Providence Center, MRA, AACC Partner for Healthier Rivers

Providence Center is teaming up with the Magothy River Association (MRA) and Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) to make local rivers healthier by producing a floating garden at Providence Center’s greenhouses that will provide a natural filtration process, as well as create a habitat for wildlife.

The gardens are part of a larger project called the Greener Shoreline Initiative to replace lost native shoreline and habitat in the Chesapeake tributaries.

The floating garden design was created at AACC by Steve Ailstock, director of the college’s Environmental Center; Technical Specialist Mike Norman and Bruce Lenderking, a former student. The garden consists of a Styrofoam frame with three ports to hold native shoreline plants and is designed to anchor to a pier. As the roots grow, they act as filtering straws to improve water clarity and absorb excess nutrients caused by runoff. The cluster of floating roots creates a natural habitat for small fish, crabs and shellfish. The plants also stave off deadly algae blooms by using them in natural growth processes and photosynthesis.

The floating gardens can be purchased fully-assembled for $150 or bought as a kit for $100. They are easy to assemble and shoppers can choose from a variety of plants. At the end of the season, customers can recycle their old plants and purchase new plant baskets for $10. Without the exchange, new baskets are $14 each. To purchase a floating garden, or for more information, contact Nathan Ullrich at nullrich@providencecenter.com.

From left, Paul Spadaro of the Magothy River Association and Nathan Ullrich of the Providence Center’s Horticulture Program stand behind a basket of native plants that will be used in a floating garden. The gardens hold three baskets of plants.

‘Ride With the Heroes’ Set for Aug. 30

The Howard County Police Department and the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue are hosting a motorcycle ride to benefit Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). The event will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30, starting at 9 a.m., at the Howard County Public Safety Training Center, Marriottsville.

Sponsorship dollars will support ICISF’s efforts to provide stress management training to help first responders, members of the military and other individuals, as well as Grassroots, which provides suicide prevention, walk-in counseling, 24/7 crisis intervention and shelter for the homeless.

“Riding With the Heroes” will be a ceremonial, police-escorted ride led by members of the military, veterans, police, fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel. It will include a scenic tour from Marriottsville through Frederick County, visiting three historic covered bridges along the way. Donations of $25 per rider and $15 per passenger are suggested.

Sponsorships of $1,500–$2,500 are being sought. For sponsorship information, contact John Newnan at 410-750-9500, ext. 107; and jnewnan.icisf.org or Major Ellsworth Jones at 410-313-2207 and ejones@howardcountymd.gov. Visit www.RideWithTheHeroes.com to register for the event.

Columbia BikeAbout Returns on Sept. 26

Columbia Association’s (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, with riders setting off from the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia’s history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

This year’s route is 12 miles — with the option of adding onto that with a 1.5-mile spin around Lake Kittamaqundi. The course will wind through Town Center, Oakland Mills and Long Reach, with interpretive stops that include a 19th century gravesite, a currently struggling village center with an exciting future, and sites of environmental interest that contrast the work done in the early days of Columbia with ideas for protecting the watershed today.

Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged via BikeAbout.Eventbrite.com. Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30 a.m. with riders able to start up until 10 a.m. They are expected to complete the ride by 1 p.m. For more information, e-mail Columbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-6781.

‘Champion’ Tree Succumbs to Dutch Elm Disease at Belmont

The large English Elm located in front of the historic Belmont Manor, in Elkridge, has Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

DED is one of the most destructive shade tree diseases in North America. The disease affects American elms and other elm species and is caused by a fungus transmitted by the elm bark beetle. Tests conducted by the Plant Diagnostic Lab at the University of Maryland College Park confirmed that the 95-foot tree, the second-largest of its kind in Maryland, had the disease. Designated a Howard County Champion Tree more than two decades ago, the tree was estimated to be about 250 years old.

Since acquiring the Belmont property in 2012, Howard County Recreation & Parks has continually treated all elms on the property for the disease as prescribed by experts. Unfortunately, even with the treatment, elm trees can still contract the incurable disease, which can spread to other trees.

The county hopes that, through the quick removal, other trees on the property will not have been infected as well. Plans are in place to plant two new resistant American elm cultivars to try to recreate the setting once the soil has had time to rest.

Second Ignite Howard Event Set for Sept. 11

The second Ignite Howard County event is set for Sept. 11 at Howard Community College, at a time to be announced. The event is billed as a “high-energy evening where the community comes together to share their passions.”

Presenting on a subject of their choice, 12-plus speakers will have exactly five minutes (and 20 slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds) to teach, enlighten or inspire the audience. The goal is to “create collisions of conversations and collaborations” between people in local artistic, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and innovative communities. The speaker application deadline is Aug. 7 at 12 p.m. Watch videos from the first Ignite Howard County event at www.youtube.com/channel/UCN3N6Z3vrO9EC2GLhI1Rjrw/videos.

Autobahn to Present Check to SOMD

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, at Jessup’s Autobahn Indoor Speedway, the staff will present Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) with a donation during a ceremony at the facility featuring Beary White, the official mascot of SOMD’s Polar Bear Plunge.

All of the funds being presented were raised in April by the speedway during Autism Awareness Month. This event will include free race time on the track and the opportunity to see Beary White take a victory lap and participate in the check presentation. The speedway is located at 8251 Preston Court, just off of Route 1.

HBCF Donates $15K to Hospice of the Chesapeake

The Maryland Building Industry Association’s (MBIA) Anne Arundel County Chapter, in partnership with the Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF), recently held its summer charity event and raised $15,000 for the construction of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s new Inpatient Care Center, in Pasadena. It will offer 14 beds to patients in need of hospital-level care.

More than 100 building industry members and community leaders participated in the event, which was held on the rooftop of the Mariner Bay Apartments in Annapolis Town Center. A number of MBIA members sponsored the event and donated funds that were matched by HBCF.

AACC Partner Wins Global Award for Leadership Program

Anne Arundel Community College’s (AACC) Center for Workforce Solutions partnered with University of Maryland Faculty Physicians Inc. (FPI) to develop and deliver its award-winning FPI Leadership Foundations program.

This program received a global award as the number one Leadership Program in the nonprofit category by HR.com and Leadership Excellence Magazine. Other awardees include Allstate Insurance, General Motors and Harvard Business Publishing.

The format included participants learning all aspects of the business functions of FPI, taught by FPI’s executive leadership team. AACC’s Center for Workforce Solutions was contacted by FPI to partner in the effort, specifically in the areas of leadership competency-based instruction, executive reinforcement sessions, measuring learning outcomes and certification.

CFHoCo Receives $52K Donation

The Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo), which raises, manages and distributes funds to support Howard County nonprofits, received $52,000 from The Kahlert Foundation to fund education programs.

The Kahlert Foundation’s donation supports the CFHoCo’s Making Up the Difference program, which funds nonprofits that received money through the Community Foundation’s community grants program but have additional need. The donation will support A-OK Mentoring-Tutoring, Bright Minds Foundation, Career Links, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, Lazarus Foundation, Leadership Howard County and STEMaction.

HCAC Garners Grant From PNC Foundation

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) has been awarded a $10,000 PNC Grow Up Great grant from the PNC Foundation for its Head StART in ART program. This grant will allow the HCAC to continue the Head StART in ART program at the Tubman Head Start Center, in Columbia, for the 2015–16 school year.

HCAC established the Head StART in ART program in fiscal 2000, in partnership with the Ellicott City Head Start Center, to provide hands-on experiences in the arts for pre-K students from low-income families. The program has been recognized as a model early childhood arts education program by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Baltimore Recruiting Battalion Changes Command

The U.S. Army Baltimore Recruiting Battalion conducted a change-of-command ceremony on July 24 at the parade field on Fort Meade when Lt. Col. David Dinkelman relinquished the responsibility of command of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Baltimore Battalion, to Lt. Col. Vanessa Moye.

Moye holds a Master of Science in human resources from Troy University and most recently served as the special assistant to the director of the Army Staff Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, Pentagon. Dinkelman will assume new duties in the Headquarters Command Special Troops Battalion in Fort Hood, Texas.

Howard County Conservancy to Host Free Program

The Howard County Conservancy, at Mount Pleasant, will host a free program to observe the Perseids meteor shower on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 10 p.m to 1 a.m. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. It peaks this year on the night of Aug. 12 and the morning of Aug, 13, with the best viewing to occur after midnight.

Dr. Parviz Ghavamian, assistant professor of astrophysics at Towson University, will have his high power viewing telescope to look at planets and the moon and will explain the meteor shower phenomenon. Bring a reclining lawn chair or blanket, water, snack and insect deterrent. Dim your headlights if arriving after 10 p.m. To sign up for the free program, visit www.hcconservancy.org/upcoming-events.html.

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Provides 52 Grants to Heritage Tourism Sites

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) recently announced 52 matching grants totaling more than $2.6 million to Maryland nonprofits, local jurisdictions and other heritage tourism organizations including museums, historic preservation, natural resources, cultural and educational organizations.

These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland, including Historic Annapolis ($90,000) and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts ($81,737), also in Annapolis.

“Tourism is the 10th largest private sector employer in Maryland, providing over 138,000 jobs and more than $15 billion of visitor spending each year,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. MHAA oversees Maryland’s system of 13 locally-administered, state-certified Heritage Areas. Today, all Maryland counties and Baltimore City have all or part of a Heritage Area within their boundaries.

Since its creation in 1996, MHAA has awarded more than $30.2 million in grants and helped to leverage $95.5 million in non-state funding for heritage tourism projects and activities in the 13 areas.

Two-Person Exhibit Set for Kish Gallery in September

The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, has announced the opening exhibit in the galleries for the 2015–16 gallery season. Kay Sandler will exhibit her pastels and watercolors in the Lobby Gallery, and Roderick Barr will present a photographic exhibit in the Bill White Room Gallery.

The artists have joined together and titled their exhibits “Natural Rhythms.” The show will run from Sept. 11–Oct. 24, with the exhibits part of the Howard County Road to the Arts.

Sandler, of Columbia, attended the Maryland Institute of Art after practicing law for 20 years. She works in watercolor, pastel and acrylic. In the past eight years, Sandler’s work has been juried in more than 50 national and international exhibitions; Barr, also of Columbia, has exhibited in solo and group shows, including four exhibitions at the Slayton House (now the Bernice Kish) Gallery, Howard Community College Gallery and Foundry Street Gallery.

There will be a reception on Sunday, Sept. 20, from 3–5 p.m., and the public is invited to attend. For more information, call 410-730-3987 or 301-596-4883.

LM Accepting Applications for Class of 2016

Leadership Maryland (LM) is accepting applications for the Class of 2016. Leadership Maryland’s selection committee will choose 52 applicants to complete an eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues.

Applications are open to senior-level executives with significant achievements in either their careers/their communities. Ideal LM applicants will have a desire to learn more about Maryland’s most critical issues and a personal commitment to be a force for positive change in their organizations, their communities and their state. For more information, visit www.LeadershipMD.org., call 410-841-2101 or e-mail Info@LeadershipMD.org.

CFHoCo Needs Philanthropist of the Year Nominations by Aug. 14

The Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo) will present the fourth annual Howard County Philanthropist of the Year Awards at its 2015 Annual Dinner and Celebration of Philanthropy on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m., at Turf Valley in Ellicott City.

CFHoCo is seeking nominations of those who inspire and challenge others to think about how they can have a lasting impact on Howard County’s future through their own philanthropy by Aug. 14.

If you have questions or need more information, call Debbie Daskaloff at 410-730-7840 or e-mail ddaskaloff@cfhoco.org.

Obie Award-Winning ‘The Baltimore Waltz’ Opens Rep Stage’s Season

Rep Stage, the regional theater-in-residence at Howard Community College (HCC), opens its 23rd season with Paula Vogel’s “The Baltimore Waltz,” directed by Suzanne Beal. Vogel’s fantastical farce traces the European odyssey of sister and brother Anna and Carl in search of romance — and a cure for Anna’s terminal illness, the fictitious ATD (acquired toilet disease) she contracted by using the bathrooms at the elementary school where she teaches.

“The Baltimore Waltz” opens Aug. 26, with a limited run through Sept. 13, in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC. For tickets and additional information, visit www.repstage.org or call the box office at 443-518-1500.