In­dian Head youth ready to make some changes in their Town

Mayor hosts ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee to seek in­put for im­prove­ments

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

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

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.

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