Howard County Briefs

August 10, 2012

'Houses of Hope'

The Columbia mall hosts the Cool Kids Campaign's exhibition, "Houses of Hope," continuing through Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The exhibition consists of 12 handmade birdhouses painted by current and former pediatric cancer patients to reflect on how they feel about living with cancer. The birdhouses are situated throughout the mall, and each one has a picture and biography of the artist next to it. The purpose of the exhibit is to raise awareness about the campaign, whose mission is to "help all kids feel like kids again." Free. Information: 410-730-3300.


The Columbia Orchestra will hold auditions at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, and 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road in Columbia. Advanced high school students are welcome. Information: 410-465-8777.

Blood drive

Calvary Lutheran Church will hold a blood drive beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 16151 Old Frederick Road in Mount Airy. Information: 410-489-5280.

Watershed stewards

The Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy Advisory Committee is recruiting volunteers for the county's first class of watershed stewards. Stewards will learn how to design and build projects that reduce the amount of storm-water runoff from rooftops, roads, driveways and parking lots into streams and rivers in Howard County. Applications are due Sept. 12. An information session will be held Aug. 28 in the Patapsco Room of the Howard County Library's Miller branch, 9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City. For information and applications, go to

Environmental volunteers

The Howard County Legacy Leadership Institute for the Environment is recruiting for the 2013 class of legacy leaders. The environmental education and volunteer leadership program is designed for people ages 50 and older who want to gain skills and knowledge about the environment and create a legacy through their volunteer work with Howard County partner organizations. Applications are due Sept. 28. A $75 fee is due at enrollment. For more information, go to To apply, call 410-381-5279 or 410-796-7232, or email

Calling all artists'

The Meeting House Gallery, Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia, is accepting applications for artwork to be exhibited from November through the spring. People older than 18 who live in Maryland, Washington, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania may apply. Artwork in all media and styles that can be hung, including wall sculptures, is acceptable. The deadline is Sept. 1. Information: 410-730-4090.

Fall adult basketball

The Department of Recreation and Parks is accepting registrations for its fall adult basketball leagues. Men's leagues are on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights; women's leagues are on Thursdays. There is a Wednesday Co-Rec league. In addition, there is a 30-plus men's league on Tuesday. Play begins the week of Sept. 13. The fee is $600 per team for an eight-game season plus playoffs. The fee includes officials, scorekeeper, awards and playoffs. Registration deadline is Aug. 20. Information: 410-313-7275.

Volunteer nominations

Howard County Volunteer of the Year nomination forms are available at The deadline is Sept. 7. Information: 410-313-2023.

Skills park

Rockburn Skills Park, targeted toward mountain bikers and trail runners, has opened at Rockburn Branch Park. Features include a pump track, flow trail, descending trail, climbing trail and an uphill return trail. The 450-acre Rockburn Branch Park includes 7.4 miles of trails, woodlands, marshes and stream valleys, multipurpose athletic fields, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts, two playgrounds, an 18-hole disc golf course and picnic pavilions. Information:

Farmers' markets

Local and regional fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, eggs and baked goods are available at these farmers' markets in the area:

•Howard County Library, Miller branch, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, through Oct. 31.

•Howard County Library, East Columbia branch, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, through Nov. 15.

•Howard County General Hospital, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, through Oct. 26.

•Howard County Library, Glenwood branch, 2350 Route 97. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, through Nov. 17.

•Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Oliver Place, Columbia. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 18.


Soccer coaches

Special Olympics needs soccer coaches for the coming season, which runs from late August through October. Practices are held twice a week, on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Training will be provided. Information: 410-740-0500.

Guided hikes

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