What with a mild winter and gentle spring, nature has been fecund. We're overrun with mice in the house and aphids in the garden. It's time to get the serious chemicals out. But when you've finished spraying the roses and poisoning pests, don't toss the stuff down the drains.
Those chemicals can also kill the bay. Be a sport and bring leftover household chemicals to the Gateway Building parking lot July 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Howard County Bureau of Waste Management will also collect leftover pesticides, used oil, oil-based paints and other household products.
The address is 6751 Gateway Drive in Columbia.
For more information about this, or other disposal questions, call the bureau at (410) 313-6444.
Andrew Erikson has been named student of the year in Louise Robinson's kindergarten class at Bethel Christian Academy. Congratulations.
The next meeting of the La Leche League of North Laurel/Savage will be at 10:15 a.m. July 5 in the meeting room of the Savage Library.
This month's topic is "Becoming a Mother: Changes, Adjustments and Needs."
The league invites all expectant and nursing mothers to this informative but informal meeting. Babies and older siblings are welcome, too. Just make sure to bring a quiet-time toy for the youngsters to play with during the presentation. While at the library, stop by the children's desk and sign up your toddlers and babies for "Tots Take Out," the Howard County Library's summer reading game for the preschool set.
Children get coupons good for free bagels or breads and free passes to the Baltimore Zoo just for signing up.
For more information about the La Leche League call Cindy Clemmens at (301) 604-4964 or Kim Wissman at (301) 854-5568.
For more information about the library's summer reading game call the Savage Library children's desk at (410) 880-5978.
The Freestate Happy Wanderers Volksmarch Club is sponsoring 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) walk July 9 at the Carriage House at Montpelier Mansion. Registration runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to this free event.
Montpelier Mansion is a colonial-era house now owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
The trail is along residential streets and on sidewalks. There is also a 5-kilometer course for beginners and those differently abled. Strollers can navigate both trails but wheelchairs cannot.
The event is free to those who do not want International Federation of Popular Sports credit. Those who do pay $2. However, all participants must register at the site and children younger than 12 must be accompanied during the entire walk.
The mansion will offer guided tours Sunday at 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Admission to the house where Washington really did sleep is $1.50 for adults, $1 for seniors and 50 cents for children. This is a great (and cheap) way to get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood, and get a little exercise.
For more information about this walk, call Chuck Caloia at (301) 776-2837 or Bill Hassell at (410) 437-2164.
It's summer and there's lots to do in our area. The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks offers many local programs for tots to teens.
"Teens on Tour," a two-week program of daylong adventures and tours will be held at Hammond Middle School beginning July 31 for middle-schoolers.
There will be hiking tours, whitewater rafting, an overnight trip and visits to an amusement park. This session begins July 31.
The PINES Environmental Education Center at Patuxent Valley Middle School will sponsor four different Lab Science Explorers day camps for 7- to-12-year-olds. The one-week daylong programs include such activities as observing reptiles, lizards and endangered species in the center, building a model of the Chesapeake Bay, running computer simulations and lab experiments.
Older participants will work with mirrors, travel to the nearby Patuxent River, build models and run computer games. These sessions also begin July 31.
For the preschool set, Wee Discoveries, a morning science and social science camp, will be held at Forest Ridge Elementary School Recreation Center.
There are four weeklong sessions, each focusing on a particular theme. Monday's session focuses on "Space: the Final Frontier," followed by "Down on the Farm," "The World of Science," "Nature and Fantasy" and "Fairy Tales and Toons" in the weeks after.
Each week session costs $50, or $190 for all four.
For more information about these programs or others sponsored by the department, call (410) 313-4658.