Photo credit: Golshan Jalali, UMD Office of Community Engagement

On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, over 35 members of the College Park community came together to “unveil” a mural on the underpass walls of the Baltimore Avenue bridge over the Paint Branch stream. This included people representing and from the City of College Park, the Lakeland Community Heritage Project, the University of Maryland, the UMD Office of Community Engagement, the College Park Arts Exchange, and M-NCPPC.

Remarks were made by City-University Partnership Executive Director, Eric Olson, City of College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Lakeland Community Heritage Project Chair, Maxine Gross, and Office of Community Engagement Director, Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell.

The mural, named “A Path Forward,” celebrates the past and future of the Lakeland community and its connection to the university campus, including historical images of people from Lakeland supplied by the Lakeland Community Heritage Project. Its background features images of the Paint Branch and the natural environment. “This is an important part of what the Lakeland Community Heritage Project is doing – to memorialize and celebrate the community’s history.” To learn about specific images on the mural, please visit the Lakeland Community Heritage Project’s website: The opposite wall features a colorful, artistic design, which was completed by students from the University’s College Park Scholars.

As Mayor Wojahn, remarked, “It is amazing to visualize the Lakeland Community’s connection to the University – it’s really important history, heritage and this is a total transformation for residents of College Park and for all the users of this trail as well. It really changes the way this trail feels.”

The “Paint Branch Bridge” is at the heart of the bustling mid-town of College Park – at the intersection of the UMD Hotel and Conference Center, Brendan Iribe Center, The Clark School of Engineering, the Varsity and University View apartments, the Cambria Hotel, the Lakeland Heritage area and more. And with increased activity at this location, adding art that reflects the history of the community is important.

Completing this mural was a collaborative effort, and as Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell put it, “This is what community engagement looks like.” The design was completed by Christine Wilkin, a Roosevelt High School arts teacher, and David Silva, a local artist who graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Once a design was complete, a lead artist team comprised of David Silva, Bonnie Simonds, a local M-NCPPC artist, and Sierra Sigmone, a University of Maryland Art Student, led a team of student artists working through an M-NCPPC Area Operations Program. The student artist group was led by crew leader Parker Brock and included local area high school students and recent high school graduates Rebekah Chung, Jamie Rogers-Sites, Victoria Lewis, Jazmyne Brock and Rachel Hithon.

This work was supported by grants from the Maryland Department of Housing and Development Nonprofit Assistance Fund, the College Park Community Foundation, the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, and M-NCPPC. And as Eric Olson stated, “we truly thank our partners and funders in this project. This couldn’t  have been done without their strong support.”


Hyattsville Wire 8-28-2018

Maryland Today 8-28-2018

Video of Student Artists at work 7-17-2018

Partnership’s documentation of the mural project Spring-Summer 2018

The making of the Paint Branch Bridge Mural

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Paint Branch Bridge Mural

Paint Branch Bridge Mural