24th Annual Independence Day Parade

Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m.

Along Great Star Drive

Start your holiday celebration at River Hill’s 24th Annual Independence Day Parade! The 5th District Volunteer Fire Department will lead the way along Great Star Drive with Cub Scout Pack 702 serving as the color guard. The fun-filled procession will include fire trucks, police motorcycles, historic and modern vehicles, decorated floats, local dignitaries, veterans’ groups, businesses, sports teams —and lots of giveaways for the parade viewers. Festive attire encouraged!

**Please note Great Star Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic on July 4, from 8:45 a.m. to noon, for the parade. The parade route begins at Clarksville Middle School and ends at the Fifth District (Clarksville) Volunteer Fire House.**

 

June 2024 Election Recap: Voting, Shredding, and Free Plants

The River Hill Community Association (RHCA) recently held annual elections for two seats on the Board of Directors. River Hill residents cast 137 ballots, electing Kevin Bruening and Balbir Lakhanpal to the Board of Directors. Congratulations to our winners!

RHCA appreciates the volunteer members of the Election Committee who were integral to making the election a success, Ron Briggs, Eric Greenberg, and April Battle. Also, a thank you to the Village staff, who sacrificed time and energy to ensure a successful election process. Most importantly, thank you to the countless village residents, who volunteered and voted. They had the opportunity to
meet their neighbors, shred documents, and receive free native plants.

Volunteer opportunities are numerous throughout the year, offering the residents the chance to meet neighbors, learn new skills, and have fun experiences. Currently, residents are needed for the Architectural Committee. No experience is needed. Contact the Village Manager for more information at manager@villageofriverhill.org.

Get Your Swim On!

One of the best ways to enjoy summer is by participating on a swim team. The Pheasant Ridge Rapids and The Pointers Run Piranhas are neighborhood swim teams that are part of the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL). CNSL is a summer recreational swim league consisting of 14 teams spread across Columbia, Ellicott City, and Clarksville.

It welcomes swimmers aged 18 or younger of all skill levels who meet the League Requirements:

• Swimmers ages 10 and under must be able to swim at least one length of the pool and swimmers ages 11 and older must be able to swim two lengths of the pool.

• Swimmers must be able to complete the requirement on their front or back in a strong fashion without assistance; using the bottom of the pool, wall, people, or lane lines is prohibited.

• The Head Coach has final determination if a swimmer has met the lap requirement.

• Note: Swimmers with disabilities must still meet the requirement for their age group for safety purposes.

Leading the Rapids is head coach Kate Wittholz, supported by assistant coaches Reid Thomas and Seth Wettstein. The Piranhas are led by head coach Ethan Wettstein, with assistant coaches Kate
Conlon and Claire Pecora. The official season kicks off following the Memorial Day holiday with pre-season practices held after school through the final day of school for HCPSS. Regular practices begin after the last day for HCPSS and continue through July 26. Both teams offer morning and evening practices for families’ convenience, with no mandatory practice attendance, and swimmers can choose their level of participation. The season concludes with an All-City meet on July 26 and 27.

Aside from practices and meets, both teams organize various engaging activities throughout the season, including teen night, charity night, pep rallies, the July 4th parade, and an awards banquet. Explore more about CNSL, find practice and meet schedules, and register to participate at www.gomotionapp.com/team/reccnsl/page/home.

Council Corner: Welcome Mr. MacInnes

I would like to take the opportunity to use this column to welcome Mr. Shawn MacInnes to Columbia. As reported in the previous issue of The Villager, Mr. MacInnes will become the next President/CEO of the Columbia Association starting on June 17. He brings an extensive level of municipal government experience, and his prior position was serving as the town administrator for Dartmouth,Massachusetts. While CA focuses primarily on parks and recreation, towns in New England are generally also responsible for education, police, fire, and public works. I look forward to working with him when he starts at the helm of CA, and I would also like to thank Mr. Dennis Mattey for his service as interim President/CEO over the last year and a half.

With both a new CEO and a new Board that was seated this past May, there is an opportunity to implement new ideas and create positive changes for the Columbia Association. The first step will be to update the Strategic Plan, a process which was started by the previous Board last year. One of the key topics I would like to see in the next Strategic Plan, is for CA to provide greater value for residents. First, I want to look into ways to reduce resident costs including the annual charge as well as resident membership fees for use of the pools and other recreational facilities. With his expertise in budgets, finance, and operational efficiency, I believe that Mr. MacInnes will be able to work with the Board to identify solutions and help make the Columbia Association more affordable for residents.

Second, I would like to see CA have a greater focus on enhancing the amenities and programming across all of the villages. As I wrote in my previous article, the Board recently adopted a new policy for updating play areas in the future. We look to Mr. MacInnes’ leadership to steer CA’s implementation and execution of the new policy so that CA’s play areas are enjoyed by a greater cross section of the community.

What new changes do you want CA to consider? Submit your ideas to the Board via email or bring them in person at resident speak out during board meetings. I always enjoy hearing from residents, and the Board does listen to the community.

Eric Greenberg is the River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and the CA Board of Directors.

Email: Eric.Greenberg@ca-board.org.

Disclaimer: This column reflects the views of Eric Greenberg only and not those of the CA Board or the River Hill Board of Directors.