Open Space Rules and Regulations

Please see the following policies and statements below in regards to Columbia Association’s Open Space. Click here to see additional rules and regulations.

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

  1. Hunting, the transportation and carrying of bows and arrows, and firearms are prohibited on CA open space land.
  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 by proclamation of the President of CA.
  4. Bathing, swimming and ice-skating are not allowed in or on any of the CA’s lakes or ponds. Camping is not allowed on CA open space without written permission.
  5. Private water crafts are permitted on CA lakes only with a CA permit available at the CA Open Space Management office located at 9450 Gerwig Lane. No motorized (gas or electric) craft are allowed and the maximum length of any craft is 16 feet.
  6. Commercial enterprises/organized activities: No person may sell, offer for sale, erect signs or notices, hire, lease or let merchandise, 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 land, sign, equipment or public property and, except under written agreement, the removal or destruction of any tree, flower, fern, shrub or rock or other plant or animal in CA parks is prohibited.
  12. Gambling or games of chance are prohibited on CA open space without written CA permission.
  13. Intoxicating 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; annoy people; obstruct any drive, path, dock or open space area; or do any act that amounts to a breach of the peace. Disturbing noises from a radio, musical instrument, or similar device are prohibited.
  15. Traffic and parking on CA open space is under direction of CA staff or the Howard County Police. The interior of a vehicle in parking areas must be at all times fully open to view. Operating any motorized conveyance within parklands, pathways, or any other place not customarily used for motorized vehicular traffic is prohibited. CA open space may not be used in such a way as to infringe upon the safe flow of traffic in neighboring streets.
  16. E-bikes and e-scooters: A motorized conveyance may be used on CA pathways if it is a class 1 electric bicycle or electric scooter (e-scooter) as defined under Maryland law or a personal mobility device. Not all of CA’s pathways are suited for the use of electric bicycles, electric scooters and personal mobility devices, and caution should be used in operating them. Class 1 e-bikes, where allowed, may not be ridden at a pedal-assisted speed in excess of 20 miles per hour and must yield to pedestrians. E-scooters, where authorized, may not be ridden at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour and must yield to pedestrians.
  17. 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 the CA.
  18. Users of any portion of the CA open space system, by such use, acknowledge and agree that their images may be recorded as necessary from time to time for appropriate surveillance.
  19. 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 the Columbia Association Open Space Management Division.
  20. Remote-controlled aircraft: Launching and/or landing a remote-controlled aircraft (drone) is prohibited on CA open space. The operation of a remote controlled aircraft in the air space over CA open space is regulated by the FAA and state authorities. When operating a drone over CA open space, you must follow FAA and State rules and guidelines and we ask that you respect the privacy of others by keeping your drone away from crowds of people, sporting events, or activities with children. Please keep in mind that it is against parkland regulations to interfere with or harass wildlife and other patrons. Please refer to Maryland Drone Laws for more information.
  21. Parking on CA parking lots are for facility use only. Unauthorized use including, but not limited to overflow community parking, overnight parking and storage of private or commercial vehicles is prohibited.

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

Additional Rules and Regulations