In 2018, CHEER conducted listening sessions with residents on Maple Avenue in Takoma Park which stirred interest in bringing residents together to support each other and address pressing concerns. Out of that, Enku Woldmedhin, assisted by a CHEER Community Health Worker, Anthea Levy, organized the Maple Tree Group. With CHEER’s help, the group applied for a neighborhood events grant through Montgomery County. With those funds, the Maple Tree Group organized and hosted a picnic on October 19 at Opal Daniels Park.
35 adults and almost 50 children attended. Although most of the attendees were from the Ethiopian Community on Maple Avenue, there were also residents from Mali, China, and Guam and other places. The event brought neighbors together in a relaxed social atmosphere to share food and conversation while the children played in a safe space. The Maple Tree Group even arranged for a Moon Bounce.
We feel this event was a huge success in bringing neighbors together and building community. The Maple Tree Group looks forward to planning more activities with their Maple Avenue neighbors.