Category Archives: Columbia Association

Some recent important CA activities and date

11 June 2017 — Books in Bloom, Columbia’s First Book Festival; at Chrysalis

11 June 2017 — CA Summer Picnic at Sports Park 4-8 PM

14 June 2017 — Design Advisory Panel meeting on Lakefront Core Design Guidelines

15 June 2017 — Luminarium sneak preview at Lakefront (invitations were sent out by Columbia Festival of the Arts)

16-18 June 2017 — Lakefest at the Lakefront

17 June 2017 — Columbia’s 50th Birthday Cake Cutting at Lakefront 7 PM

18 June 2017 — Reception for “heART of Columbia” exhibit at HCC

21 June 2017 — Wilde Lake’s 50th birthday celebration at village center 5-8 PM

21 June 2017 — People Tree Birthday & Bells dedication at Lakefront 

21 June 2017 — Columbia Orchestra’s POPs Concert at Chrysalis in celebration of the Columbia’s 50th Birthday 7 PM

22 June 2017 — CA Board Meeting

22 June 2017 — Longest Table event for 50th Birthday

22 June 2017 — CA’s World’s Largest Swim lesson

24/25 June 2017 — CA Open House

26 June 2017 — Audit Committee meeting

Swim Center is closed until early September.

Athletic Club closed 30 July to 28 August 2017 for renovations (phase 1)

Howard Dialogue : The longest Table

Columbia Association is a sponsor of The Longest Table, an event seeking to build new relationships and discuss the future of Columbia. Tickets are now available via Eventbrite: click here.

You are invited to the table!
We provide the dinner; you provide the conversation. The first of its kind in the state, The Longest Table is an idea to build new relationships and talk about the future of our community. Share a meal and conversation with someone you don’t know — to enhance the experience of getting to know different people, guests will not be seated with their companions — exchange stories about life in Howard County, and discover both common ground and new ideas. The dialogue starts when you come to the table.

Adult tickets limited to two; student tickets limited to one per person.
We are seeking people to be “table hosts” and facilitate conversations. If you are interested, please complete this form.
Additional details at

We are Neighbors and Friends (The Villager 2017-06)

We are Neighbors and Friends

The article is published at River Hill Villager, 2017-06 issue.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “neighbors nearby are better than relatives faraway”. That is so true in today’s world since more family members are scattered around the globe. Instead, many families have been neighbors for more years than they have live with or near parents and other relatives.  At a difficult time, or for convenience, a friendly neighbor can often offer greater help than a relative not in the area.

I am writing this article  following two of my experiences in the neighborhood. The first  experience is an example of a not so friendly situation. A family sought my help because their neighbor always parked their car along the curb in front of their home. River Hill’s Covenants do not address areas within the public rights-of-way and the location and manner in which the vehicle parks is not illegal and therefore there is no action the police can take  However, the parking of the car did cause difficulty for the family when backing out from their garage and there appears to be enough space in their neighbor’s driveway to park which adds to their frustration. Though the family talked with their neighbor, they were unable to resolve the issue and asked for my assistance. I tried to mediate and have not succeeded yet.  In another example, some neighbors are very friendly and considerate. I know of two neighbors who both have dogs. They set up regular play-dates for their pets. When one neighbor has a vacation, the other neighbor takes care of their dogs and cats, and vice versa. This level of cooperation is a tremendous help to each resident and to their pets.

We are now living in a more compact world and in Howard County, Columbia, and at in the villages we are dedicated to creating a more walkable environment which will lead to more interactions with each other. The most important element of  a good neighborhood is our neighbors and our connections to one another.

This concept can also be extended to land development. Adding a wall to reduce sound disturbance or a fence to avoid light pollution are soft and friendly measures developers can take to give consideration to residential neighbors. Improving traffic conditions around commercial development as early as in the design phase as possible will increase acceptance from the neighborhood as well. Surely, some residents do not want any changes in their neighborhoods and the surrounding area; but, most our residents are reasonable and ask no more than necessary to protect their peaceful existence. Their concerns should be respected and honored.

We are neighbors and have the potential to be friends.  If we cannot be friends, at least, we can be considerate of our neighbors. A greeting, a smile, or offering to help with kids or pets are ways we can assist each other. Let us embrace our neighbors.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email:  Website:

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.

CA board meeting summary 2017-05-25

Resident speakout:

Paul Verchinski, Oakland Mill, DC metroplex, oakland mill village board, BWI Roundtable, BWI airplane noise issue because of next-gen implementation. Asking for CA endorsement to send a letter for mitigate the noise issue. People wake up at 5:00 AM because of that, the noise last until midnight. More than 10 metro-cities are suing the FAA.

It seems this airplane noise is the next problem after Merriweather Post Noise hang there for several years.

Allan Feinstein, disabled man, falling three times at swimming center. Columbia gym is much better. Mats are needed at the Swimming Center. Handicap accessible bathroom is needed. Mold in Swimming Center. New swimming center park lot has only four handicapped parking space. His falls was not documented after his report.

Nina Basu: Long Reach board chair, their board voted to support the County’s Long Reach Village Development Plan.


  1. Presentation on Planning for Columbia’s Lakefront, from Groundswell Design Group.
  2. The board experienced live video-streaming of board meeting. It will go online on June 22.

Board Action:

  1. Purchase exception – Graphic design services and production-Columbia Gym, Athletic Club and Supreme Sports Club
  2. Endorse CA President’s letter to DPZ to support Long Reach Village Center urban renewal proposal from Orchard Development










Chrysalis Rental Pricing Structure

The CA board got the document from Inner Arbor Trust about the Chrysalis Rental Rates and terms.  For non 501(c)(3) entities, $320/hour and $1280 minimum rental; or $250/hour, $1000 minimum for 501(c) 3 entities.

Using Merriweather park at Symphony woods has a different pricing. See pictures below.

Chrysalis rental pricing p1

Chrysalis rental pricing p2

Chrysalis rental pricing p3

Chrysalis rental pricing p4

This was taken at 25th Wine in The Woods event. It was a great event.

2017 CA’s scholarship award to high school students are out

Columbia Association awards $2,500 scholarships to six community service-minded seniors

I have the pleasure to work with one award recipient Jennifer Zhang who is our student board member. She has done a lot to promote healthy and happy life, volunteering and fun for young kids. She is a truly amazing young lady with bright future. Thanks a lot for her contribution. 
Columbia Association (CA) is proud to announce and recognize the recipients of the Maggie J. Brown Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award, a $2,500 scholarship awarded to six graduating high school seniors who have shown extraordinary dedication to performing community service. They are:

Jacob Lampf, from Atholton High School, is an intern with the Howard County Executive Office who conducted interviews and outreach for the Humans of #OneHoward initiative. The initiative promotes community dialogue and reinforces the county’s shared goals of diversity and inclusiveness through a series of community conversations and educational events. Lampf has also served for two years as a student voice on the Howard County Health Council. He participated in the Leadership U Howard County program, working with a group of his peers to assemble and distribute Welcome Home Baskets to veterans who had recently moved to Columbia. Lampf will attend Indiana University in the fall.

Kaitlin Landfried, from Hammond High School, is a graduate of the Leadership U Howard County program whose team project involved creating a “safe space” social and networking event for LGBT teens. Landfried’s passion for making Columbia a better place for LGBT individuals has continued on through volunteering at events that serve the LGBT community. She also volunteered for the Image-In Clothing Giveaway, which was sponsored by TransAAction Maryland and supported by PFLAG Columbia-Howard County. Landfried will attend University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the fall.

Cire Nicholson, from Oakland Mills High School, volunteered with Allied Soccer, a varsity sport for teens with disabilities. Nicholson noticed that some of her peers were mean to those students, and so she became their advocate. As a peer assistant, she worked closely with the students on the field during practices and attended all of their games. Nicholson also is a peer assistant at the National Family Resiliency Center in Columbia, sharing her experience as the child of a divorced family in order to help others. She served in a leadership role, guiding group discussions and making sure everyone in the group stayed engaged and participated. Nicholson will attend North Carolina A&T State University in the fall.

Olatokunbo Olaniyan, from Glenelg Country School, created a nonprofit organization, Hope for Sickle Cell, to increase awareness of sickle cell disease. Olaniyan was just 4 years old when she lost her mother to sickle cell disease. Olaniyan also created a website,, to spread awareness, and made a presentation to Congress advocating for research funding. In addition, she participated alongside her peers in Rebuilding Together Howard County, taking a lead role in organizing the rebuilding of an elderly couple’s home in Columbia. Olaniyan will attend Washington University in the fall.

Aaron Park, from Long Reach High School, applied his passion for plants and horticulture by helping his community garden association. Park has been involved with sustainable gardening for the past 11 years. He shared his ideas about natural pesticides, irrigation techniques, conservationism and genetic preservation with his fellow gardeners. Park also recently completed a successful heirloom tomato fundraiser that gave many gardeners rare, organic and healthy plants to grow. He has a passion for music and has performed regularly for years at his church. Park will attend University of North Carolina in the fall.

Jennifer Zhang, from River Hill High School, has served since her freshman year on the River Hill Teen Advisory Committee, including two years as the committee’s chair and the student member of the River Hill Village Board. Among Zhang’s responsibilities was promoting the volunteer and community spirit of River Hill, encouraging teen involvement. She also has been a member of Angel’s Network, the oldest community service club at River Hill High School. In 2016, she was the youth recipient of the Governor’s Service Award, recognized for outstanding community service and contributions to the state of Maryland. Zhang will attend University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
About Columbia Association


Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses — and was named the No. 1 small city to live in by Money Magazine in 2016. Additional information about CA is available at


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