Five decades ago, the figurative seeds for a groundbreaking new community had been planted. Columbia, blossomed, bloomed and became a destination for people seeking a high quality of life in a community renowned for its diversity, beautiful open space, activities and amenities. That reputation has remained throughout the years, with Money Magazine recently naming Columbia the best small city in the country in which to live.

As Columbia prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday, seeds are being planted once again — almost literally, this time, with 50,000 daffodil bulbs to be placed along Little Patuxent Parkway in Downtown Columbia, and in other locations around town. The planting effort is a collaboration between Columbia Association, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, Howard Community College, The Howard Hughes Corp, Howard County General Hospital, First Potomac Realty, The Mall in Columbia and Costello Construction, along with residents and other members of the community.

Most of the bulbs will be planted in extensive masses in turf or planting beds in locations visible from roadways in Downtown Columbia, and in all 10 Columbia villages. In addition, some of the village community associations will be reaching out to community groups and residents to join in and plant bulbs in locations they choose, such as cul de sacs. Homeowner and condominium associations and businesses are encouraged to carry through the theme of blooming daffodils as they do their fall plantings.

“Daffodils are associated with new beginnings and rebirth — creativity, inspiration, renewal and vitality. They are a perfect representation of the theme of Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration: Appreciate the Past. Imagine the Future.” said Managing Director Marlys East. “We are grateful for Columbia Association’s leadership with this beautification project, and for the collaboration of so many Columbia institutions and businesses,” she said.

Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration begins on March 19, 2017, and continues through Sept. 23. It will include hundreds of events and activities for all ages — residents and visitors. “We expect the celebration to be a catalyst for renewed interest in our hometown,” East said.

Follow Columbia MD 50 on Facebook and at For more information, contact Marlys East at [email protected].