Savage gets plaque as symbolic center of Maryland's population

NEIGHBORS

October 12, 2001|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IN AN Eastern European folk tale, one of the hero's tasks is to find the center of the world. After finding treasure and defeating a dragon, the hero returns to the king to claim his prize.

"But where is the center of the world?" asks the king. "Why, wherever you are standing, my lord," replied the hero. With such an answer, he receives half the kingdom, the princess and, of course, the dragon's head over the fireplace.

We can feel a bit like that king here in Savage. According to the 2000 census, we are the center of Maryland and not just because we stand here. Kathy Sloan-Beard of the Howard County Office of Public Information, Maryland Secretary of State John T. Willis, Howard County Executive James N. Robey and other dignitaries unveiled a monument Tuesday in Savage Park marking Savage as the symbolic center of Maryland's population.

The "centroid" marks the imaginary point from which the same number of Marylanders live north, south, east and west. In more visual terms, a flat rigid map of Maryland, holding equal weights for each resident, would balance at Savage - or nearby.

Well, we are almost at the centroid. The real spot is in the Baltimore-Washington Industrial Park in Savage, but the surveyors thought a more fitting location for the monument would be on public property, so people could visit. It's within a mile of the actual site.

The dedication ceremony was brief, a half-hour or so, with about 70 in attendance. Local politicians - County Councilman Guy J. Guzzone and Dels. Frank S. Turner, Shane Pendergrass and Elizabeth Bobo - attended, but most of the guests were members of the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

The marker, a flat bronze disk about the size of a dinner plate and engraved with state and county seals and those of several surveyors' societies, is installed flush with the lawn in front of the playground.

Just above it, mounted on a boulder, is a bronze plaque: It reads:

THIS SURVEY POINT, SET SEPTEMBER 2001, MARKS THE SYMBOLIC CENTER OF POPULATION FOR THE STATE OF MARYLAND. THIS POINT IS WHERE AN IMAGINARY, FLAT, WEIGHTLESS AND RIGID MAP OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND WOULD BALANCE PERFECTLY IF ALL ITS 5,296,486, RESIDENTS (BASED ON CENSUS 2000) WERE OF IDENTICAL WEIGHT.

FOR SURVEY INFORMATION, GO TO THE NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY WEB SITE AT WWW.NGS.NOAA.GOV.

It's nice that our little pocket of the state is honored just for being here.

Boy Scouts

September is a busy month for families, with school and other activities resuming. It's easy to forget to enroll in one activity or another.

The Cub Scouts have been meeting for a month now, but it is not too late to enroll in this fun and character-building group.

The Scouts encourage boys to develop social skills, serve others and have a great time outdoors.

Information about local Boy Scout troops: Mark Milby, 410-338-1700, Ext. 138.

Church news

Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Parish in Laurel is planning a busy season.

In addition to the regular Mass schedule and a new term for the religious education department, the church's gardeners and artisans are stepping up activities.

People tend to think of gardening as a spring and summer activity, but good gardeners know that fall preparations lead to successful spring gardens. The church Garden Group is looking for a few volunteers willing to help for an hour a week or so to make the flowerbeds around the church shine.

Information: Nancy Mayes, 301-498-2719.

The church holds a Christmas bazaar in November, to give shoppers a jump on the holiday season. This year, Ye Olde Christmas Village will be held Nov. 16 and 17.

Committee members Rachel Norsworthy, Barbara Flynn, Barbara Jeffers and Edna Maggenti have been working all year planning the event. It is to include food, crafts and a raffle with a $1,000 first prize. Mark your calendars.

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