Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock: Wonder Walk at Howard County Conservancy

Bob Solem examining a Widow Skimmer dragonfly after catching it in his net during this Wonder Walk in 2008 at the Howard County Conservancy at Mt. Pleasant Farm, in Woodstock. The Conservancy is sponsoring another Wonder Walk, “Hike to the River: Signs of Spring,” scheduled for April 14 at 10 a.m. with naturalists Woody Merkle and John Cookson.

What an early spring we have enjoyed this year! The Howard County Conservancy would like to invite nature lovers of all ages to experience this season of renewal during a free Wonder Walk, "Hike to the River: Signs of Spring," scheduled for April 14 at 10 a.m. Naturalists Woody Merkle and John Cookson will lead a moderately difficult walk over hill and dale, through meadows and woods, down to the Patapsco River, while they point out the area's spring beauty. In case of rain, check the Conservancy's website at

While visiting the Conservancy, get a final glimpse of the artwork hanging in the Guldelsky Environmental Education Center. This year's juried art show, "The Art of Stewardship: Everything Round," will culminate with an awards presentation and auction April 19 at 6 p.m.


The show's jurors – internationally acclaimed artist Greg Mort; Founder and Director of the American Visionary Art Museum, Rebecca Hoffberger; and New York Times contributor and author Anne Raver — will speak about their decisions and the winning artists will explain how nature inspires their lives and their art. The evening will include a wine and cheese reception.

Tickets for the event cost $10 by April 17 or $12 thereafter. Attendees must register in advance at the above-mentioned website.


Earth Day also takes place this month, and the Conservancy will hold its annual call to service April 21. The morning will begin with an 8 a.m. bird walk with Scott Burgland and Mike Kerwin of the Howard County Bird Club, followed by service projects such as stream cleanup and invasive plant removal. Children will have an opportunity to make a special craft at 11:30 a.m., and the day will conclude at 1 p.m. In case of rain, check the Conservancy's website.

The address is 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock, and the phone number is 410-465-8877.

Just a reminder that the Howard County Bird Club is in the midst of accepting artwork for its third annual Student Birding Art Contest. Howard County youth ages 9-13 may submit a drawing or painting of their favorite Maryland bird in any medium, including graphite, oils, pastels, and acrylics. The piece should be no larger than 11"x14", and entries will be evaluated on realism and attention to detail.

The first place winner will receive a one-year membership to the Howard County Bird Club, plus a backpack containing a pair of Eagle Optic binoculars and a birding field guide. Previous winners are not eligible to participate. Mail entries to Kate Tufts, 2830 Duval Road, Woodbine, MD 21797 and make sure to include the artist's name, age, phone number, email address, school, and name of bird. The deadline is May 31. For more information, go to

The county will hold its fifth annual GreenFest at Howard Community College April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year's event, themed "Saving the Environment One Yard at a Time," is free and will offer helpful services and fun for the whole family. Opportunities include recycling and reuse collections, paper shredding, green vendors, a mini farmer's market, gardening workshops, tree planting, an outdoor play space, and a wildlife room with live reptiles and birds of prey.

To learn more, go to the county website at and select the Environment "sprout" icon at the bottom of the page, then scroll down to the GreenFest link.

Calling all golfers! The Marriotts Ridge High School Boosters Club will host its seventh annual golf classic fundraiser June 4 at the Waverly Golf Course. Registration will begin at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The day will conclude with hors d'oeuvres and awards from 5:30-7 p.m.

Participation costs $125 per golfer, $500 per foursome or $25 for the social event only, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Go to to learn more or to register online. The registration deadline is May 25 — no walkups allowed.


Our local churches are in the midst of commemorating Holy Week and would like to invite community members to participate in their special worship services.

Chapelgate Presbyterian, at 2600 Marriottsville Road, in Marriottsville, will offer a Maundy Thursday Family Soup Supper and Communion tonight, Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Worship Center. An Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, April 7 at 10 a.m. and Easter worship will take place at Sunday, April 8 at 10:30 a.m. Call 410-442-5800 with any questions.

At West Liberty United Methodist, a Holy Thursday service will begin tonight at 7 p.m., and a look at the "Seven Last Words on the Cross," will begin on Good Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. The church will offer two services on Easter Sunday, April 8: a sunrise worship at 6 a.m., and a regular worship at 10 a.m. The church address is 2000 Sand Hill Road and the phone number is 410-442-2969.

Also in Marriottsville, St. James United Methodist will offer a Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service tonight, Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m., and a modified Stations of the Cross at 7:30 p.m. on Good Friday. An Easter sunrise service will take place in the outdoor chapel Sunday, April 8 at 6:30 a.m. with a regular Easter worship celebration at 10 a.m. The address is 12470 Old Frederick Road (Route 99); call 410-442-2020 for more information.

Friendship Baptist, at 1391 Sykesville Road (Route 32), in Sykesville, will present a Good Friday Service and Lord's Supper Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. and services on Easter morning, Sunday, April 8 at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. The church phone number is 410-442-5506.

Finally, Mt. Zion United Methodist, in Highland, would like to invite the extended community to its Easter worship program. The church will present a Holy Thursday service titled, "Christ in the Passover" at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, April 5 and a dramatic Good Friday reading of "The Stations on the Way to the Cross" at 7 p.m. tomorrow. Easter morning, Sunday, April 8 will begin with a 6:30 a.m. sunrise service in the Mt. Zion cemetery, followed by a pancake breakfast in the Church Fellowship Hall. Three more services will take place in the Sanctuary at 8:15, 9:45 and 11:15 a.m. The address is 12430 Scaggsville Road, and the phone number is 301-854-2324.