I was pleased to be a part of an interesting meeting held at Dohony Hall at St. Paul's on Feb. 11. The plan is to blend the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation and the Ellicott City Business Association into a new umbrella group that will address the concerns of business owners, residents and preservationists in the historic district.

Thirty people turned out to express their interests and discussion was lively. Participants pointed out that our little town is charming, with international appeal. The historic district has a wonderful history, great and unique geography and exciting arts and entertainment venues.

We are a moderately urban environment with an easy commute to two big cities. The group agreed that while things are pretty great, they could also be better, with perhaps more public spaces, outdoor dining, maps and signage and street furniture like benches, decorative barrels and trash cans.

Everyone wants to keep the historic district an inviting place to live, work and visit in. If you have some ideas on what you think should be done to enhance the area, please send me an email and I will share it with the group when next we meet.

It takes a village to keep that village viable.

Save the date

The Howard County Historical Society kicks off its "Music in the Museum" concert series on Saturday, March 9. Virginia native and award-winning Americana folk singer/songwriter Andrew McKnight will perform in the first concert of the 2013 season. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, society members members $18.

On Friday, March 22, the Ain't Misbehavin' Big Band with Gar Foreman, musical director, will perform. They invite you to swing into spring with the hot sounds of the coolest band around. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available on line or at the door.

The Howard County Historical Society Museum is at 8328 Court Ave. off Main St. in Ellicott City. Parking is available in the lot near the Circuit Courthouse.

It's not too early to sign up for the Ellicott City Hills of Milltown 5k race, scheduled this year for Mother's Day, May 12, at 8 a.m. It's going to be a different and interesting route this year.

Starting in the parking lot behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the route will pass 13 historic sites, including the Patapsco Female Institute, Castle Angelo, the Howard County Courthouse, the jail and Mt. Ida. Go to http://www.visithowardcounty.com for more information.