By Dawn Budd
Lakeland is one of the oldest of the communities that comprise present day College Park; this historically Black community traces its beginnings back to 1891. Lakeland is bordered by Berwyn House Road to the north, Lakeland Road and Pierce Avenue to the south, 54th Street to the east and Baltimore Avenue to the west.
The purpose of Lakeland Civic Association (LCA) is to foster a strong sense of community and responsible citizenship. The association also coordinates efforts with city and county government agencies to achieve common goals. The LCA’s vision statement focuses on five aspects of life in Lakeland: revitalization and redevelopment, transportation, education, public safety and sustainability.
The association traditionally meets monthly, except for July and August (during the pandemic, they have met virtually a few times). The association hosts two social events each year: a community picnic in conjunction with National Night Out, which is on the first Tuesday in August, and a Christmas tree lighting in December. Robert Thurston, who is currently president of the association, fondly remembered a past event, an octogenarian celebration honoring Lakeland’s seniors. He said that they had to keep raising the age limit to keep it manageable because they had so many senior residents.
In addition to Thurston, current officers are Anita Wolley, secretary, and Maggie Johnson, treasurer. Membership is open to all residents of Lakeland, and residents who are not members are welcome to attend meetings and events. Owners and proprietors of businesses and churches in the community may also join as non-voting members. The membership fee is determined yearly by majority vote.
“Participation and activism is important. The more that [residents] are involved, the more issues can be addressed.” Thurston stated. To get more information on becoming a member, meeting schedules or upcoming events, email the association at firstname.lastname@example.org.