May 7, 2015
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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FREE Compost Bins Available
Composting is easy and keeps valuable organics out of the landfill. Howard County provides FREE compost bins to residents at 6751 Columbia Gateway Dr, Suite 514 or Alpha Ridge Landfill (2350 Marriottsville Rd). Need guidance? Visit the county's compost website or attend a compost demonstration.
Did You Know...
Paper Towels and Napkins are NOT Recyclable?

Paper towels and napkins are NOT RECYCLABLE. The short paper fibers (which give them their softness) aren't able to make new products. If you are part of the green bin food scraps recycling program through Howard County, you can put your paper towels and napkins out for composting. Otherwise, paper towels and napkins belong in the trash. Reduce your waste and use reusable cloth towels and napkins.

Covenant Corner
FREE Soil Testing Continues

As part of its efforts to encourage and promote sustainability, the Columbia Association (CA) has partnered with Columbia Villages, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Howard Soil Conservation District and Keith Campbell Foundation to conduct FREE soil testing for Columbia residents.  


Local residents can help restore and protect Columbia's waterways by participating in soil testing that will analyze the nutrients in their lawn's soil to determine the type and amount of fertilizer needed. By reducing the application of unneeded fertilizer, residents may save money and help protect Columbia's streams, ponds and lakes.


Soil sample bags may be picked up and delivered to Kahler Hall. Instructions for how to take a soil sample will accompany the bag. Please contact CA's Watershed Manager John McCoy at for more information.  


To learn more about the local watershed and how to become part of the watershed community, visit

Columbia Families in Nature Outings

Advanced registration for all Columbia Families in Nature (CFIN) outings is required. Here are three ways to sign-up:

1) Send an email with the dates you are planning to attend and the number of adults and children that will be in attendance. 2) Complete the quick sign-in form on the CFIN website. 3) Find and join the outing event on our Facebook page.  


Before a family's first outing with CFIN, the online registration / waiver must be completed. 
  • Saturday, May 16th - Kids to Parks Day at Rockburn Branch Park - Join a team of wonderful CFIN volunteers on a great afternoon at the park for this outing. Rockburn Branch Park has a large network of unpaved trails through deciduous forest with a lovely shallow stream to explore. 
  • Sunday, June 7th - Nature Play at Irvine Nature Center - Located just northwest of Baltimore, Irvine Nature Center is a leading environmental education center based in a state-of-the-art, green building with 116 acres of forests, wetlands and meadows are perfect for students, families and nature-lovers. We will explore the animals in the center, take a hike, and play on the awesome natural playground.
  • Sunday, June 28th - Scavenger Hunt at Howard County Conservancy at Mt. Pleasant - It is the 25th anniversary of the HoCo Conservancy and they have prepared a 25 item scavenger hunt to help people explore their gorgeous property. Along the way, visit the resident birds and goats, play on the natural playground, and perhaps play in the creek and do a bit of geogcaching.
Use of DNA in Genealogy

Join the Howard County Historical Society (HCGS) monthly meeting on May 20 to hear The Use Of DNA in Genealogy by guest speaker Dr. Margaret McMahon. After earning her PhD in computer science and engineering and working 25 years, Dr. McMahon uses her education and experience to research family history. As an experienced college and graduate school professor, she is familiar with teaching in a manner that creates a comfortable and enjoyable learning environment for all participants. Her two books will be available for purchase at the meeting.  


The meeting will be held at the Bain Center (5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia). Plan to arrive at 7 p.m. to browse and enjoy free refreshments. At 7:15 p.m. members will share their research stories. A short meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by the lecture at 8 p.m. HCGS meetings, refreshments, and lectures are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. 

Kindergarten Curriculum Carnival at Longfellow
Do you have a student that will be 5 years old by September 1 attending Longfellow Elementary School in the Fall? You can meet the Kindergarten teachers and staff at Longfellow Elementary School during their upcoming Kindergarten Curriculum Carnival on May 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register for Kindergarten and build a free take-home learning toolkit. Call 410-313-6879 to RSVP.


Upcoming Conservation Stewardship Programs
The mission of the Howard County Master Gardeners is to educate residents about safe, effective, and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities. The Master Gardener program is administered by the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Service. Please join them for these upcoming events.
Milkweed Planting & Butterfly Talk

When: Tuesday, May 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  

Where: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA), Trotter Road entrance at 5795 Trotter Road, Clarksville, MD


Come out this day and help plant beneficial milkweeds and also learn about the Monarch Waystation Program. Learn two easy things that you can even do at home to help Monarchs!
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 p.m. to review applications. The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for: 5/12, 5/26, 6/9.  

Village Board Meetings
The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for June 2 at 7 p.m. Agendas and Meeting Minutes are available on our website.