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29 Jan 2023

College Park Post

COLLEGE PARK POST – January 2023

City Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Urgency of Now: One Community, One Love; Panel discussion on January 16; Book Giveaway; Food Drive

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time set aside each year for us, as a country, to work together in serving others and making our communities more equitable. His legacy inspires us to passionately fight against discrimination in all forms and uplift the most vulnerable in our communities. Every year, the City hosts a tribute to Dr. King. This year’s theme, “e Urgency of Now: One Community, One Love,” explores the connection between racism and inequality and how discrimination creates vulnerable communities in need. The City of College Park is providing multiple ways our residents can honor Dr. King’s legacy on January 16th and beyond.

VIRTUAL PANEL

Join us and our panelists on January 16th, 2023 from 7:00-8:00pm for a thought-provoking discussion on Dr. King’s  teachings and legacy. Registration is free. Join the zoom at https://zoom.us/j/98187966180. ART, VISUAL ART, AND ESSAY COMPETITION

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we would like to hear about how Dr. King’s legacy has impacted your life. This art, visual arts, and essay competition is open to kindergarten through 12th grade  students who live in the City of College Park. Students must submit their entry by Monday, January 30, 2023. The artwork contest is open to students in Kindergarten through 6th grade and must be 2D or 3D works that convey a visual illustration of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The video and essay contest is open to students in 7th through 12th grades. For the prompts along with all details and rules for entry, visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/mlktribute. Submissions will be judged on creativity, clarity, content, coherence and adherence to theme. Only one entry per student allowed. All entries must include a cover page with the student’s first and last name, grade level, email, full school name, home address, and contact phone number.

FOOD DRIVE

roughout January, the City of College Park will honor the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a canned food drive starting Monday, January 8th through Tuesday, Jan. 31. A collection box will be available at the City Hall Building, 7401 Baltimore Avenue for collection during business hours (8am-5pm). e City will accept donations of clean, non-dented canned & boxed non-expired, non-perishable food items, (no homemade items accepted) to support the College Park Community Food Bank. 

PREFERRED ITEMS:

  • Beans
  • Soup
  • Tuna
  • Canned Fruit (in juice or light

syrup)

  • Canned Veggies (no salt added

or low sodium)

  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rice

BOOK GIVEAWAY

As part of our tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the month of January, the City giving away free copies of three books that educate and inform about Dr. King’s life and his work toward Civil Rights:

  • “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreeen Rappaport (grade range: k-3)
  • “We March” by Shane W. Evans (grade range: 1 –2)
  • “e Civil Rights Movement” by Jennifer Zieger (grade range: 4-6)

City residents can receive one copy of one or each of the three books, while supplies last. To request a copy of any of these books, please complete  the  application at https://bit.ly/MLKBookGiveaway

Registered participants will receive an email when your book(s)  are available for pickup. The requested books must be picked up at City Hall (7401 Baltimore Ave) during business hours. Up to one copy per book per household, while supplies last. City residency is required. Please bring a copy of your submitted form and proof of residency. You must pick up your book(s) by March 1st, 2023. For the full list of this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration activities, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/mlktribute.

Mental Health Reminders

Tips to maintain a positive mental health

e responsibilities we have in our lives change daily and sometimes can feel overwhelming. Earlier this year, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was activated across the country. The three- digit number will make it easier for Marylanders to access 24/7 crisis prevention care and connect veterans to the Veterans Crisis Line. Maintaining positive mental health is important because it allows us, as individuals, to cope with challenges and setbacks in our lives, both at work and at home.

TIPS FOR COPING:

  • Take Steps to Stay Safe: Take steps to stay healthy and safe during this season

(and all others). COVID-19 continues to pose a severe risk to communities, as well as the u, RSV, and other viruses.

  • Exercise Daily: Schedule time to walk outside, bike or join a dance class. Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun. Daily exercise naturally produces stress-relieving hormones in your body and improves your overall physical health.
  • Be Realistic: Even pre-pandemic, the happy lives of the people shown in holiday commercials are fictional. We all have struggles and it’s not realistic to expect otherwise. Sometimes, it’s simply not possible to find the perfect gift or have a peaceful time with family.
  • Gratitude: As we near the end of the year, it’s a good time to reflect back on what you are grateful for, then thank those who have supported you. Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health.
  • Accept your Needs: Be kind to yourself! Put your own mental and physical well-being first. Recognize what your triggers are to help you prepare for stressful situations.
  • Manage your Time: Prioritizing your time and activities can help you use your time well. Making a day-to-day schedule helps ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines. It’s okay to say no to plans that don’t fit into your schedule or make you feel good.
  • Set Boundaries: Family dynamics can be complex. Acknowledge them and accept that you can only control your role. If you need to, and ways to limit your exposure.
  • Practice Relaxation: Deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to calm yourself. Taking a break to refocus can have benefits beyond the immediate moment.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Schedule time for activities that make you feel good. It might be reading a book, going to the movies, getting a massage, listening to music you love, or taking your dog for a walk. It’s okay to prioritize alone time you need to recharge.
  • Volunteer: The act of volunteering can provide a great source of comfort, you can also feel less lonely or isolated and more connected to your community.
  • Eat Well: With dinners, parties, and cookie trays at every turn, our eating habits are challenged during the holiday season.  Try to maintain a healthy diet through it all. Eating unprocessed foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit, is the foundation for a healthy body and mind.  Eating well can also help stabilize your mood.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder, can be triggered by getting too little sleep.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: They don’t actually reduce stress: in fact, they often worsen it. 

Read more tips for managing your mental health at www.collegeparkmd.gov

Free Bus Rides for City Residents

Ride Shuttle – UM

Save money, hassle, and the planet!

Did you know residents of the City of College Park can ride Shuttle-UM buses for free? In fact, the City pays the University $6,000 annually for this service for residents. Operated by the University of Maryland, Shuttle-UM features 21 routes with stops throughout the city and UMD campus, including weekday commuter routes that run between 7:30am and 9:00pm on a regular schedule to and from Silver Spring, Adelphi, Greenbelt, New Carrollton, and Hyattsville.

City residents can pick up free bus passes during business hours from City Hall, Davis Hall, and Youth and Family Services by showing an ID and proof of city residency.

More information on Shuttle-UM including route maps and schedules can be found at https://transportation.umd.edu/shuttle-um#schedules.

And, there’s an app providing real-time arrival information for Shuttle-UM routes! Find more information at https://transportation.umd.edu/shuttle-um

Fixed-route schedules are updated on a semesterly basis. During exams, breaks and inter-semester periods (including December 21-January 24), buses run on modified schedules. Transit buses have ADA seating in the front of the bus and are equipped with wheelchair ramps.

From the City’s Committee for a Better Environment.

Planning a New Pollinator Garden

Tips for planting a pollinator garden at your home this year

As you begin planning your garden this spring, why not keep pollinators in mind?

A simple way to help bees, butterflies, and moths is to replace a portion of the lawn area with native plantings that will provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Plants grow in certain climatic temperature zones; the hardiness zone for plants in this area is 7. Selecting plants that will survive within this hardiness zone or a lower hardiness zone will enable them to survive from year to year. Plants that have a higher hardiness zone rating (above 7) may not survive the winter from one year to the next as they prefer a warmer climate.

In addition to a plant’s hardiness zone rating, also consider the garden site’s characteristics when planning for a new planting area, such as sun exposure and soil conditions to ensure the success of new planting.  Most sun-loving plants require 6 hours of sunlight a day; if the proposed planting area does not receive that much sun, then select plants that will tolerate partial to full shade depending on the exposure of the location. Soil moisture is another critical component to consider when selecting plants. Avoid selecting moisture-loving plants for planting in a dry area or you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Conversely, plants that prefer drier soil conditions more than likely will not flourish if the soil moisture is too wet.

When designing the plant layout, plant similar types of plants together for visual impact in odd number groupings to create an aesthetically pleasing result. Select various types of plants, with a different flower or foliage colors, bloom times, heights, and fruit or seed pods to sustain interest throughout the growing season as most native perennials do not bloom all season long.

From the City’s Bee City Committee

City Announcements

More information: www.collegeparkmd.gov

HOLIDAY CLOSING

All City facilities will be closed on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. All collections will slide forward one day this week, and special collections will only be scheduled on Friday.

DECK THE CITY WINNERS

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Deck the City contest! ese homes were nominated for their decked-out holiday decorations:

  • 1st place: 5005 Muskogee St.
  • 2nd place: 4610 Amherst Rd.
  • 3rd Place: 9402 Rhode Island Ave.
  • Mayor’s Choice 1st place: 4804 Lackawanna St.
  • Mayor’s Choice 2nd place: 5005 Muskogee St.
  • Mayor’s Choice 3rd place: 8312 49th Ave.

Check out all the nominees at www.collegeparkmd.gov/deckthecity.

FY 2023 PROPOSED BUDGET SUGGESTIONS

Preparation is beginning on the FY2024 Proposed Budget, which will be published in March 2023. The Mayor & Council invite residents to submit suggestions, requests and/or recommendations that will assist the City in fulfilling its mission.

Please complete the online form by January 31, 2023 at www.collegeparkmd.gov/2023BudgetProposals

COMMUNITY SERVICE GRANT APPLICATION

e Community Service Grants provide partial funding for community-based programs and projects within the City of College Park that promote enhanced community opportunities for its

residents. Community Services Grants are only awarded to organizations, not to individuals. Learn more and complete the online form before January 27, 2023 at www.collegeparkmd.gov/CommunityServicesApplication

ADVISORY BOARD VOLUNTEERS WANTED

Are you interested in serving on a City Advisory Board?

Serve your community, lend your talents, and meet your neighbors by applying to serve on a City Advisory Board:

  • Bee City USA Committee
  • Tree and Landscape Board

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete and submit an application (Spanish application) to jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov  or to your City Council representative by Friday, January 20, 2023. ThE next round of appointments will be in January 2023 for three-year terms.

Bee City USA Committee

Individuals interested in serving on the Bee City USA Committee should have interest in enhancing community awareness of urban pollinators in the City of College Park.  The Committee will follow the guidelines established by Bee City USA to maintain the City’s aliation with this organization.

Tree and Landscape Board

Individuals interested in serving on the Tree and Landscape Board should have interest and knowledge of trees, landscaping and gardening, and the benefits they provide to urban infrastructure, as well as local ecological and environmental benefits provided to an urban community.

Curbside Food Scrap Collection

Curb food waste; register at www.collegeparkmd.gov/foodscraps

College Park’s average weekly food scrap tonnage has increased from 0.5 ton to 1.25 tons since starting curbside food scrap collections! This new voluntary program diverts organic materials, that are not waste, out of our landfill and will reduce harmful greenhouse gasses emitted from organic decomposition in landfills, which contributes to climate change.

Residents can sign up on a rolling basis. Join and purchase containers at www.collegeparkmd.gov/curbsidecollectionapp. Pick up your container(s) at Public Works, 9217 51st Avenue, College Park, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Once you pick up your containers, your collection will start the following week.

Getting started is easy!

  1. Source separate food scraps and food-soiled paper products from your regular household waste. Place food scraps in a tight-fitting container (coffee can, kitchen pail, or whatever works for you.)
  2. When the container is full, empty the contents into the larger collection container (lined with a compostable bag). Only city-issued 5-gallon buckets or 12-gallon carts can be used.
  3. On your collection day, place the cart or bucket at the curb by 7:00 a.m. Please ensure your collection container is visible and accessible from the street.

Tips for a successful collection:

  • Place your container out before 6:00 a.m. or the night before your scheduled pick-up to avoid a missed collection.
  • Keep your container away from trash and recycling carts, or other obstacles.
  • If you run out of compostable bags,   you can use a paper bag, or put food scraps loosely in the container.
  • If you will be away and want to skip a week, please email publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov and let us know the week(s) you would like your service suspended.
  • Check out our Youtube channel for how-to videos.

Holiday Decoration Recycling

Start a resolution of recycling

Don’t forget to recycle discarded holiday decorations this year!

Batteries can and should be recycled. If batteries, especially lithium-based, are thrown into the trash, they can cause a spark that could endanger individuals and surrounding property. Certain types of batteries, such as Nickel Cadmium rechargeable, can contaminate the environment if not properly disposed of. Batteries are valuable and recycling them can reduce the need to mine for virgin materials along with transforming reclaimable materials into other useable products. Consumer awareness is key to changing behavior and ensuring more batteries are recycled the right way. MOMs Organic Market and IKEA accept single-use batteries.

Home Depot and Lowes accept rechargeable batteries.

Block Styrofoam is collected in the drop-off container at the entrance to the Department of Public Works (9217 51st Avenue). No peanuts, cups, plates, or egg cartons are accepted.

Christmas Trees are collected by appointment only. Please remove ornaments, tinsel, and decorations before placing them at the curb. If using a plastic bag, please remove the tree from the bag. To schedule a collection, email publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov or call 240-487-3590. 

Holiday String Lights, working or non-working, are accepted for recycling at MOM’s Organic Market (9801 Rhode Island Avenue) through the end of January.

Cold Weather Preparation

Be prepared for winter weather

Property owners, occupants and merchants are reminded of the City requirement to remove accumulated snow and ice from all walkways, driveways, parking lots and other areas used by pedestrians or automobiles. The owner or occupant of any property that abuts the sidewalk must clean public sidewalks of ice, sleet and snow for their full width. It is required that snow and ice be removed within the first 24 hours after the winter weather event ends. These requirements are listed under City Code Section 141-5, and County Code 23-150. Ensuring that public sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice is an important safety and accessibility consideration for pedestrians. It is especially important for students who walk to school, senior citizens, young children, and people with accessibility needs. Though City code enforcement officers may not cite all such violations immediately after a storm, failure to comply with this regulation in a timely manner could be used as evidence by anyone injured in a fall on or adjacent to your property if you are sued for such injuries.

Be prepared! Keep snow shovels and salt ready for the next storm, and plan to have help available if necessary to make your walkway safe as soon as the snow stops falling.

For more information about the City’s Guide to Winter Weather, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/snow.

Snow and Ice Removal

Be prepared for winter

e City of College Park’s priority during a snow event is public safety. Our goal is to clear snow and ice as quickly and efficiently as possible, restoring safe travel for emergency crews, motorists, and pedestrians. Snow and ice removal are considered an emergency operation and takes precedence over other Public Works tasks. The snow plan will go into effect upon the order of the City Manager or the Director of Public Works. The plan consists of an Alert Phase and an Operation Phase. The alert phase may include pre-treating designated streets with salt brine to prevent snow and ice adhesion to the road surface. Snow or icy precipitation, which requires roadway treatment, will be considered an emergency under the operational phase. These steps will be followed during a snow emergency:

  • Snow removal equipment will be dispatched to predetermined routes when snow or ice is imminent. Salting operations usually begin at the onset of precipitation, depending on pavement temperature and the forecast.
  • First application of salt will be ordered by the Director or Assistant Director. Plowing operations will commence when there is accumulated snow or slush on the roadway.
  • Initially, one lane will be plowed on all streets followed by widening of the plowed lane. All streets will be plowed curb to curb, as conditions allow.
  • Designated crews will be dispatched to clear sidewalks, bus stops, RRFB crosswalk, and the trolley trail locations throughout the City
  • Snow and ice-clearing operations will be carried out in accordance with established priorities as circumstances permit. Public Works crews plow and salt city streets and city parking lots to clear snow and ice. ings you can do to help include:
  • Move parked cars off the street so the snow plows can clear snow to the curb.
  • If o-street parking is not available during predicted snowstorms, park on the EVEN side of the road (EXCEPTION: if your address is odd-numbered and the area across from your house is undeveloped, park on the odd side of the street)
  • The City is not responsible for clearing snow from driveways or driveway aprons – this is the resident’s responsibility. If you begin to remove snow before the trucks are finished, be mindful that your driveway may need to be cleared more than once.
  • After the snow plows have finished cleaning your street, clear snow and ice from the sidewalks, storm drains and fire hydrants in front of your residence.
  • Have patience: crews work around the clock during snow emergencies to clear the streets. Although your street may not be plowed as quickly as you would like, our crews will make their way to you. Your patience is appreciated during these times.
  • Always plan to set your refuse and recycling carts out for your regularly scheduled day during snow events. Refuse and recycling collections may occur later in the day than normal, or they could be delayed a day. Be prepared for winter-  visit the Public Works webpage, for information related to snow removal operations at www.collegeparkmd.gov/snow. For more information, call 240-487-3590 or email publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov.

Holler Box