Category Archives: Local Resources

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!

Collingtonian Article on our “Pre-History” Raises Questions about Next Steps

Occasionally, this blog draws attention to articles in our sister publication, the Collingtonian. Peggy Latimer’s piece in the January 2018 issue is deserving of such focus. The piece, tells the history of slaves here at Collington, to the minimal extent that it can be reconstructed from wills and other documents. The story is particular present, because of the graves up on the hill, including one of Basil Warring, who had “inherited” ten slaves from his father.


It is, of course, deeply shaming for a white person to read, and I think Peggy gets just the right combination of factual clarity and respectful perspective:

Marsham’s 1730 will listed them. All but one, however, were identified only by first name [spelling and punctuation through- out are as written in the original documents]: “One Negro Man named Caceour One Negro Man named Hercules one Negro Man named George One Negro Woman named Moll One Mulatto Boy named Charles One Mulatto boy called Robin One Negro Boy named Will Bulger One Mulatto Girl named Sarah One Mulatto Girl named Cate one Negro girl named Lucy and their Increase”

Peggy notes at the end, “With much research, we may be able to learn more of the history of these people. At the very least, shouldn’t we be honoring those enslaved persons who lived and labored on the land where we all now reside?” At the very minimum we should find public ways to recognize and honor that we enjoy the legacy of the labor of their forced and denied lives. Without in any way suggesting equivalence, the need to remember and honor reminds me that a few years ago, I went with my Polish Holocaust surviving aunt to a gymnasium (high school) in Mainz Germany, and for our visit, as part of a larger group, they had put up a mounted display of The Holocaust in Mainz, including a map showing locations.


Here is a photo of my aunt with some of the display. The kids were deeply respectful and attentive.

Surely we can try to do as much.

Indeed, there must be much else that we could do, that not only reminds of the past, but steers us for the future in these apparently anti-historical times.

Volunteer Opportunities

Dave Montgomery has put together a rather comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities both at Collington and in greater Prince George’s County. You can find this list under the Getting Around tab –> Volunteer Opportunities. Or click here to see the page now!

Thanks Dave!


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