For the past six weeks, we have encouraged local eating in College Park by awarding 10 gift cards to randomly selected participants each Thursday. Last week, we concluded our Gift Card Giveaway program with one final round of restaurants and question of the week. While our previous questions had asked participants to choose their ideal restaurant for various scenarios, our concluding question allowed participants to recognize other special areas of College Park as well. The question was: “President Loh is retiring this week… Which College Park spot would you take him to as a thank you for his years of service to the university and community?”
As we mentioned last week, the top answers included Taqueria Habanero, College Park Grill, and The Board and Brew. However, while restaurants consumed the majority of answers, a few participants thought beyond the dining scene, suggesting some of College Park’s beautiful outdoor spots instead.
Lake Artemesia, which is surrounded by several trails of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System, was mentioned by two different participants. During the warm months, this lake is a beautiful spot to jog, bike, picnic, and enjoy nature. Similarly, another participant mentioned Paint Branch Trail, which runs along the lake. This participant wrote that she would take President Loh for a stroll along the trail because “it is so serene and a wonderful way to celebrate our commitment to the environment, smart growth, and community.”
Finally, another participant suggested the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance at the UMD Memorial Chapel. This garden was created as a space for the campus community to relax and escape everyday demands, and participant Beth says that she would take President Loh to its labyrinth. As an age-old form of meditation, labyrinths are a space for individuals to walk while contemplating whatever is on their mind, which may be the perfect way for one to reflect on their time in College Park.
These outdoor areas of College Park are especially beautiful in the summer, and with physical distancing still very important, perhaps customers might like to enjoy their next local takeout meal at one of these spots. As restaurants begin to reopen their dining rooms, we encourage residents of the area to keep supporting the local businesses as much as possible. However, by continuing to order takeout, customers can appreciate some of the local scenery while protecting the health of employees. In the current state of the world, supporting and looking out for one another remains incredibly important, which is why we have loved seeing the participation and enthusiasm from everyone who entered our giveaways.