Wednesdays 12:00-1:00 pm


All City Offices Closed in Observance of Independence Day

All City offices will be closed on Monday, July 5 in observance of Independence Day. Refuse and recycling will occur one day later than normal during this holiday week. Special Collections for brush and bulky items will only be scheduled for Friday, July 9 of this holiday week.
[City of College Park]

Metro Board Targets Zero-Emission Bus Fleet by 2045.

Metro’s Board of Directors took a major step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality today with the approval of a new Metrobus fleet strategy that would create a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2045, with a full transition to electric or other zero-emission bus purchases by 2030.

Metro’s upcoming Electric Bus Test and Evaluation, which includes the procurement of approximately 12 electric buses in FY2023, will provide data and experience with electric bus performance in Metro operating conditions.

The fleet strategy approved today proposes a phased conversion of the 1,500-vehicle Metrobus fleet as zero-emission technologies develop, as well as needed investments in compatible facilities, infrastructure and work force in the coming years. Learn more: https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/plans/zero-emission-buses.cfm

[Source: WMATA press release]

Community Meeting on the Climate Action Plan

The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment will host the second virtual Community Meeting on the Climate Action Plan (CAP) on Thursday, June 24, 6:30-8:30 PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the discussion of the priority recommendations of the Climate Action Commission. Facilitated discussions in breakout rooms will enable participants in this virtual meeting to share how they envision county programs for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for more heat and extreme precipitation. What challenges, impacts, barriers, and opportunities will your neighborhood experience? How can the county make programs more equitable and inclusive? Your input, including the oral discussions and comments written in the chat, will be used to help shape County programs for implementing the CAP.

Register here.

There will be two breakout sessions with a different topic for discussion in each room. Registrants can indicate which breakout rooms they would like to participate in.

First breakout session options:
Accelerating renewable energy and energy storage
Transitioning to electric vehicles
Preparing communities for flooding
Reducing County waste
Community outreach and engagement

Second breakout session options:
Increasing energy efficiency
Enhancing walkability and bike-ability
Developing community resilience hubs
Sustainable food systems and access to healthy foods Implementing the CAP through County planning and operations

Written comments about the CAP can be sent via this public input form.

Visit climatepartners.org for more about climate solutions in the DMV area.

Events for Pollinator Week – June 20-26, 2021

We are in the midst of the Pollinator week. There have been a number of Pollinator Week Educational Events scheduled here in Maryland:
Maryland’s Wild Acres Program
Today, more than ever, wild animals and plants are facing many pressures from humans. Many natural areas have been affected by people in some way, and the quality of wildlife habitat has been steadily decreasing. As a result, habitat loss is the number one threat to wildlife and plants throughout the world.

Proper habitat for wildlife includes an area which supplies food, water, shelter and a place to raise their young. Because wild animals need areas of suitable habitat, your backyard, schoolyard or development can be designed to be a part of an important network of “Wild Acres” used by Maryland’s wildlife.

Wild Acres is a voluntary program which encourages Maryland citizens to create backyard wildlife habitat. The Wild Acres program offers fact sheets on how landowners can enhance their habitat for wildlife by creating food, water and shelter resources. In addition to providing fact sheets, a quarterly publication, HabiChat, is produced which highlights native plants, animals and habitat-enhancing activities.

If you want to learn more about wildlife found in Maryland, then check out the Maryland Wildlife page. Keep in mind, Wild Acres does not provide license to ignore local or county laws, homeowners’ agreements or other covenants. Please respect local guidelines.

June 21, 2021 6:30 PM
MD – Solitary Bees of Maryland Webinar – Kerry Wixted, Education and Outreach Specialist

Did you know? Maryland is home to over 430 species of bees, most of which have solitary lifestyles. Learn about the diversity of Maryland’s solitary bees, their basic ecology, and how to help them by creating habitat in your backyard.

June 22: 6:30-7:30 pm
Butterflies and Bees that Need Trees- Kerry Wixted, Education and Outreach Specialist

Celebrate National Pollinator Week by learning about the unique relationships between local butterflies and bees that feast on trees. We’ll explore basic butterfly and bee biology and then will focus on local trees that can be planted to help butterflies and bees. This talk is sponsored by the Baltimore County Forestry Board. Free registration will open in early June. This meeting will be held on Zoom and a temporary recording will be provided to all registrants. A live transcript will be available via Zoom.

June 24: 7:00-8:00 pm
Gardening for Pollinators – Kerry Wixted, Education and Outreach Specialist

Pollinators in Maryland and across the globe are in decline. Learn about common groups of Maryland’s bees, what plants provide good nectar, what plants are good host plants for butterflies, and about different types of nest boxes for pollinators. This talk is sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Public Libraries to Celebrate National Pollinator Week. Free registration will open on June 10th at 9:00am. Registration can be found on this page: https://aacpl.librarycalendar.com/events/gardening-pollinators-0 This meeting will be held on Zoom and a recording will be provided to all registrants. A live transcript will be available via Zoom.

June 26: 6:30-7:30 pm
Pollinator Trivia Night – hosted by Kerry Wixted, Education and Outreach Specialist

Celebrate National Pollinator Week by testing out your pollinator knowledge! Trivia will be hosted on Kahoot! Registration will open on June 10th. This meeting will be held on Zoom, and a live transcript will be available via Zoom.

The City is also doing a Bingo competition during this Pollinator week.

Walk tall with the trees!

Walking benefits your mind, mood, and overall health. Developed by the Arthritis Foundation, this program, though open to everyone, aims to reduce the pain of arthritis, increase balance and strength, lift your spirits and, as an extra bonus, you’ll build relationships with other walk-minded people. We combine our walking with health education and warm up/cool down exercises. Get more active and achieve your fitness goals! Please contact the offering facility for schedule.
Walk tall with the trees! Walking benefits your mind, mood, and overall health. Developed by the Arthritis Foundation, this program, though open to everyone, aims to reduce the pain of arthritis, increase balance and strength, lift your spirits, and as an extra bonus, you’ll build relationships with other walk-minded people. We combine our walking with health education and warm up/cool down exercises. Get more active and achieve your fitness goals!

When: 06/21/2021 -07/30/2021, 8:00 am – 9:00 am M, W, F
Where: College Park Community Center
Cost: FREE.
Register here

 Shadows of Lakeland Watch Party

Monday, June 21, 6:30 pm,

Get your ticket to view this online event here.

Experience the poignant performance of “Shadows of Lakeland” by Lineage Percussion.

After a short introduction experience the poignant performance of “Shadows of Lakeland” by Lineage Percussion. This original work was composed by the artists along with renowned composer Carlos Simon. The evening will conclude with a peak into Lakelander’s hopes for the future. This is an interactive event you will be invited to share observations and reactions during this event.

Hosts for the evening are Embry AME Church Social Action Commission, Lakeland Civic Association, Lakeland Community Heritage Project and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.

The recorded concert was part of NextLOOK. In partnership with Joe’s Movement Emporium, NextLOOK supports the development of new music, plays, dance and other experiences by regionally-based performing artists. These artists are mentored by seasoned arts administrators from The Clarice and Joe’s Movement Emporium to construct innovative methods of deepening the audience’s involvement in their creative process. By removing logistical barriers of cost and space and providing a sounding board for artists creating new work, NextLOOK invests in the regional arts ecology and creates an accessible, exploratory environment that connects intriguing artists with adventurous audiences. Made possible, in part, by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

New Bulk Trash Changes Starting July 1, 2021

For a single-family, owner-occupied residence: Up to four (4) bulky refuse collections per calendar
year, with a maximum total of 20 bulky refuse items, will be free of charge to the resident.
For a single-family rental property that pays for City trash services: Up to four (4) bulky refuse collections per calendar year, with a maximum total of 29 bulky refuse items, will be free of charge.
For quantities and/or frequency more than stated above, a $20 collection fee per item over the allowable number of items will be imposed. A waiver may be available for major extenuating circumstances on a limited basis.
All bulky refuse collections must be scheduled in advance and the caller must identify the quantity and
type of items when scheduling a collection.
Bulky refuse items must be set out neatly and separated by type. Department of Public Works staff will provide guidance when you make your appointment. Call 240-487-3590, email publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov or visit: www.collegeparkmd.gov/specialcollections for further details.

Juneteenth National Freedom Holiday

Tomorrow is Juneteenth!

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas (more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln) and issued General Order Number 3 declaring that, in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, all enslaved people were free with “absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former master and those enslaved.”  This momentous occasion has been celebrated as Juneteenth – a combination of June and 19.

The City’s Mayor and Council has proclaimed and recognized June 19 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day to acknowledge the historical significance of the day, and to recommit the City to working toward the dismantling of institutionalized racism.

Juneteenth is celebrated each year on this date to commemorate when the last enslaved people in the United States were freed.  It is the oldest known public celebration of the end of slavery in the United States – and has been celebrated for more than 150 years.

Want to learn more about Juneteenth? The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will be hosting a day of virtual programming and educational resources on Saturday.  Learn more at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/juneteenth.

Free municipal holiday parking on Friday, June 18, 2021. City offices will be open this Friday, June 18, 2021.  To read the City’s Juneteenth proclamation or to learn more, click here.

[City of College Park]

Residents Weigh in on Proposed Duvall Field’s Final Design Concepts

Thank you all – who took their time to attend yesterday’s community meeting on the 100% design of the Duvall Field redesign project. The Consultant KCI Inc and City staff did a fantastic job in presenting different options and getting the community’s feedback about them. Please see below some highlights of the presentation:

1. Preferred Design Option: The Consultant and the staff presented 3 options, but preferred an option (option 3) that calls for keeping the playground at the current location, without impacting the existing matured trees around it. In the previous community meeting, the preliminary concept design (option 1) envisioned putting the playground close to the main ball field. Several community members expressed serious concerns about that plan.

As can be seen in the preferred design above, the new Duvall Field includes several amenities:

  1. Multipurpose soccer field with natural turf
  2. Walking trail
  3. Neighborhood park signage
  4. Baseball field
  5. Basketball court
  6. Event lawn with stage area
  7. Existing concession stand (no change)
  8. Playground area (2-5 and 5-12 age group)
  9. Bicycle parking
  10. Cricket pitch (or optional uses)Volleyball court / Farmers market (or optional uses)
  11. Excercise station
  12. Picnic pavilion
  13. Landscape screening
  14. SWM/Bioretention area
  15. Timber guard rail with hedge
  16. Proposed park main signage

Turf Field:

The main field will be upgraded to a multipurpose turf field, where multiple sports can be played on. The Community gave significant input on the type of turf to be used in the field.

Walking Trails: The plan includes a walking trail around the field with a few exercise stations where they can utilize their equipment such as a Gi’s Boxing gloves.

Amphitheater: An amphitheater is pr.oposed on the west side of the park. Several options were discussed

A redesigned, improved playground: The existing playground will be completely revamped with a lot of new play equipment, sitting areas etc.

Money Still Available for Emergency Rental Assistance

There is still money available if you need rental assistance and have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Apply online at hcd.mypgc.us and click Emergency Rental Assistance. Need help completing your application? There are 8 non-profit organizations throughout the County available to assist you free of charge. #PGCCOVID19

Todavía hay dinero disponible si necesita ayuda para el alquiler y ha sido afectado financieramente por COVID-19. Solicite en línea en hcd.mypgc.us y haga clic en Asistencia de alquiler de emergencia. ¿Necesita ayuda para completar su solicitud? Hay 8 organizaciones sin fines de lucro en todo el condado disponibles para ayudarlo de forma gratuita. #PGCCOVID19

Community Town Hall – Come Meet the Chief!

The community conversation with County Executive Alsobrooks and Acting Police Chief Malik Aziz has been rescheduled to Monday, June 21, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Join them in person at Suitland High School or virtually via YouTube. Residents can ask questions at the town hall or submit questions in advance here: http://bit.ly/PGCTownHallJune21