- CONTACT AND VILLAGE INFORMATION
- CALENDAR OF EVENTS
- COMMUNITY RESOURCES
- LIVING IN OAKLAND MILLS
- Directions to The Other Barn/Map
- RENT THE OTHER BARN
- BUYING SELLING MAINTAINING YOUR PROPERTY
- Architectural Guidelines
- Architectural Review Process
- RAC Applications for Review
- RAC Meeting Dates and Deadlines
- Things To Know and Do When Submitting An Application To The Architecture Committee
- Exterior Alteration and In-Home Business Applications
- Buying and Selling in OM
- Letter of Compliance Request Form
- FAQ's for Covenant Information
- PICTURES OF OAKLAND MILLS
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Revitalization Group is formed
The Oakland Mills Revitalization Partnership Group was a broad coalition of governmental departments, non-profit agencies, area foundations, and local businesses that came together specifically to provide support for the revitalization of Oakland Mills. In February of 2004, The Enterprise Foundation hired America Speaks to facilitate a community meeting at which issues of concern to the community were identified. Enterprise used the feedback from that Town Hall Meeting as the basis for a draft revitalization plan.
Residents unite around a plan
In January of 2005, about 200 Oakland Mills residents and revitalization partners came together for a 5-hour Town Hall Meeting and work session at which the revitalization plan was finalized, goals and priorities were set, and resident committees were formed to begin the work. Committees for the focus areas of Housing, Safety, Community Vibrancy, Education began meeting monthly, created work plans and began implementing the revitalization plan.
A Community Organizer was hired
An essential component of the plan was the creation and funding of a full-time community organizer position. The Horizon Foundation, The Columbia Foundation, The Rouse Company Foundation, and United Way of Central Maryland funded the position for a 3-year period as a pilot project. The Columbia Association provided operating funds. Other partners also provided support for the revitalization effort.
The initial community organizer was Calvin Ball, a local professor who had been on the Oakland Mills Community Association (OMCA) Board of Directors. Calvin now represents Oakland Mills on the Howard County Council. Ben Hunter, who had been a community organizer in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, assumed the position in December of 2005. In September 2009, Dorita Forehand took on the position part time until April 2010. As of August 2010, Fred Eiland holds this position.
Accomplishments energize the community
Over 150 resident volunteers have logged thousands of hours of volunteer time to create a stronger community through the revitalization process.
- About 90 Street Captains deliver a monthly calendar to their neighbors and keep a finger on the pulse of their neighborhood.
- Arts and music activities (concerts, art shows, free movie nights, and community gatherings) have brought new vitality to the village center.
- A Master Plan for the village center was created and is being implemented. This work has attracted an investor who is building a $16-million office complex, bringing 60,000 square feet of businesses to a formerly vacant lot.
- A model “idea” home was purchased and renovated to demonstrate the possibilities for rehabbing homes in the area.
- A reception and tour for realtors helped them look at our community with new eyes
- An enhanced community space for events and markets was funded by a $100,000 grant from Howard County
- A coalition of the apartment complexes is meeting to address issues and share ideas
- A community policing office has significantly reduced crime in the community
- An historic family cemetery has been cleaned up and restored
- Financial seminars for residents and training sessions for landlords have been held
- The community was enhanced with the planting of thousands of flowers and bulbs.
This is just a taste of the activity and energy that the Oakland Mills revitalization has generated. Read our complete list of revitalization successes
Documenting and sharing our process
Since Oakland Mills was the grateful recipient of significant funding and tremendous in-kind expert support from so many foundations, county government departments, and the Columbia Association, we have always felt it incumbent upon ourselves to document our process well. We knew that we should be prepared to “pass the baton” to the next village that wanted to embark on such a process and be there to help as needed to share the story of our process.
The work continues as ongoing community development
The end of the 3-year pilot period has come, the community realizes that, although significant progress had been made, there was still considerable work to do. We sought funding for additional time for our community organizer. The Columbia Association agreed to provide funding for one additional year while it looked into the process of Columbia-wide revitalization.
The revitalization began as a separate entity from the Oakland Mills Community Association and its board of directors. Over 3 years, as it grew and developed, it became more intricately connected with the community association. In January of 2008, leaders from both the OMCA Board of Directors and the Revitalization Steering Committee decided it was time to formally integrate the two. Revitalization as a separate entity had ended and its successes, processes, and leaders were incorporated into an ongoing community development process under the direction of the Oakland Mills Community Association.
The excitement continues, so come be a part of it! Contact Fred Eiland, Community Organizer at 410-730-1129 or OMCommunityOrganizer@columbiavillages.org.