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Community Notes

The Baltimore Sun

County to hold its first GreenFest

As part of its celebration of National County Government Week, Howard County will sponsor its first GreenFest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Glenwood Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville.

The event will feature exhibits, demonstrations, activities and practical tips for ways to "green" one's home, workplace and lifestyle. Sixty vendors will supply information on green builders and consumer products, leaving a green footprint, and the benefits of hybrid vehicles. Local environmental clubs and organizations will distribute information on environmental awareness. The first 150 people to attend will receive free canvas shopping bags from My Organic Market.

Activities will include a bird walk, a binocular-building workshop for children, a wildlife hike, a dragonfly and frog watch and a live animal display by Reptiles Alive.

Visitors can register for a free home energy audit. Used cell phones, eyeglasses and binoculars can be dropped off for donation to those in need. Paper documents and data storage devices (DVDs, CDs, floppy disks and tapes) can also be recycled.

Howard Transit will provide free shuttle bus service from The Mall in Columbia (the upper parking lot near the Sears Service Center) at 9 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. Return buses will leave the Glenwood center at 11:40 a.m. and 1:10 p.m.

Information: 410-313-6444, or www.howardcountymd.gov and click on GreenFest.

May spring party to help nonprofits

The Columbia Foundation, the Howard County community foundation, will hold its 26th annual Spring Party at The Spear Center in the General Growth Properties building from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 1.

A full buffet, raw bar and beverages from Clyde's of Columbia are planned. Proceeds will benefit Howard county nonprofit human service, cultural, civic and educational organizations.

Tickets are $75. Those who add $25 to the ticket price will contribute $1 to each of 25 agency endowments established, through The Columbia Foundation, by nonprofit organizations.

The foundation, which was founded in 1969, has awarded more than $9 million in grants to Howard County nonprofit organizations.

Money for the grant programs comes primarily from income generated by the foundation's endowment, which is supported by more than 250 funds established by Howard County businesses, families and individuals. According to the foundation's 2006 annual report, which contains its most recently published figures, The Columbia Foundation's assets were $12 million.

Information or to purchase tickets: 410-730-7840 or visit www.columbiafoundation.org.

Deer-proofing seminars planned

A series of seminars on deer-proofing gardens in animal-friendly ways will be offered in cooperation with the Humane Society, Deer Solutions MD and Animal Advocates of Howard County.

Sandy Baker, the "deer doctor," will describe five effective strategies for protecting plants -- and animals.

The seminar will be offered from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the River Hill Garden Center, 12165 Clarksville Pike (Route 108), Clarksville. It will also be offered from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Catonsville library, 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville.

Information: 410-880-2488.

Dog Day set April 12 at Lake Elkhorn

The Columbia Association will host its second annual Dog Day Afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 12 at Lake Elkhorn in Columbia.

There will be treats and activities for dogs, and face painting, a caricature artist and a craft area for kids. Music will be provided by a DJ.

This free event will feature local businesses and organizations that focus on the health, happiness and well-being of dogs. Some activities will include a pet costume contest and fashion show, raffles and contests.

Information: 410-715-3104.

Autism society to raffle motorcycle

The Howard County Autism Society and Harley-Davidson of Maryland Inc. will raffle a 2007 FXD Dyna SuperGlide motorcycle, in Pacific pearl blue, to raise awareness on autism in Howard County.

Tickets are available for $100 each; $250 for three. One thousand tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held at the third "Pieces of the Puzzle Gala," from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.howard-autism.org or at Harley-Davidson of Maryland, 7010 Troy Hill Drive, Elkridge.

Lantern workshops offered for festival

Free lantern-making workshops are being offered at Howard County library branches and at Howard County Center for the Arts in preparation for the "Lanterns of Hope" luminaria procession planned for this year's Comcast Cherrybration on May 3 at Centennial Park.

The event will celebrate the arrival of spring and the blossoming of Howard's County's1,250 "Blossom of Hope" Kwanzan cherry trees.

The outdoor festival, which is to begin at 4 p.m., will feature music, strolling entertainers, children's activities and educational displays on health, the outdoors and the importance of nature. At dusk, Mother Nature will lead a luminaria parade through the park.

Workshops will be offered from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Glenwood branch; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Howard County Center for the Arts; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 9 at the Elkridge branch; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 12 at the central library; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 13 at Howard County Center for the Arts; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 19 at the central library; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 20 at Howard County Center for the Arts; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 24 at the east Columbia branch; and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 27 at Howard County Center for the Arts.

Instructions for making a simple lantern are also available online at www.blossomsofhope.com.

"Blossoms of Hope" helps to fund Howard County General Hospital's Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center.

Safety highlighted in Government Week

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has announced plans to celebrate National County Government Week from Saturday through April 12 with activities highlighting county-sponsored programs that protect the safety, health and welfare of children.

GreenFest, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, will kick off the week's celebrations. A Discovery Fair from 9 a.m. to noon at the east Columbia library branch and a Child Safety Seat Check from 9 a.m. to noon at Fire Station 5 in Clarksville (reservations: 410-313-6090) are also planned.

Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services will conduct two Community Emergency Response Training programs, focused on keeping children and families safe, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 9 and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. April 12. Both events will be at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center.

The county's Child Advocacy Center will hold an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to raise awareness about children who are victims of abuse or neglect.

For a complete list of events: www.howardcountymd.gov .

Giving Circle to hold social

The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County will hold its sixth annual meeting and social from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 16 at the Spear Center in the General Growth Properties Building in Columbia.

Donors, friends and members of the community are invited to attend. Wine and other refreshments will be served.

Diane Schumacher, Howard Community College athletic director, will talk about "A Celebration of Girls and Women in Sports: Title IX at 35." She will discuss the impact of Title IX on women's athletics. The 1972 legislation was designed to allow women access to education.

The Women's Giving Circle is working to build a community of women in philanthropy, creating a permanent endowment fund and providing grants to institutions and initiatives that address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.

Admission to the meeting and social is $40. General Growth Properties is at 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway. To purchase tickets, send $40 to TCF/Women's Giving Circle, 10227 Wincopin Circle, Suite G-15, Columbia, 21044; or www.womensgivingcircle.org. Tickets will be held at the door.

Information: Colleen Taggart D'Agrosa, 800-642-2542.

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