April 11th   Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Your vote is important in determining who will make critical decisions for Harper's Choice and Columbia in the coming year. We need a quorum of 10 percent of Harper's Choice households (approximately 330 votes) to have a valid election. There are three Board of Director vacancies; the terms of office are two years for all vacancies. The candidates for the Harper's Choice Village Board are Ralph M. Paez, Lauren Ellse Avant, Brynn Runkle Conover, and Joel B. Hurewitz.

WHO MAY VOTE: Owners or renters in good standing with property in Harper's Choice may vote. Residents with an outstanding covenant violation are prohibited from voting. Check with the Covenant Advisor to make sure your property is in compliance with the Harper's Choice Covenants.
* Only one vote is permitted for each property.
* In the case of a rental property, both the owner and the tenant may cast a ballot.
* If you are voting at Kahler Hall on April 27, 2019, please bring your driver's license, BG&E bill, or something      else to verify your Harper's Choice address.

* Vote at KAHLER HALL between 9:00AM and 3:00PM on April 27, 2019.

Mail-In ABSENTEE BALLOTS: Mail-in absentee ballots will be mailed in the latest issue of the Harper's Choice Voice Newsletter in the first week of April. Please refer to the following guidelines for voting by mail-in absentee ballot:
* Valid only if completely filled out, including all information on the envelope.
* Due by 5:00 p.m. on April 26, 2019.

ELECTRONIC ABSENTEE BALLOTS: For the first time, we are offering the convenience of electronic absentee ballot voting. See your copy of the Harper's Choice Voice Newsletter for instructions on voting electronically.

The April 2019 Harper's Choice Voice Newsletter misstated Candidates' Night as being scheduled for Wednesday, April 16.  The correct day is Tuesday, April 16.

Come to our candidates running for three Board of Director vacancies; the terms of office are two years for all vacancies.  The candidates for the Harper's Choice Village Board are Ralph M. Paez, Lauren Ellse Avant, Brynn Runkle Conover, and Joel B. Hurewitz.
There will be a Candidates' Night on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Kahler Hall, where you can meet the candidates and hear what they have to say about serving your community.  Election Day is Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at Kahler Hall.  If you will be unable to vote in person, absentee ballots will be mailed to you in the next Harper's Choice Voice newsletter.  You will also be able to take advantage of our new ONLINE VOTING option.  For more information about this and instructions for voting online, please refer to the newsletter. Be sure to join us for our ELECTION FESTIVAL on Saturday, April 27 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm in Joseph Square.
Harper's Choice Community Association Election Festival

Howard County's GREENFEST Is This Weekend!

GreenFest has lots of free and fun activities.
Saturday, April 13
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Howard Community College
***NEW location: SET building***
Parking in West Garage Recommended
  • Over 70 tables with local green businesses and environmental non-profits
  • Native plant sale
  • Door prize raffle
  • Children's activities
  • GreenFest awards ceremony with County Executive Calvin Ball (12 pm)
  • Wildlife Room with live birds and reptiles
  • Workshops (citizen science, turtles, gardening, plastic pollution and more)
  • Repair Cafe - have small items fixed for free
  • Mini-workshops on DIY tasks
  • Compost bin giveaway (continuous as supplies last)
  • Rain barrel giveaway (11 am workshop)
  • Kid's craft table
  • Local food vendors
  • Live music
  • Paper shredding
  • Telescopes
  • Electric vehicle display - come talk to local EV car owners
  • Donation opportunities - t-shirts, eyeglasses, denim and shoes
  • Trash to Treasure and Ephemeral Nature Art exhibits 
Please visit  hcgreenfest.org  for more details and the schedule of events.
Draft of CA's Strategic Plan Now Available

Columbia Association, under guidance from CA's Board of Directors, is developing its five-year strategic plan - which identifies goals and initiatives and sets the direction for CA for the next five years and beyond.

The current strategic plan culminates with the close of Fiscal Year 2019 on April 30, with the plan for FY2020-2024 beginning in May. The community has already been a helpful resource during this process. CA has gathered a wide range of perspectives, surveying thousands of residents, as well as its staff, for input. Additionally, focus groups were held with village chairs, advisory committees, and other local stakeholders and leaders.

A draft mission statement, vision statement and strategic goals have been developed and are available for you to review on CA's website at ColumbiaAssociation.org/strategicplan. If you wish to share feedback, you may do so on the website or during Resident Speakout at upcoming CA Board of Directors work sessions and meetings. A final vote by CA's Board of Directors is anticipated for Thursday, May 23.

Explore Columbia's Nature, History and Art with CA's Guided Outdoor Walks

Explore Columbia's nature, history and art with CA's guided outdoor walks

Learn about the lakes, wildlife, history and art in our community with "Exploring Columbia on Foot," a series of free guided outdoor walks offered by Columbia Association (CA).

The walks will be held on nine Thursdays from April through October. They will include nature walks led by environmental author Ned Tillman and art/history walks led by Columbia historian Barbara Kellner. Each walk will be about two miles long, with four to five stops along the way. Registration is not required.

The schedule of walks and meeting locations includes:
  • Thursday, April 11, 10am, Downtown Columbia nature - meet at the People Tree at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway
  • Thursday, April 25, 10am, Downtown art and architecture - meet in front of Cured Table & Tap, 10980 Grantchester Way
  • Thursday, May 9, 10am, Owen Brown nature - meet at Lake Elkhorn dock (across from McDonald's), 7244 Cradlerock Way
  • Thursday, May 23, 10am, Wilde Lake historic structures - meet at Wilde Lake Barn, 10027 Hyla Brook Road
  • Thursday, June 6, 10am, Long Reach nature - meet at Stonehouse in the Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Court
  • Thursday, June 20, 10am, Downtown art and architecture - meet at the People Tree at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway
  • Thursday, September 19, 10am, Wilde Lake nature - meet at the Wilde Lake boathouse and dock, 10027 Hyla Brook Road
  • Thursday, October 10, 10am, walk through Merriweather District - meet at the People Tree at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway
  • Thursday, October 24, 10am, office park art - park and meet at 9115 Guilford Road
This schedule is also available at ColumbiaAssociation.org/outdoorwalks. In case of inclement weather, please call 410-312-6330 to learn if a walk has been canceled. For more information, contact CA's Open Space Management Division at Open.Space@ColumbiaAssociation.org or 410-312-6330.

Longfellow Elementary School Spring Fair

Join us for the annual Longfellow Elementary School Spring Fair, presented by the Longfellow Elementary School PTA. The Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (with a June 8 rain date). There will be plenty of activities for all to enjoy, including inflatables for the kids, concessions, a silent auction and raffle, games, information booths, and a DJ. We look forward to seeing you there!
Covenant Corner

Mulch "Rings", Not Mulch Volcanoes for Proper Tree Health

Piling any type of mulch around a tree trunk can cause numerous problems for trees. The bark of a tree is its outermost protective layer and needs to be exposed to the air to function properly. Moisture retained in the soil from over-mulching softens the bark and aids early decay.

Proper mulching tips: Apply mulch to the surface of the soil, 2 to 4 inches thick. Keep mulch about 3 to 6 inches away from the tree trunk or "flare". Apply the mulch out to the tree's drip-line, if practical. Otherwise, keep at least a 3-foot radius around the trunk. Mulch "rings" around trees protect the tree from lawn mower and trimmer string attacks, help retain soil moisture, keeps the ground cooler in summer and helps prevent soil heaving in winter. As the mulch decomposes it provides needed nutrients for tree roots. Trees with a diameter of more than 10 inches usually do not need mulching.   
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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 Tuesday, April  23rd at 7:30 PM to review applications previously submitted.

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 May 7th  at 7 PM.   Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be on our website. 
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* Term expires 4/30/19
** Term expires 4/30/20

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