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Civic Involvement and Good Health

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by Ann Ferguson

The Washington Post, in its May 28 issue, reported on a study conducted over the past decade by the Harvard Center for Society and Health. The study found a direct link between how you feel/how well you are and how many social ties you have.

The Harvard study used national survey data collected by the University of Chicago's Opinion Research Center. Researchers found a direct correlation between people who belonged to voluntary associations and their level of good health compared to relatively isolated individuals.

We are well aware of the benefit volunteers working in town organizations bring to our community. Now there is persuasive evidence that the volunteers themselves benefit from the good work they do.

Benefits to the town over the past year directly connected to the civic involvement of volunteers are:

  • Recreation Board events for children, including Riverdale Park Day.
  • Farmer's Market at Town Center.
  • Riversdale Historical Society improvements at the mansion.
  • Riverdale Business Association support of town programs.
  • Riverdale Preservation Association Historic District survey.
  • Veterans Committee dedication of the Veterans Monument.
  • Parent Teacher Association assistance at the Elementary School, including initiation of a uniform policy.
  • Boys & Girls Club athletic programs.
  • Riverdale Lions Club summer camp grants.

  • Crescent Cities Center volunteer assistance to patients.
  • Traffic Study Committee recommendations for traffic calming.
  • Architectural Standards Committee formulation of guidelines.
  • Riverdale Seniors Club meetings and field trips.

The above is an impressive list of opportunities that improve the health of our community life at all age levels. It is satisfying to know there is a plus side for the volunteers who improve our town while enjoying better health as a result of their efforts.

If you are interested in being part of any of the town's volunteer organizations, leave your name and telephone number at the town office (301/927-6381).

Development Threatens Route One Corridor

Eckerd Drugs (owned by J. C. Penney) proposes to purchase five properties in the 6200 block of Baltimore Avenue to construct a 10,800 square foot building. This proposal violates the recommendations of the revitalization plan adopted in 1993, by the town and the Park and Planning Commission, after many meetings with residents and business owners

Over the past seven years, the town has worked aggressively to obtain grants from federal and state sources to implement many phases of the revitalization plan and, combined with town and private funding, an outlay of more than a million dollars has been invested. Eckerd has been informed that the town will oppose this development. We will urge Park and Planning to join us in this opposition.

Update: After the print edition was mailed, I found out about a new town group organized to oppose this development. You can find out more about this group, CARE, by looking at their web page on this site.

This page was last changed on Sunday, June 11, 2000. Questions, comments, or submissions? See the Website Committee web page. This page has been accessed 4691 times.