February 15th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Harper's Choice Board Meet and Greet
February 24th
Curious about how Harper's Choice  Community Association  works? Have questions or ideas about how to improve our neighborhoods?  We would love to introduce ourselves over coffee and donuts and hear from you  directly .  Please meet up with us at the Harper's Choice  Village  Dunkin Donuts from 8-10am on February 24.
HCCA Board of Directors Meeting
April 3, 2018
During the Tuesday, April 3, 2018, HCCA Board of Directors meeting beginning at 7:00 pm at Kahler Hall, a representative(s) from Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman's office will be present to answer and address any questions or concerns that the Board and community may have.  As always, the Board meetings are open and we encourage residents to attend and participate in the meetings and this meeting is no exception.  Regardless of your availability to attend, if you have any questions or concerns that you wish to convey to Executive Kittleman's staff, please email them to Village Manager Steve Ingley at  manager@harperschoice.org  in advance of the meeting to ensure that they have adequate time to involve their subject matter experts should it be necessary.  We hope to see you on April 3!
Board Elections are Coming and We Need You!

Have you considered volunteering your time on behalf of your community? The current two-year terms of office for two Village Board seats and the Columbia Association Council Representative seat expire on April 30, 2018. Village Board members attend one meeting a month where they oversee village finances, advise and take action on such matters as street and house maintenance, and advocate for changes that will benefit Harper's Choice. The Columbia Association Council Representative serves on the Village Board as an ex officio (non-voting) member and also serves as a voting member of the Columbia Association's Board of Directors.  The nomination period runs from March 1 - March 14, 2018 .  Information and nomination petitions will be available at Kahler Hall and for download on our website  on March 1; a maximum 150-word CANDIDATE'S STATEMENT is due at Kahler Hall by 5:00 pm on March 14.  The STATEMENTS may be emailed to manager@harperschoice.org , preferably in a MS Word document.    For more information, contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or via email.

HCCA is looking for volunteers to help us count ballots on Election Day, Saturday, April 28 at 3:00 pm at Kahler Hall.  If you are available and would like to assist the Election Monitor Committee with this task, please contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or via email.

Columbia Association (CA) will host two information sessions in February for those who are considering serving the Columbia community by seeking an opportunity to become a member of CA's Board of Directors.

The sessions will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7pm and Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10am, both at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, located off  Steve ns Forest Road and Broken Land Parkway.

CA's Board of Directors has 11 members - one representative from each of Columbia's 10 villages plus CA's President/CEO. Representatives from the villages serve either a one- or two-year term, depending upon each village's bylaws. In late April 2018, six villages will hold elections for their representative to the CA Board of Directors: Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown, Town Center and Wilde Lake.

Pursuing election may not be a simple decision, and CA recognizes that potential candidates may have questions or need information before filing the necessary forms. Potential candidates are encouraged to attend and learn more about Columbia Association, the role of its board members and how service on the board impacts the community. The goal of the sessions is to have a conversation with residents, including addressing their questions about this opportunity so they can make an informed decision about seeking a seat on CA's Board of Directors.
HCCA's  55 & Better Lunch & Movie 
Monday, February 19th Noon - 3pm
Searching For Spring Egg Hunt Tickets Now Available 
At Kahler Hall
Kahler Hall
5440 Old Tucker Row

The Annual Searching For Spring Egg Hunt, co-sponsored by the Villages of Columbia, will be held on Saturday, April 14 from 
10 -11:30am at the Columbia Sports Park in the Harper's Choice Village Center, located at 5453 Harper's Farm Road. No admittance permitted after 10:45AM. 

When: April 14, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
Where: Columbia Sports Park, 5677 Harpers Farm Rd, Columbia, MD 21044, USA
10AM Crafts; 10:45AM Egg Hunt
Ladies Night Out

HoCo Office of Community Sustainability

Hydro Heroes Focus on Saving Water
Members of the Office of Community Sustainability had the opportunity to meet and hear from a fourth grade all-girls robotics team, Hydro Heroes, from Howard County, MD. The team participates in the FIRST Lego League, which presents a challenge each year for teams to solve. This year's theme is HydroDynamics, and the challenge is to improve the way people find, transport, use or dispose of water.
After some research, the team invented an innovative shower head attachment, the ShowerHero, to help people become aware of their water usage and encourage them to conserve water. The ShowerHero allows you to set a shower time goal, and displays the duration of and how many gallons of water you use for each shower. Their hope is that once people understand how much water they are using, they'll commit to shortening their showers to conserve water and in the process, save money through lower water bills too! Check out this  video on the ShowerHero to learn more.
In January, the team participated in the regional tournament where the ShowerHero was nominated for the "Global Innovation Award" and the team advanced to the state championship which will be held at the end of February. The Office of Community Sustainability is proud to have these young innovators representing Howard County!

County Seeks Nominees for Awards
The Howard County Department of Public Works' Bureau of Environmental Services has announced that nomination forms are available for its inaugural "Business Recycling and Waste Reduction" and "Green Community Leadership" awards. Deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 28.
The Business Recycling and Waste Reduction Award recognizes Howard County businesses for their recycling and waste reduction efforts during calendar year 2017. Work Green certified businesses are encouraged to apply. The Green Community Leadership Award recognizes a community group or organization that demonstrates efforts, projects or programs that help protect Howard County's natural environment and preserve its resources. This award is open to community groups and organizations that are based in Howard County.
Nomination forms and more details are available at  www.HowardCountyRecycles.org. For more information, or to request a nomination form in an alternate format, contact the Bureau of Environmental Services at 410-313-6444. 
For information about the Work Green program, visit  www.WorkGreenHoward.org. For information about GreenFest, visit  www.hcgreenfest.org . 

Native Plant Passport
Created by Sonia He, a high school intern with Howard Community College's Office of Sustainability, the "Native Plant Passport" is now being adopted by Howard County's Clean Water Howard program.
The goal of the passport is to encourage Howard County residents to purchase and plant more native plants. These plants provide many benefits including supporting local wildlife, conserving water, demanding less pesticide and fertilizer, requiring less maintenance and more. The passport includes 14 native plants that benefit a variety of species and will look great in your garden!
To participate, please obtain a passport at   CleanWaterHoward.com. Mix and match any 10 plants in the passport, completing the back cover as you go. You can redeem your completed passport at  GreenFest 2018 at Howard Community College or email a copy of the completed passport to Julie Costantino at  jcostantino@howardcountymd.gov by June 30, 2018. Those completing passports will receive coupons offering discounts to local nurseries and garden supply stores, including Lauren's Garden Service, Lowe's, and Sun Nurseries

Watershed Improvement Network Meeting 
March 16, 2018, 1-3, Miller Library
The Watershed Improvement Network (WIN) meets twice a year to share information about local projects and to network. Representatives of local watershed groups and interested individuals are welcome to attend.

The March 16th meeting will feature a presentation about the  Green Infrastructure Network (GIN) which consists of large natural areas known as "hubs" connected by "corridors." Together, these connected ecosystems provide for plants and animals but also provide services to the human community -- such as cleaning air and water, controlling pests, mitigating floods, pollinating crops, and providing recreational opportunities. The economic value of these services total well into the billions of dollars per year in Maryland alone. These naturally-occurring services are better provided when ecosystems are connected, giving us a landscape-wide value which the Green Infrastructure Network aims to preserve and enhance.

After the presentation, there will be time for short updates about local watershed projects and open networking. As an added bonus, there will be light refreshments and a door-prize raffle of native plants.
Association of Community Services

Making Ends Meet in Howard County. We have the data, you have the stories.
Join us on  Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 9:00 am to 10:30 am at the NonProfit Collaborative for the release of the 2017 Self-Sufficiency Indicators Report. This meeting was originally scheduled for January 17, 2018, but had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather.
We will share the latest Howard County data on income, housing, childcare, food insecurity and health, and we would like to hear your stories about the people behind the data so that we can all better advocate for our residents and increase the impact of our nonprofit community. Click  here  to register for this meeting.
Members: Free
Non-members: $20 

Conversation with the Howard County Council
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
NonProfit Collaborative, 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046
Meet members of the Howard County Council to talk about priority issues, including the impact of budget planning on human service delivery. Bring your comments and perspective and share in the conversation. Click here to register.

8:45 am: Networking/Registration
9:00 am - 10:30am Conversation with the County Council

Members are welcome to bring promotional materials to put on our resource table.
Members: Free
Non-Members: $20
Junior Rangers 2018
Welcome to the Maryland Park Service Junior Ranger Program. This program is built around the people and places that make Maryland so special. The best part of becoming a Junior Ranger is receiving patches of completion and having the opportunity to continue on to bigger and better programs with the Maryland Park Service.

Junior Rangers  is an exciting program that aims to teach young visitors about conservation, environmental stewardship and nature through hands-on activities, crafts, games and projects.

Throughout the year, we offer several programs in either a weekly or weeklong format. For those whose schedules cannot fit into one of these programs, we offer a Model B option, which is described below.

There is a nonrefundable service charge of $30 for the first child and $20 for each additional child.

Please call 410-461-5005 for more information and to register. 

Spring Program
Junior Rangers (ages 7-10)
Soldiers Delight: March 30-April 2 from 12:30-4 p.m.
Registration due March 16.

Summer Programs
Sprouts (ages 2-4) 
Hilton Area: Wednesdays, June 20-July 25  from  11-Noon
Soldiers Delight : Thursdays, July 5-Aug. 2 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Park Pals (ages 5-7) 
Hilton Area: June 25-29 from 3:30-5 p.m.

Junior Rangers (ages 7-10) 
Hilton Area: July 9-13 from 3:30-5 p.m.
Soldiers Delight: July 23-27 from 4-5:30 p.m.

Junior Rangers (ages 11-14)
Hilton Area: July 9-13 from 3:30-5 p.m.
Soldiers Delight: July 30-Aug. 3 from 12:30-2 p.m.

There will be no sessions July 4. Registration due June 6.

Model B 
To become a Junior Ranger, participants must attend six Model B events. These programs will be labeled as such on monthly  calendars and  emails.
Once the children have completed their programs, they will do a service project, just like in the regular format. They are then eligible to attend the graduation ceremony, where they will receive their patch and certificate. 
A booklet will be available at headquarters and the visitor center to help track their progress.
Model B Junior Rangers pay the cost of each individual program instead of the all-inclusive fee. 

Once a child completes their Junior Rangers badge, they may continue through the program and get additional patches as Advanced, Expert, Naturalist, Explorer, Conservationist and Guide. 
Columbia Solar Coop - Information Session
February 20, 2018; 7-8pm at the Owen Brown Community Center
(6800 Cradlerock Way)

Columbia residents can now join a local Cooperative to go solar as a group and get a discount! By going solar through the CoOp, participants will save approximately 25% off the cost of a solar system. Columbia Association is partnering with Civic Works' Retrofit Baltimore program to promote this unique opportunity to the Columbia community. Retrofit Baltimore will provide you with trusted information, guide you through each step of the process, and connect you with a vetted and screened contractor.
If you want more information about Solar energy, consider attending the information session on February 20, or visit our partners at Civic Works/Retrofit Baltimore:  http://retrofitbaltimore.civicworks.com/columbia  .

Soup'r Sundae

Soup'r Sundae is a family event at Wilde Lake High School featuring soups prepared by local restaurants as a fundraiser for Grassroots, Howard County's 24-hour Crisis Intervention Center. There will be hundreds of silent auction bargains, all the soup and ice cream you could ask for, music and entertainment for children. This year's event will be held on Sunday, March 18, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Although it seems far away, now is the time to purchase your tickets for Soup'r Sundae!

You may purchase tickets online or by contacting cathyvsmith@verizon.net. Enjoy!
Sister Cities Advisory Committee Volunteers
Columbia Association is looking for volunteers to be a part of the advisory committees for the following sister city programs:
  • Cap-Haitien
  • Haiti 
  • Tema 
  • Ghana 
  • Cergy-Pontoise 
  • France  
  • Tres Cantos, Spain
Volunteers are also wanted for the China Sister City Planning Committee, which is working on creating a relationship with Liyang in Jiangsu Province, China.

Each advisory committee determines its own meeting schedule. Committees help organize cultural exchanges, help with events, and plan projects with each sister city. Most committees meet bimonthly in the evening at Columbia Association. If interested, please email Laura.Smit@ColumbiaAssociation.org or 410-715-3162.
Covenant Corner
Keep Leaves and Debris out of the Storm Water System
Driving through the village this past week, we have seen many homes with an accumulation of leaves and gumballs in the street and the street curb gutters in front of many properties and piling up near the storm drains.

Help prevent storm drain clogs, pollution to streams and to the Chesapeake Bay by taking advantage of the weekly curbside yard waste collection service to properly dispose of tree debris and yard waste.  Clean up the street in front of your home and put your containers or paper  bags of leaves out curbside for pickup on your regular recycling day, now available year-round in most areas of Harper's Choice. If you are in a green bin collection area, you may recycle yard waste year-round. Better yet, stop raking and mulch those leaves into your yard by mowing the leaves into small bits and leaving the leaf litter on the lawn to help feed your grass. This adds organic material and nutrients to the soil. In fact, lawn care professionals recommend leaf recycling for a greener, healthier lawn. (And no, when done properly, it won't cause thatching.)
Please note that it is a violation of County Code to blow, pile or sweep leaves into the public roadway. "A person may not obstruct, damage, or destroy public property." [Title 18, Subtitle 2, Section 18.205, subsection (b1).]

Street Lights

If you see a street light that is out or not working properly, contact this office at 410-730-0770 or contact BGE  directly at 877-778-2222 or online at  https://secure.bge.com/forms/pages/ODL-LightingOutage.aspx# .We will need the pole # found on the pole tag or the closest house number to report.  If the street lights are along a numbered state highway, such as Routes 29, 175, 32, 100, etc., contact the SHA at 1-800-323-6742 from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, M-F or report online at  http://marylandsha.force.com/customercare/request_for_service.
Have you visited us on Facebook lately?
Please join us on Facebook for up-to-date information about what's happening in and around the Harper's Choice Community.

Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
The AC will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. 

The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for March 6th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-Newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook  and  Twitter  to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website