Columbia Association Open Space Rules and Regulations (updated Sept 2021)

Please see the following policies and statements below in regards to Columbia Association’s Open Space.

Columbia Association Open Space Rules and Regulations (updated April 2017)

  1. Weapons of any kind (including but not limited to firearms, knives and paintball guns) are prohibited on Columbia Association (CA) open space except for those carried by a duly authorized law enforcement officer.
  2. Fishing is allowed, except in posted areas, provided it is done in conformity with county and state law.
  3. Closed parks: CA’s open space, pathway system and amenities are closed from dusk until dawn. No person may enter CA parks when such lands are closed to public entry.
  4. Bathing, swimming and ice skating are not allowed in or on any of CA’s lakes or ponds. Camping is not allowed on CA open space without written permission.
  5. Private watercraft are allowed on CA lakes only with a CA permit available at CA’s Open Space Management office located at 9450 Gerwig Lane. The maximum length of any craft is 16 feet. Small electric motors are permitted. No gas craft are allowed.
  6. Commercial enterprises/organized activities: No person may sell, offer for sale, or erect signs or notices with respect to the sale of merchandise or services, or conduct any business enterprises or organized events on CA open space without a written agreement.
  7. Advertising: No sign, notice or noise shall be made to attract attention to any kind of exhibition without written permission from CA.
  8. Fires or portable charcoal grills are only to be used in conjunction with an event that is allowed in designated areas via a written agreement with CA. Fires and grills must be continuously under the care of a person over 18 years of age. Every fire must be thoroughly extinguished before leaving. Damage resulting from unattended and/or non-extinguished fires will be the responsibility of the violator.
  9. Lighted matches, cigars, cigarettes, or other burning objects must be properly extinguished. Smoking is not allowed in or immediately around the vicinity of CA’s tot lots.
  10. Refuse and rubbish must be properly disposed of in receptacles provided for the purpose. Any litter or discharge of waste material on the open space lands or waters of CA are prohibited. Recycling containers are to be used only for the items shown on the containers’ signs.
  11. Injury, defacement or disturbance of any building, open space, sign, equipment or CA property and, except under written agreement, the removal or destruction of any tree, flower, fern, shrub or other plant, rock or animal in CA parks is prohibited.
  12. Gambling or games of chance are prohibited on CA open space without written CA permission.
  13. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on CA open space without a written CA permit.
  14. Personal conduct: No person may perform obscene or indecent acts; throw stones or other projectiles; interfere with others’ peaceful enjoyment of the open space; obstruct any drive, path, dock or open space area; or do any act that amounts to a breach of the peace. Unduly loud noises from a radio, musical instrument, or similar device are prohibited.
  15. Traffic and parking on CA open space are under the direction of CA staff or Howard County Police. Operating any motorized conveyance (with the exception of electric bicycles as defined under Maryland law and personal mobility devices) within parklands, on pathways or in any other place not customarily used for motorized vehicular traffic is prohibited. Not all of CA’s pathways are suited for the use of electric bicycles and personal mobility devices, and caution should be used in operating them. CA open space may not be used in such a way as to infringe upon the safe flow of traffic in neighboring streets.
  16. No structures, either temporary or permanent, may be erected on open space, nor may any alteration of open space property take place without the written permission of CA.
  17. Users of any portion of the CA open space system, by such use, acknowledge and agree to comply with these rules and regulations and further acknowledge and agree that their images may be recorded as necessary from time to time for appropriate surveillance.
  18. Other rules and regulations: On certain parcels of CA open space (such as Wilde Lake Park, Town Center Lakefront area and the open space around Lake Elkhorn) there may be additional open space rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are posted on the property, on CA’s open space website, and are available from CA’s Open Space Management Division.
  19. Remote-controlled aircraft: The use of remote-controlled aircraft (drones) is prohibited on or over CA open space without CA’s prior written approval. To obtain approval, contact CA’s Open Space Management office at 410-312-6330.

If you need further information, please contact CA’s Open Space Management Division at 410-312-6330 or