Indian Head youth ready to make some changes in their Town
Mayor hosts advisory committee to seek input for improvements
to learn about our local government, develop our own opinions and impact the community we live in,” Paulin said. “Hopefully we can increase our numbers and get more kids involved.”
At last Thursday’s meeting, the newly-built team gave advice to the mayor about decisions relating to the town’s youth, Team (MYAT) with 21 parents, teens and children in attendance at the Indian Head Senior Center. At the MYAT monthly meetings, attendees will create a plan to help make the town a better place by suggesting new and creative ideas for the town council to consider.
“Our core purpose is
The revitalization of Indian Head has been a major goal of the town and a new tactic involving local youth aims to bring hope for all residents.
On July 28, Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin held the first session of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory
discussed issues and delivered potential solutions. Paulin asked attendees about what they want to see in town and ways they can help improve the area.
Erycka Anderson, 8, a student at Indian Head Elementary School, and her mother Natalie Anderson had quite a few ideas about activities for youth in Indian Head.
“There’s really nowhere for the kids to play,” Natalie said. “The closest park is down by the river and I don’t let them walk there because then I can’t see them, so we have to drive them to a park. There should also be an activities bus for kids who want to participate in after school activities but don’t have a way to get home. It would be nice to have more things for the kids because we always see them walk around the neighborhood doing nothing.”
“I really want to see a little kids area in the corner of the parks so that parents can watch us so that we don’t get hurt and they can make sure we stay safe,” Er ycka said.
At the meeting, Paulin further inquired about the use of local parks, creating clean-up days and adding more trash cans around the town. The team discussed the possibility of having a recreation center in Indian Head to facilitate many of the suggested sporting events and activities.
Alex Thompson, 16, a student at Lackey High School, said in addition to the recreation center he would like to see an indoor turf field and gym for people that cannot use the gym at the Naval Support Facility Indian Head. He also suggested that the town plan a “Day of Play” event once a month to bring the entire community together.
The parents and children suggested having more volunteer opportunities for the youth and creating more fun family activities in the town by having a tennis court, basketball court, dodgeball court, a computer room and a go-kart track.
Another major topic at the meeting was finding ways to beautify Indian Head. Zack Kershner, 10, a student at Indian Head Elementary School, and his mother Tammy Kershner said they are both ready to help make the town cleaner, safer and better for the youth because it is such a cool place to live.
“I would like to clean up Indian Head a little bit more,” Zack said. “The trash really bothers me.”
“There seems to be a whole lot of trash around the fence of the basketball courts and it becomes unattractive,” Tammy said. “It really doesn’t look very good with it being across the street from town hall.”
Kate Boone, 13, a student at Archbishop Neale School in La Plata, said she has noticed a lot of the empty buildings that are completely unused in Indian Head and suggested putting some new stores in those areas, including a cafe, so that residents can shop and relax in their own town. She also suggested a few fundraisers such as a run/walk on the Indian Head Rail Trail to raise money for a recreation center.
The mayor said he was pleased that the youth spoke about fundraisers.
“It shows that they are not only focused on needs and wants but how to accomplish each idea,” Paulin said. He added that a recreation center is something that the town council will have to take a look into in the future because it is certainly on the mind of Indian Head residents.
“We have a senior center but we don’t have a youth center, so I think that is something that we can definitely look towards,” Paulin said.
“These are great ideas but for most of them we need money and funding,” said Vice Mayor Ron Sitoula. “We can certainly discuss how to get money from the state by writing grants and proposals, but these things take time. The summer is already halfway through and we may not see progress yet but this is just the planning stages. This is something for the future and this team is here to make Indian Head better.”
The next meeting for the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Team is Aug. 25. The mayor is looking for more creative ideas as to how the town can be revitalized for children and adults alike.
On July 28, Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin and his brother Hunter Paulin, 13, a student at General Smallwood Middle School, ask town youth what they would like to change about the area during their first Mayor’s Youth Advisory Team meeting at the Indian Head Senior Center.
On July 28, the first Mayor’s Youth Advisory Team meeting was held in Indian Head with 21 children and parents in attendance at the Indian Head Senior Center.
On July 28, Erycka Anderson, 8, a student at Indian Head Elementary School, speaks during the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Team meeting at the Indian Head Senior Center about issues in the town such as not having parks close by and creating children areas at the local parks with seating for parents to watch their children.