WHEN PAULA Behm-Windle moved to River Hill last year, she had a new house on about a third of an acre. The site included an area of trees and scrub.
But in terms of gardening and landscaping, "we started with nothing," Behm-Windle said.
Like many new homeowners, she began devising plans for what to plant where.
She had the scrub cleared out, put in paths and mulch, and planted some flowers.
Susan Smith, River Hill's covenant adviser, then told Behm-Windle about the Bay-Wise Landscape Management Demonstration Program.
Now, Behm-Windle is working on her property with expert advice from two of Howard County's volunteer master gardeners.
The gardeners, Lynn Kyper and T. J. Jezioro, visited Behm-Windle's home in the spring, took pictures of the property, and had her fill out an extensive questionnaire on her gardening practices.
They discussed her plans, offered suggestions and answered questions.
"They've been a sort of foil to run ideas past," said Behm-Windle.
She found them particularly helpful in coming up with a schedule for getting her lawn established.
"Grass is my short suit," she said.
The gardeners returned during the summer, and will continue to visit over the next year or two.
Behm-Windle said the master gardeners "are not giving too much advice" and are diplomatic.
"I enjoy it," she said.
Matching master gardeners with homeowners was the brainchild Georgia Eacker, who is coordinating the Bay-Wise program at the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland.
The purpose of the program is to encourage homeowners to use lawn care and gardening techniques that do not harm the Chesapeake Bay.
Master gardeners are working with homeowners throughout the county.
Eacker hopes that these homeowners will, in turn, become sources of information for their neighbors.
Is village center safe?
Residents of Harper's Choice will meet at 7: 30 p.m. today at Kahler Hall to discuss personal safety at the village center.
County Police Chief James N. Robey, County Councilwoman Mary C. Lorsung, a west Columbia Democrat, and Assistant State's Attorney Sang Oh are to attend.
Also participating will be Wayne Christmann, general manager of village centers for Columbia Management Inc., and members of the village board.
The board held a meeting of local officials in June to discuss safety at the center. Some measures have been implemented.
At tonight's meeting, residents will hear reports of what has been done and how residents can help.
Internet aid offered
During the statewide Net Weekend last September, parents and volunteers wired classroom pods and the media center at Longfellow Elementary School for Internet access.
This year, as part of Net Weekend '97, Longfellow is inviting members of the school community to explore the Internet using the school's computers.
The activities, funded by a grant from the governor's office, will be held Saturday.
From 11 a.m. to noon, an introduction to the Internet will be held for beginners. Families will be invited to use the computers for a Web Scavenger Hunt from noon to 1 p.m.
Special interest sessions will be offered from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Topics to be covered are searching on the Web, parental-skills sites on the Web and additional surfing techniques.
Activities are being organized by a committee of parents and staff members, including Principal Allan Olchowski, Kim Spanos-Telsing, Shannon Altman, Julie Wang and Bruce Fawcett.
Admission is free.
Information: Olchowski at 410-313-6879.
Learn Irish dance
Traditional Irish dance lessons for children and adults will be offered from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning next week, at Slayton House.
Classes will be taught by Sean Culkin, a second-generation American who has been dancing since he was 6.
Culkin, who studied dance in the Washington area, is certified to teach by the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin.
Classes will be divided by age groups, starting with 4-year-olds, and a separate group will be offered for boys. A one-hour class for adults will begin at 8 p.m.
Classes will run through June 9. The cost is $40 a month.
You can get a preview of the lessons at next week's classes, which are free. Registration for other lessons can be done then.
Information: Slayton House at 410-730-3987.
Village plans yard sale
The River Hill Community Association has scheduled its first villagewide yard sale.
The sale will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Rain date is Sunday. One resident from each participating street is asked to call 410-531-1749.
Pub Date: 9/24/97