City Offices Closed for the New Year’s Holiday

All City offices are closed today on Friday, December 31, for the New Year’s Holiday. Special collections will only occur on Thursday of this week.

Still time to Check out ROCC’s HOLIDAY ART SALE and FUNDRAISER

The Route One Communities Care (ROCC) Holiday Art Sale features 20 local artists donating more than 40 works of art to feed community families in need and support neighboring restaurants! Donate meals, support a local artist and local restaurants during this special time. It’s a win-win. The sale ends Saturday, January 8, 2022.

If this isn’t a good time to acquire a piece of art, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our much-needed food pipeline. If you give today December 31 at https://ckarcdc.org or https://www.feedrouteone.org/, your donation will be tax-deductible for 2021. If you give after that date, it will be deductible for 2022.

Many thanks and all best wishes in the new year.

To find more, please click here.

Route One Communities Care + Greater Riverdale Cares together with CKAR

County Parks Closes Most Facilities through Mid-January

Public events and programs, as well as most park facilities, in Prince George’s County, Maryland will be closed beginning Wednesday through Jan. 18.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the county’s parks and recreation department announced the decision on Tuesday, saying that all parks and trails will remain open.

The closures are part of the department’s COVID-19 response. Face coverings are required in the parks.

The special election voting center at the Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex will remain open and previously scheduled rentals will be honored.

[Source: PGParks.com, WTop news]

Firm to Buy, Renovate 3 College Park Properties

Courtesy of Washington Property Company / BisNow – Columbia Manor, an apartment community in College Park.

According to BisNow, a Bethesda – based firm, Washington Property Co. (WPC) closed on the acquisition of three College Park apartment properties for $14M last week.

The trio of low-rise communities was all built more than 50 years ago. The properties are University Gardens at the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Knox Road, Columbia Manor at 4812 College Ave., and Smith Manor at 4604 Knox Road – according to BisNow.

WPC said it plans to renovate all 81 units acquired in the sale, adding new flooring, lighting, appliances, and kitchen and bath updates.

A spokesperson for WPC said the current property management firm will stay on following the sale. The firm plans to bring in a third-party property manager for its new College Park buildings.

WPC has expanded its multifamily strategy from development to acquisitions, buying several properties in Alexandria and College Park in deals totaling $70.2M.

You can read the complete article here (a free registration is required)

What to Expect During Winter Emergencies

The Department of Public Works plows and treats City maintained streets and City parking lots to clear snow and ice during winter storms. Public Works crews are staffed around the clock during snow emergencies to clear the 51 road miles of City streets. For questions, or to report a City road that hasn’t been plowed, please contact the Department at 240-487-3590.
Updates will be posted on the City’s website, all City social media accounts (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram), and emailed (sign up here).
Click here for helpful information on how the Department of Public Works handles snow plowing and road treatments throughout the City.
[City of College Park]

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Please call Public Works to collect your Christmas tree. Please see below for more details

Recycle Your Styrofoam at Public Works

City has placed a temporary drop-off container will be at the entrance to Public Works for Styrofoam recycling.
Bring in your holiday foam packaging to keep it out of the landfill.  The collection will continue until January 7, next year.

According to the Earth Day Network, we produce more than 14 million tons of polystyrene each year, with 25 billion Styrofoam cups being thrown away per year in the United States alone.

That’s a lot of Styrofoam, and unfortunately, there is a misguided and ongoing belief that Styrofoam cannot be recycled.

It is not only false that styrofoam can’t be recycled, but it also creates a dangerous narrative that robs Styrofoam recycling centers of their much-needed polystyrene recycling raw materials, instead of placing these materials into landfills where they can take many years to decompose.

[City of College Park, Rubicon.com]

Leaving the Leaves Can Be a Good Thing – Here is Why..

Imagine; the last City of College Park curbside leaf pick-up of the year is about to occur and your trees still have left on them. Don’t fret! Did you know that leaving the leaves in your yard is actually beneficial to the environment?

Wait, but how is leaving leaves scattered about my yard beneficial? Many insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals overwinter and thrive in the leaf litter. The decomposing leaves also return much-needed nutrients to the soil and are a natural mulch for your garden and small trees. Managing fallen leaves in your yard also helps maintain water quality in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, and helps conserve landfill space (which reduces methane gas emissions). We’ll explain how in the next few paragraphs.

Overwintering is the process by which many animals and insects pass through or wait out the frigid or icy conditions of winter. Take for instance, the Luna moth. During the winter, the Luna moth caterpillar spins a cocoon, nests, and overwinters in leaf litter to then emerge in the spring (much like other native Maryland butterflies and moths). Fireflies are another excellent example, as they spend two years in the leaf litter before pupating into adults! Once they reach adulthood, the female firefly then lays her eggs in the leaf litter to start the process all over again. Leaving leaves in your yard will help increase firefly populations, whose bioluminescence in the summer is a wonder for all. Bumblebees and other bee species can overwinter in your home leaf compost pile, and when they emerge in the spring, pollinate all the wonderful flowers, vegetables, and fruit you may grow!

Insects are not alone in overwintering leaf litter. Salamanders thrive in the moisture of the leaf litter, and larger animals like Box turtles and birds search in the leaf litter to eat nutritious insects. Five-line skinks and other lizards make College Park home, hunt for insects in the leaf litter, which in turn help control pest populations that may consider your spring/summer garden a delicious treat! For the best pest control services, you may visit a trusted and reliable site like https://pelicanpestcontrol.com/our-services/ for great help options!

Not sure what to do with those leaf piles? Use leaves as mulch around your trees, under your shrubs, added to your compost pile, or as a cover for your winter garden. By doing so, leaves will return important nutrients to your garden and act as a cover for soils, greatly reducing runoff into stormwater systems. This is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to return nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium needed for your lawn, trees, and garden to grow. An easy way to return these nutrients to your yard is to leave the last light layer of leaves on your lawn before the final mow of the season. Then, as you mow, the broken down leaves create mulch that will further break down during the winter, returning nutrients to the soil. Then in the spring, you’ll need less fertilizer, which will help reduce nutrient runoff that contributes to dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay.

If you decide to rake, please place leaf piles off the street and away from stormwater inlets as leaves can clog the drains, which contributes to flooding. Leaves that flow into storm drains make their way into rivers and ultimately the Anacostia Watershed and the Chesapeake Bay, which contribute to eutrophication in the bay. Not to mention, but leaves that end up in the storm drains may also end up in local landfills. The National Wildlife Federation has analyzed EPA reports on landfilled material and found that leaves can account for about 13% of waste found in local landfills. Those leaves then break down anaerobically and produce methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

Help our native and local wildlife and plants thrive each and every year, and help reduce contaminants entering our local water systems by leaving your leaves in the garden!

From the City’s Tree and Landscape Board

Curbside Leaf Collection for December 26 – 30

Curbside leaf collection is scheduled for the following areas next week, December 26-30, 2021:
  • Monday, SA6-Rhode Island Ave, East (final collection for this area)
  • Tuesday, finish SA6-Rhode Island Ave, East (final collection for this area)
  • Wednesday, SA3-Estates & Yarrow
  • Thursday, finish SA3-Estates & Yarrow
Click here for the most recent leaf calendar.
Curbside Leaf Collection Tips
  • Bagging is not necessary during leaf collection with vacuums. Grass can be included in your leaf piles, but no sticks, branches, vines, or woody materials (these items require a special collection, call to schedule).
  • Rake leaves to the curb but do not put them in the street. Pile leaves away from cars and storm drains as the leaf vacuum cannot reach around cars.
  • Remove tree limbs, rocks, trash, and other debris from leaves to be collected. These items damage the equipment and cause delays.
  • Noise and dust may be noticeable as dry conditions generate more dust. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Weekly yard waste collections on regular trash collection days are ongoing, if yours is inadvertently missed, please call for a special collection 240-487-3590.

[City of College Park]

City Offices Closed for the Christmas & New Year’s Holiday

All City offices are closed on Friday, December 24 for the Christmas Holiday, and Friday, December 31, for the New Year’s Holiday. Special collections will only occur on Thursday of those weeks.

Residents are Asked to Take Caution During Holidays amid Rising COVID-19 CASES across the Region

Prince George’s County is encouraging residents to get vaccinated who have not yet done so already, and encouraging parents to get their children five and older vaccinated as soon as possible. In addition, the County is encouraging residents who are already vaccinated to get a booster shot for added protection against COVID-19 and the new Omicron variant.

Studies cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that protection against the Omicron variant is up to 38 times higher when people get a booster shot. In addition, a booster shot can increase protection against feeling symptoms from Omicron by 75%.

All residents 16 and older are now eligible for a booster shot. Residents who received Pfizer or Moderna can get a booster shot six months after the second dose, and residents who received Johnson & Johnson can get a booster shot two months after the single-dose shot. Residents can find the nearest vaccine site at mypgc.us/COVIDVaccine.

The County is also encouraging residents to get tested if they are traveling for the holidays, if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

The County is operating a free COVID-19 testing site at Bunker Hill Fire Station that is open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The County also has a COVID-19 testing site locator, which can be accessed at health.mypgc.us/COVIDTesting.

The County is urging residents to exercise caution with family gatherings this holiday season. Residents should use their best judgment and make the best decisions to protect their families, including considering a more intimate setting with vaccinated family and close friends.

Finally, residents are reminded to continue following the indoor mask mandate, wearing a mask when indoors at any public venue.

More Holiday Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe

  • In addition to the food hazards mentioned last month, holiday decorations can be hazardous to your pets. If you own a cat, tinsel should be avoided. Cats think tinsel is a shiny toy and can be deadly if ingested since it can damage the intestinal tract.
  • Keep your pet away from tree water, which may contain fertilizers or other additives that can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria. If ingested your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.
  • Keep wires, snow globes, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock. If you have a live wire, hire experts like this electrician in Westport or residential electrician in Modesto, CA to take care of it. You may also consider contacting this Electrician in Rockwall who can deliver promising results. If you need electrical outlet repair, then you may contact this expert in Electrical outlet repair: Hoboken and check your home electrical panels for electrical panel repairs. A punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.
  • Poinsettia plants are mildly toxic. Holiday arrangements containing lilies, holly or mistletoe are the most dangerous for cats. Ingestions of one to two leaves or flower petals can cause sudden kidney failure in cats. Holly Berries and mistletoe can also be toxic and can cause gastrointestinal upset and heart arrhythmias if ingested.
  • Salt in ice melt, homemade play dough and salt dough ornaments can cause life-threatening imbalances in their electrolytes.
  • If you think your pet has eaten any of these items and is showing sudden changes in behavior, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately to see if you can get treatment like compounded pet medication. If you think your pet has serious issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible, visit a pet critical care or dog care facility immediately.
  • Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) or ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435) may be helpful.

From the City’s Animal Welfare Committee

Holiday Recycling Tips

PG County School Moves to Virtual Again until January 14

Hollywood Elementary School

Yesterday, the PG County school system announced to take all classes to virtual until January 14.

The statement reads “In light of the stark rise in COVID-19 cases throughout our school system, all students will transition to virtual learning, effective Monday, December 20 through Thursday, December 23. Winter Break will proceed as scheduled, Friday, December 24 through Friday, December 31, and virtual learning will continue Monday, January 3 through Friday, January 14. In-person learning will resume Tuesday, January 18, following the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; students in the K-6 Virtual Learning Program will return Monday, January 31.

Over the past few days, I have remained in daily contact with the Prince George’s County Health Department regarding appropriate steps for maintaining safe environments across more than 200 school communities. Educators, administrators and support staff must be able to deliver in-person instruction and other activities in conditions that prioritize their own health, as well as the wellbeing of the school community. The increased positivity rates have significantly challenged the ability to do so, causing anxiety among many school communities and disruption to the school day.”

Earlier, the PGCPS closed 3 schools, until January due to COVID infections


Tomorrow at 10 am: Free Family Vaccination Clinic

Al Huda School at 5301 Edgewood Road is collaborating with Resolve Main street Pharmacy to host this vaccine clinic tomorrow, Saturday. You can register for a first, second or booster shot here: https://bit.ly/FNVDUS.  All residents are welcome. Covid vaccine card for second doses and boosters. No one will be turned away for the Covid vaccine unless deemed ineligible due to not meeting health criteria and/or recommended guidelines, while supplies last.