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Baltimore County Now

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BCPL National Library Week
Linda Frederick, Marketing & Development Manager

Baltimore County Public Library

For most of us, the library represents fond memories as a child. Whether it was getting your first library card, checking out stacks of children's books or listening intently to every word from the storyteller, the library was a special place that made us feel special, too!   As we grew older, the library evolved along with us. During those tumultuous teenage years, the library was a refuge from our parents, a place to meet friends and to get homework assignments accomplished while giving us a sense of independence in a comfortable environment. As adults, we continued visiting the library for beach reads, to rent weekend DVDs and then eventually with our own children to relive our childhood memories and to begin making new ones. For many of us, the library shaped or changed our lives in one way or another. 

National Library Week kicks off this Sunday, April 13, and continues through April 19. The theme for this year's celebration is "Lives Change @ Your Library." As part of the weeklong celebration, the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) is hosting a Facebook contest for folks to submit a photo and a caption that highlights how the library has changed his or her life. The selected top five entries will have their photos and captions up in lights on BCPL's electronic sign in Towson, and one lucky winner will receive a $100 VISA gift card. The contest runs through April 30, and all the details can be found on BCPL's Facebook page. 

In addition to the Facebook contest, all of BCPL's 18 branches are celebrating with special events and giveaways throughout National Library Week. Please note the Parkville branch is currently closed through June for renovation. So, what are you waiting for? Come visit BCPL to make memories and discover how lives change @ your library. Don't forget to capture a photo or two for our Facebook page. For more information, please visit our website


kids doing project in wetlands areMichael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

This summertime guarantee brought to you exclusively by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks:

There will be no snow storms, snow flurries or snow squalls at all this summer on any Recreation and Parks sites and parks this summer. Guaranteed!

Wait, there’s more…

We will also guarantee fun and lots of great programs for families, kids and kids of all ages. We are calling this our “Hot times” summer package guarantee!

Here is a sampling of some of the hot times coming your way. Just the names of the programs should be enough to get your attention and participation…

Robert E. Lee Park –Growing up WILD, Beaver Night Hike, The Great American Campout, Natural Play, Bike Rodeo, Mud Day

Cromwell Valley Park – Animal Mothers; Art, Music, Poetry, Food, Wine and Classic Cars; Tin Can Gardening; “Reptiles by Day, Amphibians by Night;” the  annual TALMAR Mother’s Day Plant Sale; Fairy Furniture; and you’re gonna love this one: “Eat Your Weedies” – sounds perfectly delicious! 

Oregon Ridge Park – 4th of July BSO Star Spangled Spectacular/Fireworks

Throughout our County are “Summer Playgrounds” and camps, enthusiastically and well supervised with excitement, entertainment, socializing, and even some learning slipped in with all the fun.  Here are just some of the camps: 

Dragon Tao Karate Camp, Premier Basketball Camp; Boys Lax Camp; Step Up to Lax Camp; Camp Gymtastic; Al Bumbry Baseball Camp; Running Camp; Field Hockey Camp; Soccer Camp; Volleyball Camp; Camp New Horizons; Music, Nature, Drama, Art, Camp Chickadee, Around the Pond Summer Camp, Polar Pals, Grizzly Gang, Imagination Station, Muscular Mustangs, Creativity Camp, Gators Summer Camp, Blast Soccer Camp, camps for children and young adults with special needs. There’s really too much to list here, so, go to the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks homepage  for  a full listing of summer camps and playgrounds.

Keep in mind, that pretty much every one of our 40+ recreation centers offer programming throughout the summer with the above mentioned camps, activities and community events.  Follow this link to our Recreation Councils and recreation offices to learn more about what is going on in your neighborhood.

Of course, there are over 200 small, medium, large and extra large- and all beautiful – parks, sites, waterfronts and fields.  Imagine, so many great places to relax, picnic, exercise and simply to enjoy; many nearby your home.

For those  that might be looking for something to do this summer, not as a participant, but more in line with earning those community service hours, or to have a summer job, there are some options for you, too.  There are still some paying positions at Oregon Ridge Park (410-887-1818) and Rocky Point Park (410-887-2818) on the waterfront. There might still be some summer positions out there at our camps and recreation centers.  Use this link to our Recreation Offices and ask if there is something to suit your skills and the needs of that office. 

There you have it; a special summer guaranteed to be all you need it to be; well supervised, exciting, interesting and fun.  And don’t forget, guaranteed to be snow free – though it may include a “sno-ball” from time to time!


photo of damages treeSaul Passe, Arborist, Baltimore County Bureau of Highways

Wow, that was a rough winter.  I hesitate to put that in the past tense for fear that Mother Nature will throw down snow and ice just to spite me.  As an employee of the Baltimore County Highways I am no stranger to the havoc that snow and ice can do to the roads, but as the Arborist for Highways I can tell you that this winter has also taken its toll on the trees. 

Baltimore County has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community.  Many of our urban streets are lined with mature canopy trees, and even more of our rural roads are up against large forests.  Winter events involving snow, and especially ice, can put these trees under extreme pressures that will exceed their normal capabilities to support themselves.  Even if a branch doesn’t reach the point of breaking off, a quarter of an inch layer of ice on any branch is enough to make it bend significantly.  Some of these branches are hanging of the road and can become a problem for motorists, not to mention the branches that do break off and fall in the road. 

Once there are branches snapped off and laying in the road, or bending into the road what is to be done with them?  If tree debris falls from a County tree (a tree in the public right-of way), County forces are responsible for removing them from either the road or the sidewalk.  The Highways Bureau will only take care of the debris that falls into a public right-of-way; anything that comes down on private property is the responsibility of the homeowner.  Any private trees that may fall into a public right-of-way will be cleared out off of the road or sidewalk, but can’t always be taken away by County forces, and remain the responsibility of the homeowner.  The bottom line is that the care of trees along public roads is a shared responsibility.  Baltimore County provides the service of keeping our roads open and free of tree debris, and the homeowner should take care of debris on private property.

As we enter spring we should keep in mind that when leaves come out they can add a lot of weight to trees.  There may be some branches that have taken a beating over the winter and may be further stressed by a “full head of hair.”  Species such as White Pine and Bradford Pear are softer woods that are susceptible to failure under extreme conditions.  So, this spring, take a few minutes to look up into the canopy and take notice of our County trees.  They are a valuable resource for the County that we can take care of together to ensure a green future for generations to come.


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