In­dian Head to be­gin Adopt-a-Park pro­gram

Coun­cil dis­cusses progress on de­tails of new town seal

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

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

prop­erly.

“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.

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