Friday, January 26, 2018

Where the Pathways Are

Dear Columbia Association,
I’m writing on behalf of funding for pathways in Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods.

A lot of people think of the Columbia Association as the pools, parks, and pathways people. But we know it’s so much more. CA means listening to and responding to residents, enhancing quality of life, and connecting people to the best their community has to offer. The last part is so important to me, because I’m from Oakland Mills and, as you may know, our slogan is: we value connections.

My CA Rep Ginny Thomas certainly knows how important making connections is. She reached out to her constituents for feedback on the budget, and so here is mine.

The last time I came to CA Headquarters was for meeting of the Inner Arbor Trust with the CA Board. Although I was only present for part of the meeting, in the brief time I was there I heard at least three people express support for the park and make the case for improved pathways. They were speaking on behalf of others—young parents with children in strollers, the disabled, and the elderly. We’re not talking about hypothetical people, mind you, but rather actual residents who had already attended events in the park or who wanted to but were worried that access might be problematic. 

You see, the park is already drawing people to the Chrysalis from Columbia, Howard County, and the surrounding region with some of the best arts experiences this area has to offer. This is where it is clear to see that Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods and the Columbia Association share a common goal: to enhance quality of life.

This summer as I walked around Lake Kittamaqundi I noticed that CA has been adding some additional markers to help increase branding awareness. Our pathways aren’t there by magic; they’re not a product of Howard County Government, either. All of the beautiful places where we walk are there as a testament to what we, as a community, believe in, and to what we dedicate funds to build and maintain.

This is why funding pathways for Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods is smack dab in the center of the Columbia Association’s core mission:

     *Pools, parks, and pathways
     *Listening to and responding to residents
     *Enhancing quality of life 
     *Connecting people to the best their community has to offer

I urge you to fully fund the request for pathways from the Inner Arbor Trust and to put the Columbia Association where it ought to be: running right through the heart of our community arts and culture park.

             Julia A. McCready

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