October 22: Weekly 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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Harper's Choice Happenings
FREE Conversational English Classes

The Harper's Choice Community Association, in partnership with FIRN, will offer FREE conversational English classes at Kahler Hall (5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia) on Mondays from 6:30-8:30pm beginning on October 19. Classes are family friendly and appropriate for children in 2nd grade through adults. Children and adults will work in separate groups with FIRN volunteers. For more information, please contact Roslyn
at volunteer@firnonline.org or call FIRN's office at 410-992-1923.
November Card Making Class
Join us for a fun and engaging card making workshop! This month, our theme is All Occasion, and you will make three projects to take home. The session is from 10am - 12pm on Tue, Nov. 3 at Kahler Hall.  Advance registration is required. Fee is $10 and includes supplies and light refreshments. Contact Susan at 410-730-0770 for more information or to register.
Did You Know...
The Symphony of Lights Festivities are Postponed Until 2016?

Howard County General Hospital and the Howard Hospital Foundation thank all who have volunteered, participated or sponsored Symphony of Lights over the past 21 years. Symphony of Lights festivities will be postponed until fall 2016 to allow for the redevelopment of Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods in Columbia, MD. This includes all events: Dazzle Dash, Twinkling Tots, Bike the Lights, Tail Lights, nightly drive throughs, group walk throughs and Midnight at 7.
For more than 20 years, Symphony of Lights has been a holiday tradition for residents of Howard and surrounding counties. Although it originally began as a small community fundraising event for Howard County General Hospital, Symphony of Lights has since grown to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year. Howard Hospital Foundation holds Symphony of Lights as a fundraising event for the hospital with annual net proceeds totaling more than $300,000. Over the past 21 years, the events have raised $7.5 million that has been used to support the Maternal Child Department, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Campus Development Plan and in areas of greatest need.

In the interim, the light displays, many of which are original and more than 20 years old, will be refurbished and updated so that when we return in 2016, Symphony of Lights will be brighter and better than ever. Throughout this next year, the 250,000 bulbs on the displays also will be replaced with environmentally friendly LED lights.
If you are interested in supporting the refurbishment of the Symphony of Lights display and the hospital this holiday season, you can sponsor a new LED light bulb for a donation of $10. Donations can be made in honor or in memory of loved ones. Those supporting this campaign at a level of $100 or more will be recognized on the hospital's website.
In lieu of the traditional light display this year, we invite you to  enjoy a video drive through of the Symphony of Lights. Those who have attended Symphony of Lights festivities in the past are encouraged to share photos and memories.
Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season. We look forward to seeing you at next year's Symphony of Lights festivities!

Steve Snelgrove
President, Howard County General Hospital

Scott Butler
Chair, Howard Hospital Foundation 
You CAN Go Solar in Columbia
Partnership Makes Going Solar in Columbia More Affordable

The Columbia Association has partnered with Retrofit Baltimore to make it easy and affordable for residents to go solar and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. As a non-profit community resource, 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. For homeowners interested in going solar, Retrofit Baltimore is helping Columbia residents go solar as a group and get a discount. Based on the same principle as buying in bulk, homeowners will save around 25% off the standard market price of a solar system.
To learn more or to sign up, go to www.retrofitbaltimore.org/columbia.
Special Announcement from Howard County
HoCo Department of Public Works Ash Tree Removal Underway

Due to emerald ash borer infestation, Howard County's Department of Public Works has begun removing ash trees along various county-owned roadways throughout Columbia, Ellicott City, Elkridge, Jessup, Laurel and Woodbine. Weather permitting, the trees (stumps and all) will be removed by the end of winter, and have all the trees replaced, where appropriate, by next spring or fall. The county will not remove any trees located on private property.

Ash trees are the most common type of landscaping tree used in the United States. The emerald ash borer is a serious, exotic, invasive insect that feeds on and can cause significant damage to ash trees, including death, particularly in one to three years after infestation. The insect is not harmful to humans.

Signs of the emerald ash borer infestation include death of twigs and branches at the treetops, discolored leaves, water sprouts and D-shaped holes in the bark where the larvae emerge. Residents who spot signs of infestation on their ash trees are asked to contact Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) at 410-841-5920. For more information on the emerald ash borer, visit MDA's website at http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/eab.aspx .

For questions or concerns about the ash tree removal, contact Lisa Brightwell, Public Works Customer Service, at 410-313-3440 or email publicworks@howardcountymd.gov.

A complete list of roadways included in this tree removal is available through the County's website. 
Covenant Corner
Still Bagging Leaves?

It is leaf season again, but d on't bag those leaves, mulch them!  Mulching-in-place  with your lawn mower  is an easy, green  alternative to raking and bagging leaves every weekend Mulching leaves  is ecologically sound and :
  • Reduces the volume of leaves tenfold and helps prevent leaf piles from clogging drains and causing floods.
  • Feeds soil as leaves decompose and soak into the ground.
  • Aerates soil, which allows spring seeds to germinate more easily.
  • Increases the biological activity in your yard, feeding earthworms and other beneficial insects.
  • Lowers your carbon footprint by reducing the fuel and air emissions that come with carting leaves to distant composting facilities and dumps.
  • Makes lawns spongier and better able to soak up rainwater runoff.
Columbia Association Offers FREE Soil Testing

Having trouble getting the lawn or garden that you desire? Do you know the PH levels of your soil ?   Now  is a great time to have yours tested  for FREE

Soil test kits may be picked up and dropped off at Kahler Hall, and the Columbia Association will take care of the rest. You will be contacted with your results
 and can make an informed plan to improve your soil. Remember: lawn fertilizer application is prohibited between November 15 and March 1 .

Click here for what you should know about the Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 , enacted as law in 2013.    

HoCo Master Gardeners Host "Rake and Take" Program

Got leaves? Want leaves? Instead of sending leaves to the landfill, offer them to others in the county. Here's how the program works: rakers and takers register annually and indicate how many bags of leaves they have (to get rid of) or how many bags they would like to receive.  Contact Pat at  phooker9440@gmail.com .
Events Around Town
Visit Columbia Archives in Their New Space
Where: Columbia Association Headquarters
When: Sat, Oct 24  
Time: 11am-3pm

Columbia Association is having an open house at its new headquarters at 6310 Hillside Court on Sat, Oct. 24, 11am-3pm. Columbia Archives will be showing off its new space and showcasing treasures from the collection.
Halloween Extravaganza at the Columbia Ice Rink

Come dressed in your favorite costume at our Halloween Extravaganza on Sun, Oct. 25 from 1:15-3:15pm. Enjoy an afternoon of skating, food, games and a chance to win cool prizes! Public session fees apply. 

Autumn Olive Cutting
Autumn Olive _Elaeagnus umbellata_ by Chris Evans_ Illinois Wildlife Action Plan
Where: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA),  South Wind Circle Trailhead
When: Tue, Oct 27   
Time: 9-11:30am

Autumn olive shrubs are an unwelcome remnant of the game farm that once existed in this area. On this morning, come continue our efforts to rid the trail edges of this woody invader. Olive is a formidable foe, so we use a variety of methods over the course of several events. To reward you for your vigorous efforts, Sara Tangren will teach about autumn tree identification and the reasons for the different colors of fall foliage.

For more information, contact Aylene Gard, Master Gardener, 410-992-9889 or Jeff Claffy, Assistant Natural Resources Manager, MPEA, 410-313-6209 or jclaffy@howardcountymd.gov.
Upcoming Meetings
Architectural Committee Meetings

Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC). The AC meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm to review applications. The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for: 10/27, 11/10, 11/24.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for November 3 at 7pm. Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
Stay Connected
Village Manager
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor
Community Outreach Coordinator

Your Village Board
Village Board Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Columbia Council Rep
Jamilla Brown***
Student Board Member
* Term expires 4/30/16
** Term expires 4/30/17
*** Term expires 3/30/16

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