I love Columbia. Unabashedly. No apologies. It has allotted me with a sense of purposeful design for living. It is a place I chose to invest in, grow roots and family and volunteer heavily in. It is a place where boats and cardboard things compete in song, and races pedaling marathons and cherry blooming blossoms eloquent in simplicity message hope and change. A place I have unabashedly relished coming home to for 40 years. With its crazy street mapping, impeccable open spaces doled with aging trees and weathered canopies, and propagated lakes staging liquid sunsets surrender to eroding feeder stream beds and oh the gawking feathered wildlife manufacturing poop decks of another kind.

With its migrating seepage of entrepreneurs, struggling to compete with box destinations in ever-evolving village centers and potential zoning changes few perceive and less understand, we age in place. Almost a half century in the making, Columbia.

Now we have been extended a hand to realize a renewed sense of place, drawn on a blank canvas of infrastructure. A draft plan that is bigger than us, where spirited vision will blend at the fork in the road through time, and take us.

Let us awaken our passion and rejoice in imagineering a blank canvas to life in Symphony Woods.


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Let us climb ladders in trees and build lofts instead of bunkers. Let us find ways to make it work instead of tirelessly trekking ways for it not to. Let us give voice to the passion of vision and be not silent because you like it, but raise your voice because you have a liberated cause to. Let us Arbor on!

Rhoda Toback

Columbia