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Ellicott City farmers market now open in new location at Miller Branch Library

For almost a decade, Girl Scouts Troop 549 has led an annual stream clean-up of the Plum Tree Path. This year, Troop leader Lisa Rice, Natalie Rook, Bushra Lohrasbi, Troop leader Joanne McGillicuddy, Nina Parekh, Allyanna Rice, Jinia Sarkar, Ashley Rous, Kelly McGillicuddy, Audrey Schlimm, Stephanie Russ, Grant Kalasunas, and Melissa Holtz, from left, recovered 251 pounds of trash and 44 pounds of recyclables including the heaviest item - a mud-covered shopping cart.
For almost a decade, Girl Scouts Troop 549 has led an annual stream clean-up of the Plum Tree Path. This year, Troop leader Lisa Rice, Natalie Rook, Bushra Lohrasbi, Troop leader Joanne McGillicuddy, Nina Parekh, Allyanna Rice, Jinia Sarkar, Ashley Rous, Kelly McGillicuddy, Audrey Schlimm, Stephanie Russ, Grant Kalasunas, and Melissa Holtz, from left, recovered 251 pounds of trash and 44 pounds of recyclables including the heaviest item - a mud-covered shopping cart.(Submitted photo)

If you have a yearning for farm fresh fruits, vegetables and products, you're in luck. This week marks the opening of all the Howard County farmers markets located at several library branches, Oakland Mills Village Center and Howard County General Hospital.

The Ellicott City farmers market has relocated to a new home at the Miller Branch Library every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. The market will featured some of Howard County's finest farms and stores including Bowling Green Farm Cheese, TLV Tree Farm, Love Dove Farms and Great Harvest Breadery.

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Another exciting happening at the new Miller Branch Library is the grand opening of its Enchanted Garden on Saturday, May 12.

The public is invited to attend the festivities starting at 1 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and remarks by County Executive Ken Ulman and County Council Chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty followed by the unveiling of a historic contribution by Clark's Elioak Farm and the long anticipated announcement of the frog names. The Enchanted Garden activities will continue after the ceremony with children's stories, handprint tile creation stations, scavenger hunts and docent garden tours.

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This quarter-acre plot adjacent to the library's children's area is designed to be a community-based teaching garden and is one of the first of its kind in the country. The outdoor educational environment is conducive for all ages to learn about innovative health practices, nutrition and environmental stewardship.

One of my favorite features is the raised garden beds that contain a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers including the Stir Fry Garden, Peter Rabbit Patch, Pizza Garden, Multisensory Garden and Herbal Apothecary Garden.

With more than 65 varieties of native plants, water features, seating areas and art sculptures there is something for everyone to marvel at in the Garden. If you can't attend the opening ceremonies, feel free to visit on your next library trip — it's open year-round.

For almost a decade, local Girls Scouts have led a community effort called Project Clean Stream, an annual bay area clean-up through Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

It started in 2003, when Sabrina Fu led a clean-up project along Plum Tree Path and streams with her older daughter Clarissa Rous's Girl Scout troop. When Fu's younger daughter, Ashley Rous, joined Girls Scout Troop 549 in 2004 as a first-grader, her troop joined in the effort.

Over the years, the Stream Clean project has grown into an annual community effort which includes the Troop's family members, neighbors and friends. Although Ashely no longer belongs to Troop 549 — she's now an eighth-grader at Burleigh Manor Middle School — she still enjoys joining her former Troop members in their annual Stream Clean project.

Stream Clean 2012 was a huge success. Led by Joanne McGillicuddy and Lisa Rice, Troop 549 and supporters recovered 251 pounds of trash and 44 pounds of recyclables. The heaviest item was a mud-covered shopping cart.

According to Fu, they are already looking forward to next year's clean-up when they plan to work upstream from the Plum Tree path. If you would like to participate in local stream clean-ups, Fu suggests contacting Sue Muller of Howard County Parks and Recreation at smuller@howardcountymd.gov regarding the September International Coastal Cleanup project.

Carnegie Institution for Science biologist Dr. Marie Halpern paid a visit to the students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School recently as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival's Nifty Fifty (times 2) program, which sends more than 100 top scientists and engineers into Washington-area schools to ignite middle and high school students' passion for science and engineering.

Dr. Halpern has made great strides in the area of brain and nervous system research through her study of the tiny zebra fish. Armed with microscopes and fish, Dr. Halpern treated the students to a hands-on lecture about her research.

For more information on the USA Science & Engineering Festival's Nifty Fifty Program, go to the website http://www.usasciencefestival.org.

Silhouette Stages, Howard County's community theater group, is presenting its spring production, Stephen Sondheim's "Company," running Friday-Sunday, May 11-13 and 18-20 at 8 p.m. each night with matinee performances April 13 and 20 at 3 p.m. at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake village of Columbia.

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Co-directed by Debbie Mobley and Conni Ross, with musical direction by Michael Tan and choreography by Angie Stein, the show is a meditation on modern couples seen through the story of Bobby, a single man seeking love, his three gal pals, and the good and crazy married couples who are his best friends.

Ticket cost is $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.seatyourself.biz/SilhouetteStages or at the door. Go to http://www.silhouettestages.com for directions and additional information.

Howard County Public School System's Employee Chorus Spring Concert will be held this Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Howard High School. The event is free and open to the public. The Employee Chorus is composed of active and retired school system employees and friends.

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