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Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock: St. Andrews church earns high marks for going 'bay-wise'

The term "bay-wise" seems to be cropping up more frequently in our local lexiconAs used by the University of Maryland Extension, the adjective describes environmentally sound practices to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering the Chesapeake Bay.

In fact, Extension conducts a Bay-Wise Program to educate homeowners about savvier landscaping practices. It also offers certification to those who can demonstrate that their property meets the benchmarks of a bay-wise landscape.

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Locally, Friendship Baptist Church, in Sykesville, just earned Bay-Wise Certification for its gardens.

The process began 13 years ago, when the church added a new sanctuary. The county deemed part of the property a water retention area and specified that the church must plant native wetland vegetation to help prevent runoff and erosion.

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Although county representatives mapped out the plant varieties, quantities, and locations, the church was responsible for purchasing the plants and digging the new gardens.

Fortunately, the church received a grant through the Chesapeake Bay Trust (www.cbtrust.org), which in turn, receives its funding through private donations and the sale of Maryland Bay license plates.

Garden Ministry Leader Jane Slade Walz wrote the original grant proposal and again requested aid from the Trust in 2001, when the church aspired to connect its wetland gardens to a multi-level planting area.

At that time, the church received the highest grant ever awarded to a private property in Maryland and was able to replace a great deal of its lawn with a new wildlife habitat garden.

Currently, Walz and five other volunteers oversee the gardens at Friendship Church. Congratulations to the church and to all of the parishioners who labored lovingly on the garden projects!

The Howard County Office will offer a Farm-City Family Walk on Saturday, Sept. 22, 8-9:30 a.m., at Clark's Elioak Farm. This event is free, and no registration is required.

Just show up at 10500 Clarksville Pike (Route 108) in Ellicott City for the 1.5-mile walk around the farm, through a variety of interactive stations and the old Enchanted Forest Story Land characters.

Participants will get to learn about honey bees, pet some farm animals, color a pumpkin, and taste some crisp, fall apples. They can even plant lettuce to take home!

To learn more, go to http://www.clarklandfarm.com, or call 410-313-2707.

Next Thursday, Sept. 27, St. James United Methodist Church will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive in the Social Hall from 2 to 8 p.m. The address is 12470 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Marriottsville.

Appointments are encouraged; to sign up, call Jim Quindlan at 410-465-5134. All September donors will receive vouchers good at Mr. Tire or Munro Muffler/Tire & Service.

Also on Thursday, Sept. 27, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church will hold its regular community feast from 6 to 8 p.m. at 2892 Route 97, in Glenwood. This month's menu will feature Italian food.

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Too busy to stay? Grab a carry-out container and fill it to go. The cost is the same — $9 per person or $30 maximum per family; kids five and under eat for free.

Proceeds will benefit the church's 2013 Journey to Adulthood (J2A) Youth Pilgrimage to Arizona.

Questions? Email lynnequinn@comcast.net, or call 410-442-5445.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m., Glenelg United Methodist Church will present the next installment of its free community concert series. Vocalist Sara Dell'Omo and pianist Russell Wilson will delight audience members with a selection of music ranging from classical to Broadway, and a formal reception will follow the concert.

Call the church at 410-489-7702 with any questions. The address is 13900 Burntwoods Road, in Glenelg.

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