Family Volunteer Day Is Saturday

To celebrate the fifth annual National Family Volunteer Day, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is sponsoring events Saturday to beautify parks and open space in the county.

The events will be at the county's parks -- Centennial, Schooley Mill, Rockburn, Alpha Ridge, Atholton, Cedar Lane and Savage -- and the tree sheltering in the Gray Rock neighborhood, off Route 40 and the Patuxent Branch Trail.

Activities include raking, mulching and sheltering saplings from deer. To sign up for a project, call Ann Combs at 410-313-4624.

Ministry Holding Fundraiser

Columbia Cooperative Ministry is hosting its annual Living Gift Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia.

The event is a fundraiser for Heifer Project International, which helps communities throughout the world use livestock to improve their lives. A craft fair, petting zoo and agricultural showcase, sponsored by the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, will be featured. For more information, call George Martin, 410-730-7862.

Discuss County's Open Space

Howard County's open space will be discussed during a question-and-answer session with local experts and professionals at 7 p.m. next Thursday at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9421 Frederick Rd.

They will discuss what open space is, how much the county has, how to preserve it and who is responsible for it.

Panelists include Mina Hilsenrath of the Department of Planning and Zoning, Lynne Nemeth of Howard County Conservancy, Mark Raab of the Department of Recreation and Parks, Chick Rhodehamelof Columbia Association and Ray Wacks, county budget director. The event is sponsored by the Howard County League of Women Voters. For more information, call 410-730-0142.

Meeting Covers Speed Bumps

The Oakland Mills Community Association and the Howard County Office of Traffic and Engineering are sponsoring a community meeting to discuss installing speed bumps along Kilimanjaro and Farewell roads in the Oakland Mills village.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. For more information, call Oakland Mills's village manager Sandy Cederbaum at 410-730-4610.

Library Needs Winter Donations

Howard County Library is collecting new and gently-used children's hats, scarves and mittens to decorate the annual holiday mitten trees at the library's six branches. After the holidays, the items will be donated to local charities.

Donations can be made at any branch from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.