Indian Head to begin Adopt-a-Park program
Council discusses progress on details of new town seal
The Indian Head Town Council plan to make some much needed changes to the town’s local parks, as well as symbolic elements that represent the town’s history.
At the June 22 council work session, Councilman Curtis Smith presented the council with a new idea to get local community members more involved in assisting to keep the local parks areas clean. The proposed “Adopt-a-Park” program stems from the same idea as the “Adopt-a-Road” which helps people think twice before disposing of garbage in public areas and instead disposing of it
“As part of the parks and recreation committee we are working on different beautification efforts to get people out and a part of the parks,” Smith said. “We have ... Girl Scout Troop 347, who said they were willing to be a part of the program and they will adopt Mattingly Park and Pier.”
Smith said this means that those individuals who adopt a park in Indian Head would go to a local park and pick up weeds or trash in order to help maintain the local parks and keep them looking presentable.
According to a draft of the council’s adoption agreement, adopt-a-park is a volunteer program where the Town of Indian Head Parks and Recreation Committee partners with local organizations to help keep the town safe, clean and beautiful. The town has four community parks that require a tremendous amount of resources to maintain and consistently improve, according to the proposal, and the program will help improve the town’s environment, community and the residents’ quality of life.
Any Town of Indian Head affiliated community organization that registers and completes a contract may adopt-a-park. Indian Head’s parks and recreation welcomes businesses, churches, schools, neighborhood associations, civic groups, clubs and other service related organizations to join the program as well.
The town will provide signage of the adopting organization’s name and adoption status, make tools, supplies and water or Gatorade available during the scheduled projects, assist with project planning, scheduling, and coordination of the proper tools and supplies to complete the project, and provide one contact person, the volunteer coordinator, to streamline communication and assist the organization throughout the adoption process.
The town plans to make all projects as safe and positive as possible, while the adoptees make a difference in the town’s environment, community and the Town of Indian Head as a whole.
The adopting organization will participate in more than two projects during their adopt-a-park period, recruiting manpower of at least six participants, for the projects and communicating all information with organization members, and designate at least three hours for each project.
“We’ll have other beautification efforts, like planting flowers, to make it more park-like as the council waits for quotes about grant funding efforts specifically for local parks,” Smith said. “I think it’s a good idea and it’s a good way to get people involved. Maybe people will be less likely to throw things on the grounds of the park if it’s their park.”
The council unanimously agreed to the idea and will work together to help implement the program.
“It seems like a positive idea to me,” said Mayor Brandon Paulin. “I can’t seem to find a reason why not to do this program.”
Another major topic at the council work session was the town seal. After months of looking into changing the town’s seal to be more of an accurate description of the town’s history, the council finally heard back from the Piscataway Indian Nation to receive some guidance about how to go about making changes to the seal.
Smith said the Piscataway Indian Nation will help provide some additional drafts of the town seal by the end of July, with mock-ups that involve natural elements of the Piscataway Indian Nation.
The seal was designed and painted by Richard Slavin Jr. in the 1980s. The seal currently features a historic American Indian, specifically of the Piscataway tribe, in correlation to the land of “Indian Head,” meaning “Indian Peninsula.” The Piscataway, also referred to as the Piscataway Indian Nation, are known as the most populous and powerful American Indian population of the Chesapeake Bay region.
The council agreed that the town’s new seal should include elements about the town’s past, present, and future.
“Based on the information that the Piscataway tribe gives us and listening to the previous town council’s rational, then we will tie it all in closely with the town’s new motto. But we need to have the history of the symbolism included in the seal, which we will get from the Piscataway.”
“The seal is clearly not a good representation of the Piscataway Indian Nation and if they say it is incorrect then it needs to be changed to reflect the town’s history,” said Town Manager Ryan Hicks.
At the next town meeting on July 5, the council will be presented with several resolutions including a budget amendment and a resolution about the town’s broadband internet. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.