Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Postscript and a Plunge

I confess to having made a rather appalling omission yesterday in describing Yards Alive and Kill Your Lawn without including CEI’s Nourishing Gardens initiative. My apologies. This is what happens when you routinely skim a lot of printed material without truly delving into it.

Until yesterday, my perception of Nourishing Gardens was that it taught people how to grow their own food near where they lived and/or went to school. And that’s not entirely wrong. But it isn’t the whole story. The transforming lawns part had gone completely over my head.

Grow Food. Cultivate Community. Protect the Planet. 

Nourishing Gardens transforms lawns in and around Howard County into ecologically beneficial growing spaces. What does that mean? We take lawns of homes, businesses, community organizations, and schools and transform them into gardens that nourish people, our community, and nature. - - Community Ecology Institute website

You can learn more about Nourishing Gardens at the CEI website.


Going off the deep end here. Have you heard about the upcoming Harbor Splash event in Baltimore?

Want to swim in the Inner Harbor? ‘Harbor Splash’ event set for late June, Penelope Blackwell, Baltimore Banner

The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore on Monday said the first public swim event in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in decades will be held on June 23 in Fells Point. Registration for “Harbor Splash” begins May 29 and there are a limited number of swim spots, the nonprofit said in a release.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman will start the event, with a ceremonial jump at 9:20 a.m. from a floating dock at the Bond Street Wharf.

The Waterfront Partnership said the event is the result of a more than a decadelong effort to make Baltimore’s harbor, notorious for raw sewage and trash, more “swimmable, fishable.”

Has anyone ever tried swimming in Lake Kittamaqundi? We hardly have the long term complex issue of pollution that Baltimore contends with, so declaring it “swimmable” wouldn’t have the same impact, I suppose. Still, we have a new President and CEO of The Columbia Association…

You can probably guess where I’m headed with this. 

I know there have been paddle boats at the lake, and for a while there was a cardboard Boat Float event hosted by the Rotary. Some folks fish at Lake Kittamaqundi, as well. I can imagine that swimming is discouraged because it’s a safety hazard. Not because of raw sewage or environmental pollution (I don’t think) but because the Columbia Association would like to keep swimming activities in places that are staffed with trained lifeguards. The liability involved would be enough to keep the CA financial folks awake at night.

The Waterfront Partnership in Baltimore has made the Harbor Splash event a very public goal because it’s a way to focus attention on their Healthy Harbor initiative. Remember Mr. Trash Wheel? As much fun as it sounds to me, doing it in Columbia would probably just be silly since we don’t really have any good reason. 

This has never stopped me from imagining such antics, such as the time my daughter and I attending the groundbreaking for Haven on the Lake and wondered if then County Executive Ken Ulman would come back and take a ceremonial leap into the Cold Plunge Pool. It’s all too easy to encourage such shenanigans if one doesn’t have to be the one doing them.

Thoughts? Let me know.

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