September 27th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
*Cancelled*Harper's Choice Community Association's Oktoberfest *Cancelled*

Due to less than favorable ticket sales it is with great regret that we must announce the cancellation of Harper's Choice Community Association's Oktoberfest. We thank our participating brewers, distillers, winery and vendors and hope for a better response with future events.   

Red Ribbon Yard Sale Rescheduled for, Saturday October 20th

This fall's Red Ribbon Yard Sale has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 20th. Click here to register your street and remember to pick up your red ribbon from Kahler Hall by Thursday, October 18th.
Columbia's BikeAbout Is This Saturday, September 29th  

Columbia Association's (CA) annual BikeAbout will take place this Saturday, September 29, with riders setting off from Oakland Mills Village Center. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia's history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Preregistration is not required but is encouraged via . Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30am, with riders able to start up until 10am. They are expected to complete the ride by 1pm.

This year's 13-mile route starts at Oakland Mills Village Center and crosses the pedestrian bridge over Route 29 twice, winding through the villages of Town Center, Wilde Lake, Owen Brown and Long Reach, before returning to Oakland Mills Village Center. Riders looking for a shorter ride - including families with young children - can complete the first half of the ride, ending at Oakland Mills Village Center.

This year's Columbia BikeAbout has a theme of "Ride the Vision," with interpretive signs featuring quotes from Columbia's founder, James Rouse, from his papers held at Columbia Archives. Riders are encouraged to stop at sites along the way to discover the history of Wilde Lake Rock, check out the interesting poster trees at Lake Kittamaqundi, and get a firsthand view of the original village/neighborhood concept and land purchases Columbia was built upon.

An important aspect of Columbia's design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 95-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association's (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management Division.  Columbia Archives, which collects and preserves the history of Columbia, is located in CA Headquarters at 6310 Hillside Court, off Stevens Forest Road. It is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The collection covers the planning and development of Columbia as well as the extensive James Rouse Collection, which chronicles Rouse's long career that influenced urban and suburban development in the United States and around the world. It is rich with correspondence, speeches, photographs and memorabilia. The public is welcome to visit and spend time researching to get a deeper understanding of the history of Columbia. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 410-715-3103 or visit
Columbia Swim Center is Now Open!
Columbia Swim Center has reopened with a brand new look, the result of three consecutive summers of renovations. The three-phase project took place during summertime - when CA's outdoor pools were open - minimizing the impact on swimmers.
Construction began in summer 2016, replacing SplashDown with newer, faster water slides and revamping the tower stairwell. Work continued in 2017, when crews expanded the locker rooms; renovated the lobby area and hallways; added private showers; increased the number of changing areas for families with small children; upgraded flooring and completed some work on the building's roof and ADA accessibility.

The most recent phased began in May 2018. Highlights include replacing the roof over the Main Pool and adding a new canopy to the front entrance.

Columbia Swim Center is located at 10400 Cross Fox Lane in the Wilde Lake Village Center.

Swim Classes for All Ages and Levels
Registration is ongoing for swim lessons at Columbia Gym and Columbia Swim Center for six-month-olds through adults. Whatever type of class you're looking for - water discovery for tots, improving your strokes for adults, swim-team prep, or one-on one lessons - we've got it. You don't even have to be a CA member to participate! 
To view class descriptions, schedules and to register online, please visit our  Swim Lesson webpage.

SplashDown Reopens October 13
No inner tube needed - just slide down for a fast, exhilarating ride! SplashDown is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, October 13 and will be open from 1:30-6pm on Saturdays and noon-5pm on Sundays. Check out the amenities, too - snack bar, rope swing, diving board and recreational swimming in the program pool. SplashDown and Little Splashers Parties are also now available for booking.

Must be at least 4 feet tall to ride SplashDown - which is free for CA Fit&Play, Play, 5Day Golf&Play, and Golf Fit&Play members! Admission per person is $5 for other CA members, $10 for Columbia Cardholders and $15 for non-members. 

For more information, visit the SplashDown webpage or call 410-730-7000.
The Howard Hughes Corporation Offering 300 Free Trees to Residents of Howard County Through Arbor Day Foundation's Community Canopy Project
The Howard Hughes Corporation is providing 300 trees to residents of Howard County through the Community Canopy Project, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps expand the tree canopies of cities and towns across the United States. Howard County residents can reserve their free trees at

The trees will provide a multitude of community benefits including air absorption, water filtration, carbon capture and energy conservation along with helping homeowners lower energy bills through strategic planting. An online tool helps participants plant trees in the most strategic location near their homes or business leading to the maximum environmental impact and helping estimate the annual money savings that will result from planting the trees. Residents of Howard County can reserve up to two trees and are expected to care for and plant them in the location provided by the online tool. The types of trees offered include the following: Baldcypress, Eastern Redbud, Northern Red Oak, Red Maple and Shadblow Serviceberry.

The Community Canopy Project for Howard County will continue until all 300 trees are reserved. The two-to-four-foot-tall trees will be delivered directly to customers at an ideal time for planting.
"Not only does this project help beautify our county's landscape, it also provides immense environmental benefits and can help our residents save money on their energy bills," said Greg Fitchitt, Senior Vice President for Development for Howard Hughes.

The "Community Canopy Project" online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service's i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits. In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the trees' other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management.
About the Arbor Day Foundation Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at
The Purple Purse Challenge 2018  

Welcome to HopeWorks 2018 Purple Purse Challenge! For those not familiar with Purple Purse, it is a virtual fundraising  campaign sponsored by Allstate Insurance and spokeswoman and tennis superstar, Serena Williams. 

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, organizations like HopeWorks will compete to raise money; top fundraising organizations will win grand prize cash donations.

By setting up a fundraiser and reaching out to your networks of supporters, you can help us make an even bigger impact and help us compete with the top teams nationwide to win the grand prize cash donations. Last year we raised over $18K and place 23rd in the country.

Please consider joining our team as we aim to reach our goal of $25K. We would love to make it to the top 10 nationwide. Prize money ranges from $5k for 5th place all the way to $100K for 1st place! Wouldn't THAT be amazing?!

Here is what you need to know:

Please consider joining our team as a fundraiser. Simply go to the link below and click the big JOIN THE TEAM & CREATE YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER button and you'll instantly have your own fundraising page as a part of our team. This can take less than five minutes!

Once you have created your own page, share that link with your friends, family, social and professional networks. Please spend time personalizing your fundraising page. We have found that time and time again, people give to people - not organizations. Your networks are more likely to contribute to a cause if they have a good understanding of the organization's mission and why doing this work is important to you and your reasons for supporting it.

In the meantime, we will support you all the way! So if you have trouble setting up your page or don't know what to say, just email me or Mia , our Development Manager.

This all starts Tuesday, October 2nd
5K Rescheduled, Registration Still Open

The Fifth Annual Discover Downtown Columbia 5K has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. This year's race features a loop trail that begins and ends at the People Tree. Participants will cross the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Prizes will be awarded. A live band and complimentary post-race beer and other refreshments await runners at the finish. Hysteria Brewing Company is the official beer sponsor for this year's race.

Presenting sponsor Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission and Merriweather Post Pavilion are providing the first 400 registrants a lawn seat pass for the 2019 concert of their choice (subject to availability and contract terms). Gold Sponsor Howard Bikeshare is providing registrants a month of free unlimited Howard County Bikeshare use. Runners also receive an Under Armour race shirt and a new finishing medal. Registration is $45 at


Participants in the Discover Downtown Columbia 5K will cross the stage at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on the loop trail.
HCPS Educational Partnership Celebration

The Harper's Choice Community Association (HCCA) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Howard County Health Department to become the first Columbia Village to maintain Narcan in an effort to combat opioid overdose.

Learn how to use naloxone and you could save a life! 
Using prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, or drugs such as heroin and fentanyl can lead to an overdose. Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose by restoring breathing. With naloxone on hand, you will be equipped to respond and prevent death from an overdose. Obtain free naloxone medication and learn to save a life through Howard County Health Department's Overdose Response Program. For more information, or to register for an upcoming class, contact or call 410-313-6202.
Save the Date: Community Forum on the Opioid Health Crisis

Save the Date: Drive-Thru Medication and Sharps Collection

The next drive-thru medication and sharps (needles, syringes, and EpiPens) collection will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  in the Wilde Lake Village Center. 
As we get closer, visit for more information, email or call 443-325-0004. 

Hurry to Register for HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council

All Howard County high school students are invited to participate in HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC). TAC meets once a month throughout the school year. Community service hours available for all meetings/events. 
School year 2018-19 registration forms are being accepted. Hurry to email or mail signed registration form and photo.
Forms can be found on our website at
Next 2 meeting dates :
Monday, September 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, October 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Unless otherwise notified, all meetings will be held at The Barn/Teen Center in the Oakland Mills Village Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please email

Covenant Corner


Mulching your leaves into your lawn rather than raking and bagging them is a great way to save time and energy, recycle nutrients and add organic matter to your turf. A few simple tips:

* Make sure your mower has sharp blades. 
* Set your mower height as high as it will go.
* Mow at your normal speed.
* Don't mow when the leaves are really wet.
* Mow leaf piles up to 3 to 4 inches deep.
* Continue to mulch those leaves weekly to avoid smothering the grass. * 

Test your soil - fall is a great time to have your soil  tested.

Did you know that as the mulched leaves decompose, they enhance the soil with valuable nutrients that feed the microbes and worms present in any healthy lawn? The nitrogen boost you will get from mulching may mean that you don't have to fertilize in the fall. And, in just three years research, has shown an almost 100 percent reduction in weeds and dandelions. Compared with raking, mulching leaves is easier, more lawn-friendly, and less costly, saving you both the money and time spent on fertilizing and weed suppression. Don't work hard to remove the leaves, let the leaves work hard for your lawn! 


If you have a desire to have a positive impact in Harper's Choice, this could be the opportunity for you. We are seeking interested individuals who are available the second and fourth Tuesday evening each month to serve on the Architectural Committee. The AC meets twice monthly at 7:30 p.m. to review architectural change applications, discuss covenant violations and keep the guidelines current. Note: persons wishing to serve on the AC must be able to obtain a Letter of Compliance from this office stating that their property is free of covenant violations.  Contact the Covenant Advisor for more information.    

Upcoming Architectural Committee Meeting Dates: 9/11, 9/25; 10/9, 10/23. Applications for exterior alterations must be complete, including any applicable items from the list at the bottom of the application, and must be submitted at least two weeks ahead of the meeting where they will be reviewed. For your convenience, applications and guidelines can be downloaded or reviewed online.
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 Tuesdays, October 9th & 23rd 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 October 4th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
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* Term expires 4/30/19
** Term expires 4/30/20

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