Sept. 11, 2014
Harper's Choice Voice
The e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice

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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BikeAbout & Harper's Choice
CA's Columbia Archives Annual BikeAbout - September 13

The annual BikeAbout event is scheduled for Saturday, September 13. The route will go through Harper's Choice and you will see a large increase in the number of bicyclists on the streets in your neighborhood that morning.  


If you live on Open Window, please be aware that the route takes riders down your street to the cul de sac where they will pick up the path.  


The 2014 bike route is available here. 


This year's free, family-friendly ride will begin at 9:30AM at a new location - Wilde Lake Park. Riders will be able to start up until 10AM and are expected to complete the ride by 1PM.


They will embark on a 12-mile route that winds through the villages of Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice and Hickory Ridge. The route takes them into the neighborhood that James Rouse, Columbia's founder, called home, and then brings them along the stream that feeds Wilde Lake, and then into the Middle Patuxent Valley.


Find more information and register for the BikeAbout today! 


The end of the ride will bring a special treat: an old-fashioned picnic hosted at Wilde Lake Park, presented by the Wilde Lake Community Association and CA. Riders will be able to purchase refreshments from a variety of food trucks and enjoy free entertainment. Click here for more information about the Wilde Lake Old-Fashioned Family Picnic.

Red Ribbon Community Yard Sale
October 4, 2014
The Harper's Choice Community-Wide yard sale is scheduled for October 4 from 8AM - 12PM. Call 410-730-0770 or email us to register your street.

Stop by Kahler Hall for a Red Ribbon that you can use to notify eager buyers that at least one resident on your street is participating.

The following streets have been registered:
  • Gloucester Road
  • Woodcutter Way
  • Eliots Oak
  • Cedar Lane
  • Hesperus
Board of Education Forum
September 17 from 7PM - 9:15PM @ The Other Barn in Oakland Mills

Hear from the eight candidates running for the four open seats on the Howard County Board of Education.


Candidates scheduled to participate in the forum include:  Bess Altwerger, Zaneb Beams, Allen Dyer, Sandra French, Dan Furman, Christine O'Connor, Mike Smith and Cynthia Vaillancourt.

The forum will be facilitated and moderated by the Howard Community College Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center. 

All candidates received five questions in advance of the forum and will submit answers to all five questions in writing to the community association.  Each candidate has been asked to speak for up to five minutes on their choice of one of the five questions. 

Here are the five questions:  BOE Forum Questions

Following the presentations by the candidates, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session. At the conclusion of the Forum, attendees will receive a packet with the five questions and the answers submitted by each candidate.

The Forum is sponsored by the ten Villages of Columbia:  Dorsey's Search, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, Kings Contrivance, Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown, River Hill, Town Center and Wilde Lake.

The Forum is open to the public. For more information, contact Sandy Cederbaum, Oakland Mills Village Manager, at 410-730-4610 or email

Did You Know...
HoCo Makes it Easier to Say Something when you See Something!
Executive Ulman Launches a Tell HoCo App 
Executive Ulman Launches a Tell HoCo App
Howard County now has a website and a mobile app that makes reporting non-emergency concerns such as potholes, street tree issues, problems with storm drains, and curb damage.

We encourage residents to SAY SOMETHING when you SEE SOMETHING.

Together, we can make a difference in our community.

Covenant Corner
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Are you committed to recycling, but don't know what to do with items from your home? Tired of filling your garbage with household items?  The county has a terrific online resource when you don't want to throw things out, but don't know where to turn to recycle, reuse, swap, donate, etc.  Check it out!

Mark Your Calendars!
HoCo Shredding Event

Save the Date! October 18, 2014 (rain or shine) from 9AM - 1PM at the Long Gate Park & Ride near Meadowbrook Park. Residents may bring up to 3 bags or boxes of paper to be shredded onsite. Please visit the County's Shredding webpage for guidelines - they've answered your questions!

State of Our Schools in Harper's Choice
Do you wonder about the schools in Harper's Choice? How do our schools compare to other schools throughout the county, state, and country? What challenges do our schools face? Where are we succeeding? What needs improvement? 
Join us at Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD 21044 on October 6 at 7PM for a forum to get those questions answered and more.

Participants include Superintendent Dr. Renee Foose, members of the Administrative Team at HCPSS Central Office, and principals from Longfellow Elementary, Swansfield Elementary, and Harper's Choice Middle School.
Howard County Master Gardener Events
Bay-Wise Garden Tour
September 20 from 1PM - 4PM at 6401 Saddle Drive in Columbia.

Tour a local garden in Columbia featuring many Bay-Wise practices designed to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors will enjoy native plantings, wildlife habitats, a pond, and child-friendly play areas and learn about storm water management practices such as rain gardens.

This is a free event sponsored by The Howard County Master Gardeners of the University of Maryland Extension.

For more information, email Holly McFarland or Pat Harrington
Conservation Stewardship: Meadowside Vine Cutting
September 23 at 9AM at the South Wind Circle entrance of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA).

Clegg Meadow, our largest grassland, contains a riparian buffer planting site and a small cedar glade that local volunteers nurture and protect. The Meadows are also surrounded by mature strands of native hardwood trees. Slowly, these majestic meadow neighbors are succumbing to the ill effects of several different invasive vines. Participants will navigate the Meadow border and remove vines that can damage the mature trees. Weather permitting, attendees will hear a talk about Monarch butterfly natural history and see a demonstration of butterfly capture, tagging, and release methods.

For more information, contact Aylene Gard, Master Gardener at 410-992-9889 or Jeff Claffy, Assistant Natural Resources Manager MPEA at 410-313-6209. 
HC DrugFree Drug Take Back Day
September 27, 2014
DEA Got Drugs

The next semi-annual Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 27, 2014 between 10AM and 2PM. Seniors with unwanted or expired medications, families moving and cleaning out loved ones' homes after illness or death, households with young children, teens or pets - everyone needs to check their medicine cabinets!


Please begin cleaning out your unwanted or expired over-the-counter, prescription and pet meds to keep them out of the hands of youth, pets and out of the Bay.


For more information, please visit HC DrugFree's website and go to the Drug Take Back Day page for a complete list of convenient locations throughout the County or contact Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree's Executive Director at 443-435-0040.

Upcoming Meetings
Architectural Committee Meetings
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require the approval of the Village Architectural Committee. The AC meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday 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. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for:
9/23, 10/14, 10/28. 

Village Board Meetings
The Village Board meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month at Kahler Hall. The next meeting is scheduled for October 7 at 7PM. Agendas and Meeting Minutes can be found on our website.

Local Events
Fall Equinox Twilight Hike and Campfire: S'mores and More!

September 23 from 5PM - 7PM, walk through the meadow and along the stream to the woodland campfire ring. Listen to the bird songs at dusk. Gather round the crackling fire, hear legends about the Equinox, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and enjoy s'mores. Hike back in time to watch the sun set over the horizon - exactly due west - and hear other interesting astronomical facts about the Fall Equinox. In case of rain, check the Howard County Conservancy website.  $5/person; $10/family. Registration required and available online!   

Fall Festival at the Howard County Conservancy
October 5 from 11AM - 3PM. Celebrate the beginning of Fall at the Howard County Conservancy! Visitors can listen to blue grass music, watch blacksmiths ply their trade, and marvel at the history of this three-century-old farm.  Goats, chickens, a diamondback terrapin and snakes will fascinate the youngsters. Our resident Barred Owl will also visit with attendees. Other festivities include children's crafts, pony rides and hay rides. Food will be  available to purchase. Please consider carpooling; parking is $10 per car.


Stay Connected
Village Manager
Cathy Murphy
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor

Community Outreach Coordinator

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5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD 21044  410-730-0770