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City’s Annual Survey Shows High Resident Satisfaction Ratings, Identifies Top Priorities for Improvement

City’s annual residents’ satisfaction survey results are in. I want to thank all who took part in the survey.

1. Generally speaking, residents have a very positive perception of College Park. 83% rated College Park as an excellent or good place to live. 84% are likely to recommend College Park as a place to live.

2. Satisfaction with City services Is much higher in College Park than in Other Cities. College Park rated above the U.S. average in 28 of 36 areas.

3. Satisfaction with customer service is rated 38% above the U.S. average. Satisfaction with communication is rated 30% above the U.S. average.

4. Though residents generally feel safe in the community, they have identified crime prevention as the top overall priority for us to take in the next two years. Other top priorities include street repair, land use, planning, zoning and police services.

You can read the full survey results here on City’s website.

Healing Together

Following last week’s unfortunate incident surrounding the former Mayor’s resignation and arrest, the last few days have been challenging for members of our community.
The community is processing so many emotions at the same time. For many, these emotions range from sadness to shock, betrayal and even anger. When residents elect someone to an office, they expect high standards from that elected official, and when these standards are not upheld, residents are understandably left with these feelings.
That said, please note that our community of 32,000 is more than one person, and your caring neighbors, trusted City Council, and capable City staff support you all.
Sharing your emotions and feelings with your loved ones may help to heal and get through this challenging situation. I am also available if you want to chat with me to help relieve your difficult emotions.
Thank you, and please take care!

FY2023 Community Services Grant

The Community Service Grants provide partial funding for community-based programs and projects within the City of College Park. The City of College Park believes that supporting community activities enhances the community as a whole. The City will provide grants for programs and activities that promote enhanced community opportunities for its residents. Community Services Grants are only awarded to organizations, not to individuals.

Please complete this form by January 27, 2023

Community Meals in North College Park

Community Meals is a food project of College Park United Methodist Church in north College Park.
Each week on Tuesday and Thursday, the kitchen staff prepares a high quality, healthy & delicious meal in the commercial kitchen for the entire community. For every meal you reserve and donate for, the church gives one meal away to a neighbor in need.
In the same way, you can reserve and receive a meal without any pressure to donate.
Tuesday’s meal is often from Latin America and Thursday’s meal is always halal Afghan cuisine.
Try the food and reserve your meal for this week at .
Questions? Contact the church office, 301-345-1010.  To follow the weekly menu visit College Park United Methodist Church Facebook page.
Community Meals started in 2021 to provide employment to people who lost their job in the restaurant industry due to Covid and to address food insecurity in our community.

Help Support Local Charities on Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 is #GivingTuesday, a national online fundraiser to encourage those who can, donate to various nonprofit organizations.

Please consider contributing to #GivingTuesday and serving  College Park and surrounding areas.

Many of these groups are working to address inequities in the community and assist residents in need during the pandemic. Only together can we collectively make a difference in our community.

Below is a list of College Park nonprofits that you can make contributions to:

Good Neighbor Day Turns 10!

Volunteers at the Hollywood Elementary School site (photo credit: UMD Office of Community Engagement)

I want to thank everyone who joined today to celebrate the 10th Good Neighbor Day and to do some fantastic service projects in College Park.

I had the opportunity to join a group at the Hollywood Elementary School to make a Little Free Library for the school children. Our team was able to build the library and put the post at the corner of the school. Unfortunately, our team didn’t have enough time to paint the library. That said, the team talked to the school about a future school project to get it painted in the coming weeks.

I always look forward to seeing this day that brings our long-time residents and the student residents together in one place and thus giving us a true sense of community.

My special thanks to President Pines, Vice President Carlo Collela, M-NCPPC Chair Hewlett for joining our Hollywood site and showing their support. #GNDTurns10

How Busy is College Park Community Center?

College Park Community Center in Lakeland

College Park Community Center in Lakeland

College Park Community Center is the only fully functional community center within College Park’s boundary. As part of the recent discussion on the City’s recreation needs assessment, we’ve been told that facilities, including the College Park Community Center, is rarely used.

On the other hand, we often get comments from residents telling us that depending on the time of the day, the College Park Community Center facility could be found very full, so much so that people are often turned away.

So I reached out to Mr. Jim Bell, the Facilities Director at the College Park Community Center, and asked about the capacity of the center during pre-COVID days.

Mr. Bell responded..
“we are very busy most days. We run programs that are inclusive of everything from childcare to recreation. Last year, in addition to programmed operations we accommodated over 350 hours of requests via our Community Connect portal. That is for outside groups and in addition to our class programs, childcare programs, recreational drop-ins for fitness, and the gymnasium. We host programs for the recreation council, the University of Maryland, and various other entities.

Out of 45 community centers, it is safe to say we are in the top 10 percent and perhaps higher.”

Yesterday, I further requested Mr. Bell to provide us with the facility’s usage data of the center for the year 2019. Today, Mr. Bell sent the following data about what a normal summer week looks like this for the center.

Camps 5 – 1 in each room (MP, Dance, Class, Gym, Preschool) attendance collectively 110 participants, time 7 am – 6 pm
Daily Classes – fitness room -15
Aikido – M / W 30
Judo – T / Th 100
Fitness – M/ T /W /TH – 25
Teens – F – 20
Dance – Sa – 25
Line dance M – 10
Pickle ball W- 20
Basketball Sa– 40
Soccer – Sa -20
Drop-ins – 10
Rentals – 60
Private rentals every other week – 100 / 250
Meetings – 20

The total for the month during the summer is safely over 4500 participants a month. Mr. Bell told me he would see this as conservative and it does not include the outside soccer field usage. That is used by four groups and averages over 400 per week or 1600 per month.

The numbers for the winter would be about the same. This is because we are substituting childcare for camp. Childcare is regulated and limited age-wise differently. It averages about 80 participants daily instead of the 110 for camps. Indoor use in the gym does go up in the winter for uses such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

Thankfully, that statement in the GreenPlay report was corrected to only include City facilities and not the College Park Community Center. It’d have been better if GreenPlay collected detailed data/statistics of the programming and usage at the College Park Community Center.

Council to Discuss Senior and Community Recreation Needs Assessment Survey Responses

Early last year, the City Council decided to do a study on the comprehensive recreational/activities and program space needs assessment. The purpose of this study was to gather community feedback on The City of College Park’s facilities, trails, amenities, programs, future planning, communication, and more.

Furthermore, there was a need to assess senior program offerings specifically. This survey research effort and subsequent analysis were designed to assist The City of College Park in developing a plan to reflect the community’s desires, needs, and priorities for the future.

The goal was to ensure all residents had a chance to voice their opinion in this process. The consultant Greenplay LLC held 7 focus group meetings with a total of 125+ participants.

Additionally, 3,500 mailings with survey questions were sent to all city residents. 497 residents completed these surveys, leading to a +/-4.4% margin of error. Subsequently, the survey was made open to all city residents. 40 residents completed the open link survey.

According to the survey results, the top priorities include: (a) More/improved open spaces and natural areas (3.9) tie (b) Increased focus on health and wellness (3.9) tie (c) More/improved indoor facilities (3.8) (d) Additional active adults’ programs (3.8).

You can see the complete survey results here: . Please review the survey results and let us know what you think. Though due to COVID-19, residents are having limited access to the outdoor and indoor recreational activities and programs, the City is preparing itself to meet the future needs of the community.

Police Community Meeting Update: Thank You

My deepest thanks and appreciation for those who joined last evening’s town hall on community-police relations. Personally, I was moved by the mood and many emotions displayed by the panelists and many participants in the meeting.

My special thanks to CM Mitchell for co-hosting the event, our distinguished panelists, Pastor Wright, and other guests for contributing to the discussion. Also, many thanks to Mayor Wojahn, Mayor-ProTem Dennis, Councilmembers Kennedy, and Mackie for joining and showing your support for the community during this difficult time.

There were many good questions residents asked. Some of them were answered, and many were not because of the limited time we had. We’re going to collect them, have them answered, and post the answers at a later time.

Last night’s discussion is one of the many discussions that we had and will be having in the coming days and weeks. Our faith communities are working to put together a prayer vigil, our City will be also having another forum involving various police departments operating in College Park. Also, our Police-community forum will continue every month, Please look for future announcements.

More importantly, we will continue to work in finding ways to stop abusive practices and improving police-community relations. Please continue to send your ideas on these important topics that you may think most important in College Park and Prince George’s county. Thank you!

In case you missed last night’s forum, you can read more on that here on the Diamondback. Also, here you can watch the recorded video of the meeting.
[Photo credit: The Diamondmback]

College Park Says Sorry to its Own Historic Black Community

At last week’s meeting, the College Park City Council adopted a resolution stating that it apologizes for the systemic racism that once existed many years ago, causing City’s 130 years old African American community mostly disappear.

The motion came as an amendment to the resolution in support of Black lives following the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd. Please see the adopted resolution here.

The resolution is a step in the right direction towards restoring justice and trust among City’s African American community in particular and the minority communities in general. We hope to have more discussion in the coming days and months. Ideas include forming a commission to explore steps to seek opportunities for restorative justice.

Please read more about this Washington Post article to know more about this.

Please join next Monday’s forum on Community relations to discuss more to discuss this and also, what needs to happen in the short and long run to heal the wounds and to bring a sense of calm in the community.

Two distinguished members of the Lakeland community, Maxine Gross, and Robert Thurston will be on the panel to discuss these topics. Ms. Gross is the former College Park City Council member and the Chairperson of the Lakeland Heritage project. Mr. Thurston is the president of the Lakeland Civic Association.

Please bring your questions and let us know what more needs to happen.

When: 7:30pm, Monday, June 15, 2020
Join via the web: Zoom link:
Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 39399

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