Community Newsletter
Local Masons working on MLK Jr. Service Day at Non-Profit Organization, Community Forklift in  Edmonston, MD. 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
CKAR Volunteers Serve 4 Area Projects

On January 19th, Over 65 volunteers assisted CKAR on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to honor Dr. King's remarkable legacy through service at four area non profit organizations:  Community Crisis Center, Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development Inc., Community Forklift and The East Pines Community Association of East Riverdale, MD.
Prince George's County Community College Students, Local Masons, College Park Junior Tennis Champions, Individuals and Family groups all pitched in to help! CKAR is also especially thankful for the partnership with Prince Georges Community College this year in making Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service "A Day On, Not a Day Off." 

Together we were able to pack numerous "warm nights " kits for the homeless, paint the interior of the East Pines Community Center, aid in organizing sustainable materials at Community Forklift and help renovate the new food pantry at Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development, Inc.  

Each of these organizations strives to help the community through various community services and projects on a daily basis and welcomes your willingness to volunteer at any time of the year! Please click on the organizational link below if you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about their services.  

East Pines Community Association, Contact President, John Arrington at 1jarring@gmail.com

PGCC Students
Junior Tennis Champions
Central Kenilworth Avenue  Revitalization CDC /East Pines Community Association  Members


Riverdale Pedestrian Safety Committee Update   

The Pedestrian Safety Working Group for the Riverdale Area has met several times following the tragedy that occurred in September with a mother, Thelma Flores, who lost her life and her three-year old daughter who occurred several injuries. CKAR is very pleased to report that the daughter has successfully gone through rehabilitation and, is now at home with the family.  Some of the actions taken and identified by the committee to make the Riverdale area safer for pedestrians are:         

                                                                                                                                                                                                               * Temporary safety trailers with message boards will be stationed along 410 and 201 providing pedestrian safety messages.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                               * A new 4-way traffic signal has been approved and will be installed at 58th Ave. & Riverdale Road.   


* An MOA has been signed allowing police to enforce the speed limit of 35mph from the current 40mph.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * TNI in partnership with Park and Planning will work with Prince George's County Public Schools over the next two months to deliver pedestrian safety programming in the schools. The initiative will be launched at the next TNI meeting on January 6, 2015.    


* SHA has installed/upgraded pedestrian crossing warning signs at all marked crosswalks.

* A corridor lighting study will be conducted in January to evaluate/upgrade necessary lighting along 410 and 201.

* Bus Stop locations will be evaluated with WMATA and The BUS; low performing stops may be moved or eliminated.                                                                                                                                                                                  

These are just a few of the items the Working Group has evaluated, researched and begun to develop an action plan to ensure pedestrian safety of the community.  CKAR will provide updates on this very important issue in our area that we believe needs immediate and continued focus for citizen safety and traffic improvement. 

CKAR's Vision 2015 and Beyond
CKAR Reflects on its Vision for 2015 and Beyond
Every great organization takes time each year to evaluate its Stregths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A very common analysis called "SWOT." Just like a police operation with the same name, an organization  swoops in to answer through stringent evaluation the question of Who are we and Where do we want to go? On the last day of January 2015, CKAR held a Visioning Session to reflect on its past accomplishments and we arrived at observations and plans that will take us farther into 2015 and beyond. Our strategy is community driven and as always planted in "Vision with Action." 

CKAR was founded in 2007 with the mission to bring together a diverse multi-lingual community to promote the social, business and economic interests of the Riverdale Community. That very year, through partnership with the University of Maryland Architectural Students ,the organization engaged in design plans and landscaping projects for Kenilworth Avenue. That project included numerous improvement concepts for the Corridor and addressed community issues of concern with ideas and projects. This work and the document still speaks to the capacity,courage and care that CKAR demonstrates in its community work. Many of the projects listed are still in need of addressing today, but  are largely  in motion due to CKAR's increased visibility in the area via organizational infrastructure and commitment of its board members.  In just three short years, CKAR was able to establish itself as a 501c3 organization and now maintains a level of sustainable credibility in the community. 

Today, CKAR is involved in workforce development/training via partnership with Prince George's Community College/TBA (PGCC). We have begun planning efforts to establish a "Back To Work" - The Purple Line job readiness/workforce training program for residents in Riverdale and nearby communities.   CKAR's role will be to reach out to all residents, provide in-take, interview, assessment and job readiness services at the University of Maryland (UM) Center for Educational Partnership Building in Riverdale. This program will promote the mastery of new job related knowledge and skills for unemployed residents required to build and operate The Purple Line transportation system. 


CKAR is planning to partner with Casa de Maryland and St. Bernard de Clairvaux Catholic Church to renovate a private school gymnasium to become an Empowerment Training Center to serve Riverdale's day laborer population. $265,000 has been raised through State and County funding.


CKAR maintains a database of all businesses in 20737; coordinates meetings for local businesses bringing owners and county officials together to discuss resources, programs, tools for growth, address challenges, opportunities and events.


CKAR serves on District 22 and County Police Work Groups to address crime reduction, prevention and pedestrian safety in Riverdale.


CKAR is partnering with Public Works & Transportation and the UM Landscape Architecture/Community Design Studio, to convert a former dumping ground to a Sustainable Rain Garden at Kenilworth Avenue and Edmonston Road in Spring 2015. $50,000 is committed.


CKAR completed the "Sustainable Communities" Application via partnership with M-NCPPC/Prince George's Planning Department and the Town of Riverdale Park by convening two workshops (in November 2014 and December 2014) with community stakeholders to develop an application to Maryland's DHCD/Neighborhood Revitalization for Greater Riverdale to become a Sustainable Community. Application Submitted February 2015. This is a very important designation that will open up doors for our community non-profits and businesses to have the opportunity to apply for state grants and low interest loans. 

Become A Member!
Now you can learn more about CKAR's community development plans and how to get involved by visiting our New Website at CKARCDC.org, follow us on Twitter@CKARCDC or friend us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CKARCDC20737. To speak with CKAR, please contact us at 240-608-CKAR.  

Riverdale Civic Association :

Riverdale Heights/Riverdale Hills and Crestwood Civic Association: Next Meeting, March 14th at 11am at The Center for Educational Partnership, located at 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale, Md 20737. Please contact Cindy Daymont  at cindydaymont@yahoo.com.
Templeton Knolls Civic Association: 

Templeton Knolls Civic Association (TKCA), Call Alice Bishop at 301-927-3603 

Eastpines Civic Association: Please Contact John Arrington at 1jarring@gmail.com.  

Community Happenings
February 2015

  • Wednesdays, SEED Food Pantry open from 12-3, located at 6201 Riverdale Road, enter building through back door
  • Foreclosure Counseling and Home Buyer Education available locally through the following agencies: Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development 301-458-9808 and Centro de Apoyo Familiar 301-328-3292. 
  • Youth Development Programming and ESOL Education, GapBuster, Inc., Riverdale, MD. 301-779-4252
  • ESOL Education, Templeton Elementary School, Riverdale, MD, 301-985-1880

CKAR's membership consists of residents and leaders representing various local industries; including, education, business, non-profit, religious, legal, civic associations and more.  Our mission is to bring together a diverse multi-lingual community to promote the social, economic and business interests of the Riverdale community. 

Join by calling 240-608-CKAR (2527) or emailing info@ckarcdc.org.