Author Archives: loisbrown0714

The Art Of Music at Collington

Be sure to check out this link to a youtube video produced by the University of Maryland.   Our very own graduate student interns, Samantha and Matt, are highlighted as they live at and interact with Collington residents.  Watch as they teach and entertain.  It brings music to my heart!

Champion Trees, Champion Residents

By Alice Nicolson

Last spring many of us were thrilled to find that Collington almost had a county Champion tree in our woods – almost, because although the tree is about 200’ behind unit 5004, it is just outside our property line in the adjoining county Regent Forest Park. The tree came to our attention in 2016 because neighbors asked Davey Tree Company to clear the woodland behind their homes. The Davey arborist noticed the big tree, misidentified it as an ash, and recommended that it be treated against Emerald Ash Borer infestation (a recently arrived pest which is killing ash trees all over the country). Jane Engle contacted her friend Mike Ellis, a Prince George’s park ranger, and asked him to come over and check out this large ash since it might be a county record holder. Mike came, determined that the tree was a mockernut hickory, not an ash (so definitely not needing protection against the EAB!), took its measurements, found its location was just outside Collington property (alas!), and determined that it was indeed a Champion tree for the county. Jane was credited with nominating it (and she and Mike co-nominated two other county champions in other parks). Jane and Mike did some other tree hunting in the neighboring woodland and found one other likely candidate, but had not measured it at the time. 

tree1Pfund, Nicolson and Engle with Mockernut

This week Mike Ellis and his supervisor, Chris Garrett, came over to meet with Ken Burton, Jane’s husband, to have another look at the Mockernut and to relocate and measure the other large tree. (Kyle Olsen and I came along as well). The tree is located several hundred feet downstream from where the trail behind 5110 goes into the swampy woods and meets the stream (Bald Hill Branch) at the white bucket marker. It also is not on Collington’s property, being across the stream where the beaver was very active earlier this winter, in Enterprise Park. However, it is easily seen from our side. Chris and Mike waded across the stream (I clambered across on fallen tree trunks) determined that the tree was a bitternut hickory, measured it and checked the current record listing for that species – and we have yet another county Champion  tree not quite on Collington land!

tree2Bitternut with sign

Chris and Mike placed plaques designating both champion trees on stakes at the foot of the trees, facing Collington viewers. Both trees remind us of Jane Engle, whose love for trees inspires all who worked with her.  If you walk the woodland trail behind the 5000’s, look for the new sign there and, if you are nimble, ramble down our side of the stream and see if you can spot the big tree just across the water!

Introducing “The Landing”

We have all been waiting for the opening of “The Landing” with great anticipation.  Indeed we have now received invitations for group tastings in the near future.  So we thought folks might be interested in seeing how our chefs are developing the recipes and learning the techniques to ensure the food is mouthwatering.

Disclaimer:  The videography standard is not nearly up to the demonstrated cooking standard.  This is my first venture into videography and we can all blame Richard Zorza for the loan of his video cam and the accompanying lessons he gave me.




A History of African American Hospitals in the U.S.

By Dr. Bud Gardiner

Join resident Dr. Bud Gardiner on February 15th at 2 pm in the Auditorium for this fascinating program.  Sponsored by the Health Services Committee.


The health of African slaves was an issue concerning slave-holders but there was no organized attention paid to this issue.  In 1832, the Georgia General Assembly established a hospital “for the relief and protection of afflicted and aged Africans”.  Thus, the Georgia Infirmary was built south of Savannah. Over the years approximately 200 hospitals were established for black citizens under the auspices of governments, a variety of charitable organizations and groups of African American citizens and physicians. They were often tied to medical and nursing education. The bulk of them, of course, was in the southern states and had varying lengths of survival. With the impact of economic and social influences, (especially racial integration) only one such hospital remains. Their history provides a fascinating glimpse of an oppressed but resourceful segment of our population.


Where Exactly is this Garden?


At the Landing of course.

the landing

Sometime during the week of 2/26 to 3/2, the long-awaited “Landing” will open.   You can expect your senses to be delighted.  Not only will you experience great tastes and aromas, but no end of consideration has gone into sights and should I say lack of sounds.

One unique treasure is the Garden on the Wall.  The idea was imported from Europe and is now used by many large and famous businesses to enhance their headquarters.  One look and you will understand why.  It does indeed turn our Patio area (where the terrace used to exist) into a bright tranquil space.  Large windows and skylights enhance this atmosphere.

There are “cloud” baffling, sound absorbing wall panels and even the purple sprayed ceilings aid with noise reduction.  The energy-efficient LED dimmable, motion sensor lighting with multiple zones and timers is state of the art.

SONY DSCChris awaiting furniture.

There will be separate sections in the Landing that will also be available for cozy group meals as well as the ability to open the spaces to the max.  These include the dining room adjacent to the kitchen, French doors leading to the Patio, and a Banquette area adjacent to the patio.   Total capacity will be 70 – 80 people.  Coat racks and scooter parking are readily available.


Rob and avRob Reigle fine-tuning the wireless projector and screen.

The Landing will be overseen by our culinary team including Chris, Taimi, and Ana.  Interviews are taking place for an internal promotion for a supervisor, and Mark Thompson will be promoted to sous chef.

Now on to the food.   You can expect a dining experience that will include an extensive menu from which you order food at a counter or even on a stand-alone computer, fill your own drink and then seat yourself.   You will be served your silverware and food.

The menu will include appetizers including Oven Baked Four Cheese mac and cheese, Flatbreads, salads, fresh made sandwiches, soups and combos.  Pizzas from our own wood stone pizza oven, burgers, pasta, rack of lamb, hickory plank salmon, and rib eye steak are all on the menu.  And of course decadent desserts.  Everything will be made to order and there will be many gluten-free options.

SONY DSCChris explaining our pizza oven that can bake six 12 inch pizzas at one time.

There is also a “grab and go” section that will include pre-made salads, sandwiches, yogurts, parfaits, drinks, etc. for those who want a quick bite to go.

Available for your drinking pleasure is a Barista’s Corner with specialty coffees and complimentary regular or decaf coffee and tea.  Premium wine and homemade Collington beer, as well as Coca-Cola products and specialty soft drinks, will be available.

The Landing is planning a “soft” opening, where breakfast will be the first meal available.  Afterwards, small groups will be invited to preview lunches and dinners.  This will allow the staff to ensure all mechanical functions are working, the staff is properly trained, and any initial problems remedied.  We must all be patient – the best is on the horizon – landing soon!

Photos by Sandy Short and Lois Brown