Planting Collington’s First Flower Meadow

Contributed by Alice Nicolson and Marian Fuchs

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On Friday 8 December, 18 months after Jane Engle, Peter Pfund and Alice Nicolson first walked with a meadow guru around campus to evaluate the status of the various meadow areas, native plants were being installed on the slope below the beehives (on the way to the community center) to form the first flowering meadow on campus – the first of many, perhaps.

“A year from now this will be a thing of beauty,” said the supervisor of the six men doing the soil improvement and planting.  The project planting guide gives a glimpse of how things will look.  The plan for the left half of the 3000 sq ft meadow is shown below.

The large circles marked Rc will be dwarf sumac shrubs.   The smaller dots will combinations of butterfly weed, milkweed, switchgrass, white beardtongue, slender mountain mint, little bluestem, Virginia spiderwort and heartleaf golden Alexander.  (Stirring and delightful names!)

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Another portion of the planting guide, shown below, shows the color scheme of the flowers and the foliage, and their bloom time.

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Preparing the meadow was hard work.

The meadow will consist of native plants, accustomed to growing in our campus soil.  So the workmen did not improve the area.  Instead the existing lawn grass was killed and each new plant had a hole drilled to receive it. (See the man drilling above right.)  As each section was planted, a light layer of mulch was spread (see above left). This willl be the only addition to the planting area. For the first year or two the meadow will be hand-weeded, but after that it will need only a single spring mowing and once-over to remove any invasive tree seedlings.

The meadow already has people who care for it.  Snow covered the meadow the day after it was planted, but once the snow melted, the area dried quickly and our new horticulturalist, Kyle Olsen, was seen staying late to give the entire meadow a good watering.

Naming is a nuanced issue here at Collington, but many of us will always think of this area as “Jane’s Meadow.”

A win-win-win-win solution

Submitted by the Sustainability Committee

What does Collington do with old appliances and fixtures?

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Collington always has items that it no longer needs.   It happened in the clear-out needed to start the Bistro.  It happens when units become empty and are refurbished for new residents.  It happened when Administration moved up a floor.   It has happened recently as try-out cottages are changed into sales units.  

Items may include outdated, but still functional stoves, dishwashers, and fridges.  It may be shelving, old picture frames, tables, filing cabinets, desks that the OO Shop doesn’t think it can sell quickly.  It may be kitchen cabinets that have life left in them.

A few items are kept in storage as emergency replacements for residents.   The rest of the still serviceable items are carefully priced to reflect their age and life expectancy.   Then, once a sufficient number have accumulated, there’s a special garage-type sale, open only to Collington staff.  

So far this year there have been three such sales, which have yielded some $4800.

That’s the first “win”.

The second “win” comes from what the money is used for:  it all goes towards the costs of the annual staff holiday party, an end-of-year, off-site bash with raffles and door prizes and food and fun.   So the staff members get to buy useful things cheaply and know that their money is going to give them future pleasure too.  

Then there’s a third “win”: whatever doesn’t sell is given away to Habitat for Humanity.  

The fourth “win” is a win for sustainability:  serviceable items end up being put to good use instead of prematurely ending up in a landfill.   

So Collington has a quadruple win solution!  

Christmas Comes to Collington!

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

All over campus signs of the holiday season are proliferating.  There’s obviously much more to come:

  • a Dickens Dinner at the weekend
  • a Holiday Party on the 12th
  • a service on Christmas Eve and a Breakfast on the day
  • and a dinner-dance on New Year’s Eve.

But just today, Monday December 4, we had the trimming of the giant tree in the Clocktower.  Below you see some of the trimmers, and the results of their trimming.  If you weren’t there, you missed some great petit fours and hot chocolate!

 

 

Good News!

By Marian Fuchs

It’s always fun to meet the children of fellow-residents.  Mostly we see them in the dining room for weekend meals.  But sometimes we get to hear from them directly, and that’s even better.   Later this week we’re going to have the chance to hear from the Florini’s two daughters, both of whom are following illustrious careers.   Their talk title suggests that we’re going to hear something positive — just what we need right around now!   sisters3a

 

CAPITAL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER GROUNDBREAKING EVENT AT LARGO TOWN CENTER: NOVEMBER 30, 2017

Contributed by Peter Fielding

Last Thursday was both memorable and important for our Collington community.

After a long period of discussion, lasting some ten years, the University of Maryland and our Maryland state agencies have partnered to create a new state of the art Medical Center less than two miles from our Collington campus.

Under the very entertaining and skilled Master of Ceremonies, Charlene Dukes (President, Prince Georges Community College), a dozen speakers had variations on the same themes: partnerships; recognition of local healthcare needs; the politics of money; and the duration of what was called a “spirited negotiation” which was needed to reach ultimate agreement.

Both well-established representatives and those seeking higher office were on the program and most of them spoke: Seamon, Moore, Reece, Chrencik, Hogan, Cardin, Van Hollen, Hoyer, Brown, Davis, Busch, Miller, and Baker.

However, it was the last speaker, The Honorable Rushern L. Baker III, PG County Executive, who had been the major driving force keeping the vision moving forward who spoke for the majority. He was quiet, humble, sincere, and clearly personally moved by the fact that the people of our region will now be better served when the first phase of the Medical Center, and some of the related retail and office developments, come on line within 3 – 4 years. Baker was given a standing ovation by the 450 guests (which included a small contingent from Collington). All the guests were clearly very engaged; lots of animated chatter; lots of handshakes; and quite a lot of hugs.

It was a good day for a future which promises to meet some of Collington’s core health needs.   So very refreshing.

Hospital details when all phases complete:

  • Main Tower: 11 levels; 2 rooftop helipads, 595,744 sq. ft.
  • Acute care licensed beds (private): 205
  • Adult Observation/Short Stay beds: 20
  • ER treatment bays: 45
  • Operating rooms: 8

Core Programs & Specialty Centers:

  • Level II Trauma Center
  • Level III Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Cardiac STEMI/Cardiac Surgery Center
  • Designated Stroke Center
  • Cancer Program
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Emergency Services
  • Neurosciences
  • Orthopedics
  • Women’s Services