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Groundbreaking Moments: The Re-Launch of College Park Wood Clubhouse

Recently, I had the pleasure of joining community members, city officials, and staff for the groundbreaking of the new College Park Wood Clubhouse at 3545 Marlborough Way. Construction kicks off soon, and we aim to wrap it up by the end of the year. Thanks to everyone who came out despite the rain!
Stay tuned for updates and learn more about this fantastic project here: https://collegeparkmd.gov/cpwoodsclubhouse
(photo credit: The City of College Park, MD, Barbara DiMaria Pianowski)

Bike With a COP

Join the Prince George’s County Police Department for a bike ride this Saturday, April 13th at 9AM! The day will be filled with fun activities, drinks, and snacks at Lake Artemesia.

Keep Your Family Cool this Summer

Did you know that heat-related incidents cause more deaths than floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service? Our current and future heat waves give us real cause for concern, especially for the elderly and children, but also for people who work outdoors, and our pets.
Here is some general advice about how to protect yourself from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, courtesy of Anne Arundel County:

Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink, especially if you’re elderly. Our ability to guage thirst weakens with age. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in a place with an air conditioning installation. If your home does not have air-conditioning, go to an air-conditioned public place or a county cooling center–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Contact an ac repair technician like those found at sites like https://jonesmechanicalinc.com/ or https://www.performanceacoftx.com/ to conduct an emergency air conditioning repair if your heating and air conditioning unit suddenly breaks down in the middle of summer. You can learn more here about HVAC systems.

Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

NEVER leave anyone, or any pet, in a closed, parked vehicle.

Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

Infants and young children

People aged 65 or older

People who have a mental illness

Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

[Source: Del. Mary Lehman]

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  https://forms.gle/E3xxNX4cxJpUNsSH8 .
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. Soccer fans will appreciate SportScore‘s immersive experience.

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.

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