Good Neighbor Day gathers the UMD community to give back
By Abbey Weltman
December 8, 2021
Image Credit: Abbey Weltman for The Campus Trainer
The College Park community came together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Good Neighbor Day on November 13th.
Every year the University of Maryland, the City of College Park, and The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) partner for a day filled with community service activities to promote the growth of College Park. This year there were scheduled trash cleanups, tree planting, invasive species removal, informative Zoom meetings and food pantry donations.
College Park Councilwoman Maria Mackie was on the site picking up trash on Paint Branch Trail. “Good Neighbor Day just means doing things that really help all your neighbors help the quality of life of our beautiful College Park. Last year, I worked at IKEA, packing food. And this year I decided to do an outdoor activity so I didn't have to wear a mask,” Mackie said. The event brought in a large turnout of College Park residents and university students to volunteers. The event was from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at various parks and trails around the city such as Paint Branch Trail and Lake Artemisia. Volunteers were given gloves, trash bags and branch cutters.
FDA chemist Clark Ridge is a volunteer for ParkRun, a national association that holds a weekly 5k on Paint Branch Trail. “‘Good Neighbor Day’' contacted us a few years ago to add to their number of volunteers. We have 150 people come out every week so we invited all the people who come here to participate in Good neighbor Day activities,” Ridge said.
Paint Branch Trail was a hotspot for events. The ParkRun association brought in volunteers to complete community service after running. “A lot of people here are going to do some tree planting, not-native plant removal, trash cleanup and trail cleanup,” Ridge said.
Sophomore behavioral and community health major Julia Ethan is the sustainability chair of Alpha Epsilon Phi (Aephi) sorority. She incorporated Good Neighbor Day into her plans to get the chapter green terp certified. She encouraged her sisters to attend the events. “ Good Neighbor Day connects the university with the city, it is a union between the two major populations of College Park to promote community pride,”Ethan said.