Category Archives: Grounds

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.

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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.

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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.

Improvements on the Cemetery Trail

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For many months members of the Weed Warriors (previously “Lakes and Trails”) have been requesting repairs to the trail leading to the grave-sites that has become rutted over the years.  Finally, a crew from Ruppert Landscape, guided by Kyle Olson, a recent addition to the Collington Staff, has now constructed new runners and gravel leveling at critical points.  Many thanks are due to Jacob Kijne, who provided expert advise for the placement of runners to divert water runoff. Weed Warriors have since then covered particularly muddy spots with hay matting.  Hopefully the trail will remain easy to tread even after rainy days.  The final leg of the project awaits the completion of the Landing, our new restaurant, at which time tailings from the construction road will be reutilized to cover the remaining problematic areas.

Click here for a PowerPoint Guide of the complete trail, courtesy of Dorothy Yuan.

The Collington Road Warriors — Resurfacing Continues

From our photo correspondent Marian Fuchs, some nice photos and explanation:

This morning the crew have been paving the path behind our house.  I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of the men and equipment at work.  It’s precision work, and fun to watch their expertise.

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Here’s a pic of the crew paving behind our house.  I was particularly impressed by the fact that this driver could do his rolling backwards as well as forwards!

Full set:

The Collington Silt Warriors

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Karen Boyce launched our reporting on the silt amelioration project with this photo and the below information about the group that is spearheading the work:

The Clean Water Partnership is a Public-Private Partnership (P3) between Prince George’s County and Corvias. The CWP is the first of its kind to design, build, finance, operate and maintain urban stormwater infrastructure to meet MS4 regulatory requirements and is committed to retrofit up to 4,000 impervious acres.

Please visit www.thecleanwaterpartnership.com to learn more about this innovative partnership.

So your investigative team, soil and water expert Jacob Kijne and I, wandered down and gathered more provisional information — and some more photos, about this important work.

The idea is that the incoming silt-laden water is slowed down by the rocks, and drops its load of silt into the area between the inlet and the rocks.  The rocks, by the way, are kept in “cages” of PVC coated cable, so the containers will not rot.  Every few years, the trapped silt can easily then be removed.  The rocks will be much less visible than now, since they should be largely covered by water one water is allowed back into the lake.

Obviously, we can not plant trees directly onto the rocks, but maybe we will be able to think of some ways that we can use the new feature as an opportunity.  Maybe we need a “Lake Group,” just like we have a “Courtyard Group.”  Time for some Collington creativity.  Part of the opportunity is to think about how we can apply the emerging goal and value themes of the strategic planning process to an exploration of the lake’s potential — boat trips for staff kids, sustaining our water?  Educational programs from our experts?  More ideas?  It is perfect that our new horticulturalist will be onboard soon and can help us think about the relationship between our values and our landscape resources.

More photos:

 

 

 

Marian’s Photo Essay on “Inanimate Animals of Collington: Summer 2017”

Last year we published pictures of some of the inanimate creatures with whom we share our campus. There was an occasional complaint that a given animal had been overlooked, and others seem to have come wandering in, to nestle quietly under some available shade…

The inanimate creatures are as varied as their animate cousins. They have all kinds of different shapes and temperaments. This summer it seems we’ve had quite an influx of calm and slow-moving turtles and dragonflies…

Some creatures are are far more in-your-face assertive…

Some are pale, sleepy, shy or just quiet…

While others are more colorful, but nestled in vegetation…

And some are just happy to be together.

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After the publication of the recent batch of photos, we were surprised and delighted to be sent additions — the first three pictures below are by Shirley Denman. We were directed to additional locations by several other residents, and following their guidance, discovered many more. So here are pictures of yet more sweet, serene or slightly sinister creatures, now living silently in the shadows of our cottages.

Nestled among foliage, it was hard to spot these happy cats and this solemn dog. And we might never have known about the magnificent driftwood lion below, if Alice Nicolson hadn’t clued us to its location in the Arbor garden.

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The first batch of pictures has inspired another photographer, who is out and about with his camera these days, adding to the collection. Both of us will continue publishing our discoveries as they are uncovered.   Meantime, enjoy a few more…

The owner of the cute critter on the far right (who also owns the watchful heron) says it’s an otter, and no doubt she is right; but to us it looks quite like a meerkat too…

This set ends with (left) something special that its owner calls a ‘prairie Buddha’. The owner of the bird on the right tells us it’s a quail. It’s certainly handsome.

Remember, along with any other outdoor friends we find, images of the inanimate animals living in the corridors of the apartments will be coming later this summer!