Dear Prince Georgians:
It is hard to believe that spring is right around the corner! We are off to a great start this year, making historic investments in key areas that will benefit our residents and allow our County to continue to grow and to thrive. With the coming of the spring season, we are gearing up for our biannual community cleanup effort, the spring Growing Green with Pride Day, which will be held on Saturday, April 22, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Through our collective efforts during our Growing Green with Pride Day last fall, nearly 5,000 Prince Georgians of all ages were out cleaning and beautifying neighborhoods across the County. We had a total of 124 sites, where volunteers planted approximately 2,690 plants, 430 shrubs, 490 trees, 1,770 flowering perennials, 10,000 daffodils, and installed 2,240 bags of mulch. In addition, we collected 18.41 tons of litter, and we look forward to a strong showing from the community again this spring.
As we prepare for our spring Growing Green with Pride Day, we will once again celebrate Preserve and Beautify our Environment Week. From Monday, April 17 through Saturday, April 22, three County agencies will highlight the County’s efforts to preserve and beautify or environment. We are excited to close out the week with our biannual community cleanup day.
Litter is a major problem in our County, which is why we announced earlier this week that we are investing $9.9 million in the FY 2024 proposed budget to combat litter and illegal dumping. However, the truth of the matter is, litter doesn’t grow like grass. We need the support of all Prince Georgians to keep our County clean and beautiful. That’s why we strongly encourage our residents to get together with your friends and neighbors and join us for a day of beautification on Saturday, April 22.
To participate in the spring Growing Green with Pride Day on April 22, you must register by Friday, April 14. To learn more or to register for the spring Growing Green with Pride Day, visit the Department of Public Works and Transportation’s website here.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
Proud to Be Around Prince George’s
44th Annual Evening with Labor
County Executive Alsobrooks had a wonderful evening connecting with labor friends at the 44th Annual Evening with Labor on Friday, March 3. As Prince George’s continues to grow and thrive, we will always ensure that working-class families who are the foundation of this community have a home here.
Metropolitan Baptist Church’s Women’s Day Celebration
County Executive Alsobrooks was excited to serve as the special guest speaker at Metropolitan Baptist Church’s Women’s Day Celebration on Sunday, March 12. We want to thank Rev. Dr. Jessie Wood and Dr. Cynthia Turner Wood for the opportunity to celebrate the leadership and contributions of women from all walks of life.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Grand Opening Celebration
Yesterday evening, County Executive Alsobrooks had the pleasure of attending the grand opening celebration of the Prince George’s County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This administration remains fully committed to continuing to work with our Latino population and is excited to have the opportunity to support our fast-growing Latino business community, and to help new Latino business owners and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in Prince George’s County.
Boards and Commissions Appointments
The Office of the County Executive officially welcomed several community members that were appointed to Prince George’s County Boards and Commissions after they were recently confirmed by the County Council. We are Prince George’s Proud of these individuals and thank them for their willingness to serve our community.
Historic Preservation Commission
Police Accountability Board
Human Rights Commission
Washington Suburban Transit Committee
OCR Helps PGCPS Teachers Finish Strong
On average, educators spend approximately $500 of their own money to buy supplies that help them successfully educate students. On Wednesday, March 1, the Office of Community Relations (OCR) kicked off its Class Act initiative, which provides teachers with additional resources to help them provide a quality education for our students. Through this initiative, OCR gifted more than 24,800 supplies to 500 teachers at five County schools: Chillum Elementary School, Seat Pleasant Elementary School, Suitland Elementary School, Woodmore Elementary School, and National Christian Academy.
The Class Act Initiative is a partnership between the Office of the County Executive, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Staples, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, the Office of Homeland Security, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS, and the Office of Central Services. Check out the video of the kick-off event here.
Prince George’s County Police Department’s 1st Annual Pride Walk
The Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) is hosting the 1st Annual Pride Walk on Saturday, June 4, at the National Harbor in recognition of June as Pride Month. Check-in begins at 10:00 A.M. Participants will walk a local trail within the National Harbor and end with a fun filled celebration at the Great Awakening that will feature live entertainment and LGBTQIA+ information and resources within Prince George’s County.
Pride recognition originated as an outcome of the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969 to recognize the impact the LGBTQIA+ community had across the globe. The original Pride marches took place in 1970 in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to commemorate Stonewall. Pride Month is now observed every year during the month of June and is celebrated in many ways all around the world.
We encourage residents to stay tuned for more information. Be sure to follow PGPD on Twitter (@PGPDNews) to stay updated on upcoming events and more!
Apply to Become the Next Prince George’s County Poet Laureate
Are you a local poet and want to share your talent? The Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council is looking for the next Prince George’s County Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate will serve as the official poet of the County for three years and will work to promote the importance of poetry and collaborate with other artists. Learn more information and apply here.
Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys Fatherhood Honors Award
The Prince George’s County Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys (CFMB) is pleased to announce its annual Fatherhood Honors Award, which is designed to recognize, celebrate, and honor men who have consistently exemplified the principals of excellence in fatherhood through their character, service, and positive impact upon the lives of individuals, organizations, and their community in the past year.
Residents are cordially invited and encouraged to nominate individual men who deserve recognition as a CFMB Fatherhood Honors Awardee. The nominee can be a father or father figure that is over the age of 21 and meets the criteria outlined in the Fatherhood Honors Award application. Candidates must either live in, work, or serve in Prince George’s County. Multiple nominations can be submitted by one person, but a new form must be used for each nomination. Applications are due by Sunday, April 30. Nominees will be recognized at the Father’s Day Pledge Event on Tuesday, June 13. For more information about nominee criteria and how to apply, visit the CFMB website here.
DPIE Follows Complicated Processes to Abate Noncompliant Vacant and Blighted Properties
Vacant and abandoned properties were among hundreds that drew complaints in Prince George’s County last year. In fact, at any time, there are upwards of 4,000 vacant structures in the County, and such properties create eyesores, negatively impact the aesthetics of neighborhoods, pose a hazard to anyone who happens to go inside, and serve as havens for vermin. Some vacant properties have been left unoccupied for short periods of time as owners go on extended trips while others have been vacant for years after owners stopped paying their mortgages, became incapacitated or passed away.
The Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement’s (DPIE) Enforcement Division inspectors refer to unoccupied properties as “vacants.” Complaints are investigated by the Vacants Unit and seriously blighted vacant properties are investigated by the Inspections Division Demolition Unit, which has the authority to raze such structures.
Several steps must be followed before a demolition can occur. The Demolition Unit must conduct research to try to locate the owner. Inspectors search land records, tax records and other public documents to try to find the responsible party. DPIE then sends a violation notice by certified mail to the owner giving them 30 days to declare what they intend to do with the property. If there is no response, DPIE advertises its intent to demolish the structure for three weeks in a local newspaper. A contractor is hired and approved by the Office of Finance in a bid process. The case is then evaluated by the County Office of Law to ensure the appropriate steps have been taken, and if so, raze permits are obtained. This entire process can take upwards of nine months.
We encourage residents to report violations of vacant and blighted properties to PGC311. For more information, contact DPIE at DPIEPIO@co.pg.md.us.
In Case You Missed It:
How Do I Start With My Green Cart?
Residents who have received their green composting cart are encouraged to watch the recap of the “How Do I Start With My Green Cart” webinar that was held last month. During the video, staff discussed how residents could prepare the wheeled green cart for collection, acceptable food scraps, what happens to the collected food scraps, and how using your green cart helps reduce waste. Check out the recap here.
Seeking Durable Medical Equipment Donations
As part of the Maryland Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Re-Use program, the Department of the Environment (DoE) will host one drop-off location for donated DME items at the Brown Station Road Convenience Center in Upper Marlboro.
The Maryland Department of Aging (MDA) will sanitize, repair, and provide the equipment to eligible Marylanders free of charge.
Examples of needed DME items include:
- Canes, Crutches, Rollators, and Walkers
- Manual, Transport, and Power Wheelchairs
- Power Scooters
- Shower Chairs and Tub Transfer Benches
- Bedside Commodes and Toilet Safety Rails
- Home Hospital Beds
- Mechanical Lifts
Heavily soiled or corroded equipment, stair lifts, respiratory equipment (oxygen machines and tanks, CPAPs, suction machines, etc.), orthopedic braces, and non-medical items will not be accepted. If you need this equipment or additional information, visit MDA’s website here. For more information on the Prince George’s County drop-off location, visit the DoE website here.
Illegal Dumping is a Crime
As part of County Executive Alsobrooks’ beautification initiative, “Part of It, Proud of It,” the Environmental Task Force is working to tackle litter and illegal dumping throughout Prince George’s County. The Department of Environment (DoE) leads the Task Force in partnership with the Police Department (PGPD) and other agencies including the Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE), Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT), and the States Attorney’s Office (SAO).
Recently, the Task Force deployed advanced and covert camera surveillance systems across the County to catch illegal dumpers in the act. The mobile systems can identify the responsible parties in any lighting conditions. They can also be moved around the County and redeployed in a few hours as criminal dumpers change their patterns due to their solar-powered technology. Residents can learn more about this initiative in this article. Residents are also encouraged to check out a recent blog post where PGPD’s Major Zachary O’Lare speaks to how surveillance of undisclosed “hot spot” locations has led to fines and charges.
To report illegal dumping in Prince George’s County, contact PGC311 or call 301-883-4748. To learn more ways to keep Prince George’s County clean and beautiful, visit the Part of It, Proud of It website here.
T. Howard Duckett Community Center Stream Restoration Project
The Department of the Environment (DoE) is pleased to announce the upcoming “T. Howard Duckett Community Center Stream Restoration Project,” a water quality restoration project at the WSSC Rocky Gorge Reservoir, which is located in West Laurel, just east of the T. Howard Duckett Community Center. DoE will commence the construction phase in Fall 2023 and anticipates completing construction operations by February 2024. Landscaping will be completed in the Spring of 2024.
Curbside Bulky Trash Services
Residents with County-provided trash AND recycling services can place UP TO 2 standard bulky items at the curb, next to your trash cart, for collection on your regular trash day. Appointments for white goods/appliances and scrap tires are still required via PGC311.
Remember that remodeling and construction debris are not accepted. This includes bricks, concrete, lumber, plaster, drywall, and other materials. To view a list of acceptable items, visit the Department of the Environment website here.
Spotlight On Prince George’s
American Red Cross Recognizes Several Prince Georgians
The American Red Cross recently honored several Prince George’s County residents for their life-saving efforts in the community last year. Each of these residents assisted a fellow Prince Georgian who was in need of emergency care. Check out this article to learn more about this amazing honor.
County Executive Unveils $5.4 Billion FY 2024 Proposed Budget
Earlier this week, County Executive Alsobrooks unveiled her FY 2024 proposed budget. Despite several challenges with this upcoming budget, the County Executive’s proposed budget contains people-centered investments that will address the immediate needs of residents, grow the local economy, improve quality of life, and help us build a future proof Prince George’s. Learn more about the proposed budget through recent media coverage here.