April 21, 2006

Garlic mustard cleanup Tuesday

Volunteers are needed to pull garlic mustard, an invasive, non-native plant, along Cricket Creek in the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, off South Wind Circle, in Columbia's River Hill village.

Howard County master gardeners and the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks are sponsoring the effort to maintain diversity of plant life in the area. The event is to be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Volunteers should take water and gloves and dress for the weather. Cheryl Farfaras, natural resources manager for the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, will identify spring wildflowers for the group.

Information: 410-730-4994.

Legislative interns needed for 2007

Legacy Leadership Maryland is seeking volunteers, ages 50 and older, to serve as legislative interns during the 2007 legislative session in Annapolis.

Training, provided through the University of Maryland, will be held two days a week for 10 weeks.

Participants will be assigned to work in the office of a delegate or senator during the 90-day General Assembly session. Intern opportunities with Howard County legislators are also available.

Carole Graves, 410-312-9140.

Neighbor Ride seeks drivers, coordinators

Neighbor Ride, a nonprofit transportation program, is seeking volunteer drivers and ride coordinators to provide transportation for seniors, ages 60 and older, in Howard County. Drivers use their vehicles to take seniors to medical and other appointments, religious services, social events, and educational and exercise classes.

Orientations are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 11 and June 13 at 8808 Centre Park Drive, Suite 108, Columbia.

Information: Laurie Bokulic, 410-884-3616.

Group aiding kids needs mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland, which serves Baltimore and surrounding counties, is seeking volunteers to become mentors, friends and role models for children in need.

Volunteers must submit references and consent to background checks. Training is provided.

Information: 410-243-4000, or www.biglittle.org.

Helpers needed for BikeAbout

Volunteers are needed for the sixth BikeAbout, to be held May 6 in Columbia.

The free event, sponsored by the Columbia Association and organized by the Columbia Archives, draws several hundred cyclists who follow a route that includes historic and natural places of interest along Columbia's pathway system.

The BikeAbout is part of the halfway point celebration of Get Active Columbia, a health initiative sponsored by the Columbia Association and other local organizations and agencies.

Information: Barbara Kellner, 410-715-3103.

Advocates sought for at-risk kids

Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization, is seeking volunteers to be court-appointed advocates and mentors to abused, neglected and at-risk children in Howard County.

Voices for Children is part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association that provides advocates for children involved with the juvenile court system. Volunteers must be at least 21, complete a 30-hour training program and undergo a background check.

They will work with children, their families, agency professionals and the courts to ensure that the children are safe and receive appropriate services.

Information or for an application: 410-740-0933, or Voices for Children, 5550 Sterrett Place, Suite 215, Columbia.

Patapsco state park needs assistance

Patapsco Valley State Park is seeking volunteers to staff visitor centers, lead interpretive programs, guide nature walks, host camps and help with animal care, trail maintenance, publicity, newsletter production, restoration, gardening, photography, control-station staffing, maintenance and other tasks.

Information or to volunteer: Larry Martin, 410-465-3287.

Youth Service Days are this weekend

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, the Local Children's Board and the Association of Community Services are promoting Youth Service Days, today, tomorrow and Sunday. The project is part of National Youth Service Days, a program to mobilize youth to identify the needs of their communities and engage in community service.

The volunteer center will refer young people seeking projects to agencies interested in working with young volunteers.

Information: 410-715-3172.

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will celebrate Earth Day and National Youth Service Day by planting trees and installing tree shelters at West Friendship Park from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow. The rain date is April 29.

Camp Make a Difference, a summer camp that involves volunteer projects in the community and recreational activities, is being organized by a partnership of the Volunteer Center and the Columbia Association. The program will be open to middle and high school students, through 11th grade.

The program offers four two-week sessions - two for children in grades six to eight and two for grades nine to 11. The cost is $160 for Columbia residents; $195 for nonresidents.

Information: 410-715-3165.

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