Monday, November 21, 2022

Good News About Collaboration


For those of you who’ve been wondering why it takes so long to count the votes, here’s the news you’ve been waiting for:

Image courtesy of Howard County Library

It's been a busy two weeks with vote counting at HCLS, but the results are in and we have a clear winner: DOGS. A spokesperson for the cats said they are "staying paw-sitive" and "will make sure next time our campaign is purr-fect".

Special thanks to the @leagueofwomenvoters of Howard County for sending us the materials to hold this fun election at our branches!

I was more than happy to cast my vote for dogs on one of my recent trips to the East Columbia Branch. That’s mostly because I am violently allergic to cats. I’m allergic to dogs, too, but hanging out with one won’t send me to the hospital. Nonetheless, if cats had won the election I’d have no trouble accepting the results, as long as I wasn’t obligated to have one in my home.

I love that this was a collaborative project between the Library and the League of Women Voters. I’ve become more and more interested in how institutions connect and collaborate. 

In news that has nothing to do with dogs or cats, the Columbia Association has awarded the very first Chewy award to Wild Lake CARES. The group was created as a committee of the Wilde Lake Village Board. CARES stands for Community Action and Resources for Environmental Stewardship .

Photo courtesy of Columbia Association 

Here's a touching tale we should all take a bite of! Last night Wilde Lake CARES was awarded the first ever CA Chewy during volunteer appreciation night. The Chewy is a volunteer award given to the most active village CARES or watershed group. The winner gets bragging rights and time with a beaver carving created by local chainsaw artist Evelyn Mogren. Congratulations to the Wilde Lake CARES group-we are so appreciative for all the work your team does to help keep Columbia clean and beautiful.

True confession: as I was scrolling through Instagram, my first impression of this photo was that the woman in the center was holding and enormous cake meant to resemble a roasted Thanksgiving turkey. That was before I read the text. If only I had swiped to the next photo, all would have been clear.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Association 

At this angle it’s obviously a beaver. Also, I’m a huge fan of sculptor Evelyn Mogren, who lives in Oakland Mills. You can learn more about her story in this article from The Beacon:

Lifelong carver prefers using chainsaws, Ashley Stimpson, The Beacon

Ms. Mogren is also the artist behind this piece, based on the story of the Bremen Town Musicians, which she created for the Children’s Garden at Freetown Farm.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Families in Nature

Here’s more connection and collaboration: the Columbia Association bringing in Mogren to create a piece to honor conservation-minded community members, and the Community Ecology Institute centering Mogren’s work in their Childrens’ Garden. (Ms. Mogren has also led carving workshops at the Farm, as well. Not the chainsaw kind.)

Have you ever had the opportunity to collaborate and seen that the end result was so much bigger than the sum if its parts? Or, conversely, have you been involved in projects where leadership was more territorial and collaboration was rejected or discouraged? What are your thoughts on this?

Also, does your Village (or area of HoCo) have an environmental advocacy and action group like Wilde Lake CARES? I’d love to learn more.

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