By Mary Cook

Mary Cook headshot
Mary C. Cook is the North College Park Community Association president and a former councilmember.

Which elected officials could say no to improving their community?  Which could say no to improving their constituents’ quality of life and making their city more attractive to newcomers?  We, in North College Park, can only hope our city, county and state officials are listening.  


North College Park is home to the majority of the city’s long-term residents. It is an international mosaic of people from every economic and educational background. Many of these residents are calling for the establishment of a community center which will become an integral part of their neighborhood. 


Such a center will be a space for meetings and exercise, art programs, and bicycle repair classes. It will also serve as a social hub for seniors and youth alike. It will create cohesiveness and camaraderie, and will be an investment in our children, an investment in our seniors. 


Such a center could take an alternative form to a conventional community center. By renting retail space, we could support property owners and speed up the center’s creation. Like a pop-up restaurant or store, it will allow us to experiment and shape the center’s size and offerings.  Then, when the time is right, a permanent structure could be constructed.


Let’s not do another survey. Let’s get to work. Solicit company sponsors, grants and perhaps a bond bill.  Let’s rent some space and get moving.  What an exciting day it will be when our city can celebrate an attractive, welcoming center for long-time residents and newcomers alike. Who could say no to that?