Spotlight: Meet the North College Park Community Association
By Dawn Budd
The North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) is one of eight civic associations in the City of College Park. It includes residents from the Sunnyside, Hollywood, Daniels Park, Autoville, Cherry Hill and Branchville neighborhoods. According to the NCPCA’s website, www.myncpca.org, the purpose of the association is “to encourage ideas, cooperation, and action needed to strengthen our community and promote the interests of residents and homeowners.” The association strives to create relationships that enhance residents’ sense of belonging. Councilmember Fazlul Kabir (District 1) stated it well when he said, “By being part of the civic association, residents get the opportunity to meet other neighbors in the community.”
The NCPCA was incorporated in July 1996 under the legal name, North College Park Citizens Association, Inc. In March 2017, the members voted to change the name to The North College Park Community Association, Inc. The articles of incorporation were later amended to use the original name for all legal and tax purposes. The newer name is used for all public purposes.
Membership carries a $10 fee and is open to all adult residents of North College Park, and meetings are open to all residents regardless of membership status. When asked whether he thinks residents in these neighborhoods should join NCPCA, Councilmember Kabir said, “Though membership is voluntary, all residents should try to become part of the NCPCA. A stronger NCPCA means a stronger community voice. Local governments will take the NCPCA’s concerns more seriously if they see the NCPCA is represented by a strong membership.”
NCPCA helps promote residents’ interests through a variety of initiatives, including suggesting budget items to the city council, hosting election forums and advocating for development that enhances the neighborhood. Recent budget items proposed by the NCPCA and subsequently incorporated in the city planning include a new park in Sunnyside, a local dog park and more security cameras in the area.
The NCPCA discusses many issues that are relevant to the community including zoning, traffic, city amenities, town policies and public safety. NCPCA member Lisa Ealley said she felt the association’s most important accomplishment was stopping construction of a pedestrian bridge from Greenbelt to College Park, which was proposed as part of the Greenbelt Station Townhomes development. In 2015, the NCPCA sent a letter to the city council opposing the bridge, specifically stating that “it will no longer serve as conduit for retail shopping” and asking that, if it were still to be built, to locate it “so there is no isolated walkway, which would be unsafe, and be positioned such that it will not have any negative impact on northern College Park residents.”
City and county officials attend association meetings, and present and discuss upcoming actions being considered by their respective legislative bodies. The NCPCA also welcomes business leaders to participate in an effort to enhance their relationships with the community.
The NCPCA meets the second Thursday of each month from September through June. The officers of the association are Mary Cook, president; Carol Macknis, vice president; Jordan Schakner, treasurer and John Krouse, secretary. Both Jordan and John have decided not to seek reelection, and their positions are to be filled at the meeting on September 10. Judy Blumenthal and Lisa Ealley serve on the Board of Directors. For more information on the NCPCA, including how you can join, please go to www.myncpca.org.