800 Volunteers Fan Out for 30-plus Community Service Projects
Photo by Riley N. Sims
Nearly 800 volunteers picked up litter, installed pollinator gardens, painted storm drains and distributed free hot meals throughout College Park and surrounding communities for the 12th annual Good Neighbor Day on Saturday.
The day of service, organized by the University of Maryland, city of College Park and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Department of Parks and Recreation, brought together local residents, Terps, middle and high school students, as well as local businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations.
This year, more than 30 projects aimed to enhance the lives of those who live, work and play in College Park and beyond, including in Berwyn Heights, Riverdale, Hyattsville, Langley Park and New Carrollton.
At the College Park Community Center, volunteers corrected local Lakeland oral histories transcribed by artificial intelligence with the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and the Maryland Institute for Technology and Humanities.
Next door, at Paint Branch Elementary School, volunteers beautified the space around the Lomax Fountain for a second time by spreading mulch, pulling invasive weeds and replacing them with low-maintenance native plants.
Down the street, volunteers joined local business owner Nomie Homid of Virtual X Kitchen in cooking hot meals to be distributed by the nonprofit Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Development Corp. to older adults living in low-income housing.
“Good Neighbor Day is a testament to the passion of our partners, community members, and volunteers,” said Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, founding director of the Office of Community Engagement, “We would like to thank our partners for, each year, stepping to the plate to make Good Neighbor Day a success.”
Read on to see what Terps and local residents accomplished together.
A garden bed at Paint Branch Elementary School gets some love, courtesy of a group of alums including Giavanti Greenaugh ’08 (digging at front left) of the Chi Delta chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a graduate chapter of a historically Black fraternity that once operated at UMD. (Photo by Riley N. Sims)
UMD President Darryll J. Pines (front), College Park Mayor Fazlul Kabir (kneeling at right) and other volunteers beautify a walk at Paint Branch Elementary School. (Photo by Riley N. Sims)
Madison Bush ’24 (center), an information systems major, helps stack bags of food made at Virtual X Kitchen for local seniors living in low-income housing. (Photo by Riley N. Sims)
Good Neighbor Day volunteers collect trash along the median in front of Hope Lutheran Church to help preserve the stream. (Photo by Jess Daninhirsch '26)
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