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    About CKAR CDC

    Our Mission

    To promote the social, environmental and economic development of Greater Riverdale.

    CKAR Board Members

    Transforming Our Community

    • Better Lives

    • Better Communities

    • Better Businesses

    East Riverdale/Beacon Heights Steering Advisory Committee

    Board Members

    • Dennis R. Nola, President, PLA, RLA

    • Alice M. Bishop, Vice-President

    • John Arrington, 2nd Vice-President

    • Sharon W. Wertz, Secretary

    • Thomas L. Wertz, Jr., Treasurer

    • Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, At-Large Advisory Member

    • Patricia Hayes-Parker, Executive Director

    • Honorable David J. Lingua, Vice- Mayor, Town of Riverdale Park Member

    • Lisa Butler McDougal, At-Large Member

    • Sister Carmen Soto, At-Large Member

    • Melvin L. Allen Jr., Esq, At-Large Member

    • Janet Townshend, At-Large

    Our board members are committed volunteers that demonstrate an understanding of the community in which we live and serve. The board has approved effective management policies that are actively monitored by executive staff to effectively and efficiently fulfill its mission.

    Annual Report

    Grow Green

    • CKAR has partnered with Chesapeake Bay Trust, The Neighborhood Design Center, the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, and Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA in an effort to create a more healthy environment for all of our communities. Large shade and small understory trees, as well as shrubs [including fruit bushes] are available for free. This includes planting in designated location(s) on your property.

    • Residents and businesses in and around Riverdale, Riverdale Park, Eastpines, Templeton Knolls, Beacon Heights, Bladensburg, the Port Towns, Woodlawn, and Lanham communities are eligible to receive these free trees.

    • Benefits of trees include:

      • Improved air quality
      • Increased property value
      • Increased business traffic and value
      • Decreased stormwater runoff
      • Cooler community
      • Increased immunity
      • More physical activity by residents
      • Better mental health and lower stress
      • Improved cognitive performance in children
    • Each tree recipient will also receive a home lighting kit consisting of light bulb assortment and power strip.

    • To view our Spring 2021 Tree Selection Guide, click on this link

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    • To request up to 3 free trees, click on this link

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    • CKAR Grow Green Program Tree Care Guide English

    • CKAR Grow Green Program Tree Care Guide Spanish


    Edmonston Road Rain Garden


    Greater Riverdale Cares Restaurant Meal Program

    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are going hungry. Several of our locally owned restaurants are also struggling to stay open and in many cases have had to lay off their employees. In partnership with Route 1 Communities Care [hyperlink to Feed Route 1 web page] and District 3, CKAR has created Greater Riverdale Cares. We provide small, locally-owned restaurants with a stipend to cook nutritious meals that are then distributed to residents at sites serving our local communities.

    • Sites served: SEED, St. Jerome’s, St. Mark’s, LAYC, United Methodist Church, Attick Towers, Parkview Gardens, Oak Ridge Apartments.

    • Restaurants served: Denizens, Dumm’s, Riviera Tapas, Banana Blossom, Shortcake Bakery, Hanami, Emerita’s, Marathon Deli, Pizza Roma, Krazi Kebob


    Business Empowerment

    Since late 2020 CKAR has partnered with PLCC and LEDC to inform and register businesses along Greater Riverdale on grant and loan opportunities offered by the federal and local government during the COVID crisis.

    From late January to mid-February CKAR’s Business Development Specialist, Imari Alvarez, and Manuel Ocho from PLCC walked along Kenilworth Avenue to inform businesses about registering for the second PPP Loan. With our efforts, 20 businesses were able to register for the PPP loan through our partner LEDC. If you are interested in registering your business through LEDC go to ledcmetro.org or email jrivas@ledcmetro.org. LEDC closes their registration on March 23, however, if you already have a lender the federal loan closes on March 31.

    With CKAR’s interest in keeping our businesses in Greater Riverdale, we have been in continuous meetings with PLCC Small Business Action Team. From these meetings, CKAR was appointed as one of the lead Co-chair of the Placed-Based Management team. Our work in the team is to assist in creating an action plan that illustrates the framework of a Main Street in the Riverdale community as well as initiating a plan to have our businesses develop an online presence if they are absent of one or a stronger one if they do.


    Community Resource Center

    In partnership with Advantage Properties, CKAR CDC is serving as a community consultant in the development of a community resource center. This center will be located on the former Police Barracks site as part of a new housing development. The center will welcome people to the community and provide services and information to empower residents.


    Health Outreach

    • CKAR is excited to be working with Luminis Health to provide COVID vaccinations and other health services to the community. Doctors from Luminis are providing information sessions on the COVID vaccine to address questions and we are partnering to bring mobile clinic events to different parts of Greater Riverdale.

    • On March 23rd, we successfully vaccinated 100 seniors 65 and our first mobile vaccination event held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Riverdale Park, Maryland. Participants completed our COVID Vaccine Pre-Registration form online and were given an appointment. There is currently a wait list of 100 other seniors desiring to be vaccinated.

    • Seniors were willing to display signs after being vaccinated telling why they received the vaccinated.

    • Plans are currently being made for another clinic in April or May.


    Making Place Visioning for Greater Riverdale

    CKAR has partnered with students at the University of Maryland, Department of Architecture. Professor Ronit Eisenbach and her students at the “Making Place Studio”, are canvassing the area and assisting with reaching businesses to provide valuable information that could improve their business processes. In May 2020 the students were able to create and present mobile resource hubs that would be placed in pop-up areas in the community.  These mobile hubs were created to address the goals of kinship, stable futures, safety, and streets that were presented in The Neighborhood Design Center’s Greater Riverdale Place-Based Initiative, Visioning, and Outreach Report. A copy of what the students presented is noted below as “UMD Architecture Students Resource Hub Booklet”. CKAR is actively pursuing grant opportunities to bring these mobile vans to fruition.

    This spring the Making Place Studio will continue its work in helping CKAR and the Purple Line Corridor Coalition, by developing creative ideas to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, while safely building the community along Kenilworth Avenue. These ideas all circle the concept of creating a virtual and physical map that highlights all the businesses along the corridor. This map will showcase the progression of the corridor by presenting graphics of the past, present, and possible future. They will also design structures that will allow more people to visit restaurants in the area and create signage that will allow people to share these businesses through Instagram and other social media outlets.

    More information about this project is coming soon.

    UMD Architecture Students Resource Hub Booklet

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      Contact Information

      Send us a message to request more information about our various programs and services.

      • (240) 608-CKAR
      • 240-770-4938 (fax)
      • 6801 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 203
        Riverdale Park, Maryland 20737