Wine, music and a tour at Conservancy event [Elkridge]

Those of you who have been reading along with me since I started contributing to this column will know that I have a special place in my writing for community-based programming that focuses on getting the public out into nature and learning about the environment in a manner that addresses how we can protect it.

I have mentioned before that the Howard County Conservancy has been chosen as the administrator of the programming for the Belmont Area of Rockburn Branch Park, and also for Patapsco Valley State Park.

On May 4, from 3 to 6 p.m., the Conservancy will host its Belmont Preview Event. Registration is required and there is a fee; but, participants will be treated to wine and a tour of the nature center as well as to a preview of upcoming programs.

Additionally, period music will be provided by Bruce Casteel, nominated as Outstanding Artist 2013 by the Howard County Arts Council. For more information about this event, go to

The new nature center and offices of the Conservancy will be located at 6553 Belmont Woods Road, in Elkridge, which is also known as the Carriage House as part of the Belmont Manor and Historic Park.

According to the Conservancy's executive director, Meg Schumacher Boyd, "For 20 years the Conservancy has provided programs, field trips, summer camps and land preservation from our Mt. Pleasant farm in Woodstock. We are honored to be selected as the environmental education partner with Howard County Recreation and Parks to provide similar programs at the new Belmont Manor and Historic Park."

I hope to see you out enjoying what this new partnership has to offer. All Conservancy programs and operations at Belmont will be funded by donors and registration fees; so, the success of this project will be directly correlated to community involvement and participation.

Grace Episcopal Church welcomes all to its annual Afternoon Tea, on Sunday April 27,, at 2 p.m. Don your hat and gloves and be prepared to be pampered with tea, scones, teacakes and much more at this fun-filled event. Tickets for the tea are $20 and can be ordered by calling 410-796-3270 begin or emailing The Tea will be held at 6725 Montgomery Road, Elkridge.

Finally, the writer of this column, Rebecca Lippa, has just been published as the author of "The Paper Samurai," a children's chapter book for readers aged 6-10. This charming story follows the adventures of Hana and Aiko as they work to thwart the nefarious plans of a villainous thief and his accomplices. For more information, go to

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