Friday, May 10, 2019

New Landscaper in Autumn Walk

You may have noticed that since the beginning of the year, we have had a new landscaping company in Autumn Walk, Johnson Lawn & Landscapes.

This was not a small decision as the landscaping contract is over half of our operational budget, and perhaps the most significant benefit for keeping our community in top shape, especially since it covers much of the private yard maintenance as well.

  • (We are all still responsible for weeding and repairs.)

The Autumn Walk HOA Board decided to competitively bid out the landscaping contract last year, and with the assistance of our Community Manager April Day obtained multiple proposals.

After reviewing the proposals and checking their prior work in other communities, the Board decided to switch to Johnson Lawn & Landscapes effective January 1, 2019.

  • Because the price was competitive, we also decided to add a light, second Fall mulching to replace the mulch washed away after the major Spring Clean-Up.
  • They will also cover contingent (i.e., if needed) snow removal in the common areas during the winter season.

We are monitoring the contract closely, but so far we feel Autumn Walk has received excellent service this year.

We have gotten feedback from some residents that the Spring Clean-Up was done very well and that overall their houses (and our neighborhood as a whole) have never looked better!

Emerson Community Facebook Forum

Did you know that Emerson has a Facebook Forum, a closed group open only to residents and owners, that has become the place to go to get recommendations, find out what's going on in the community, and do a little buying and selling?

Join in the fun! You'll be asked to provide an Emerson address.

Emerson Mailbox Painting

Emerson's newest Board member, Richard Flinn, has created a huge number of initiatives, ranging from revitalizing Emerson's committees with a new Community Affairs Committee, to systematically trying to improve the state of the common area property throughout Emerson.

As part of the latter, we got a very visible sign of progress on our street when our mailboxes were painted on Thursday (along with mailboxes throughout Emerson). The painting is part of a campaign to ensure that everything within Emerson will look spruce and in good repair, to show off our community to the world.

On our street, the slight difference in the colors of our mailboxes created an interesting, and perhaps even fashionable, two-tone effect.

A list of various Emerson initiatives this year:

1. Emerson Clubhouse Renovation (Chair: Fred Leong) - first meeting is 5/16/19

2. Community Affairs Committee Open House - Open House 5/23/19

3. Emerson Food Truck Fridays - Organized by Emerson resident Khaleda Hasan - EVERY FRIDAY through August

New Monument Sign Lighting

The Emerson Master HOA gave us a landscaping light for our monument sign as a test, with the objective of determining whether the lights would work well enough in Autumn Walk and Skylark Ridge to roll them out across the community.

Old and New Lights Together

However, we felt the light had several issues, including a harsh white color temperature, limited placement options for the lights, and limited ability to place the solar panel to collect sunlight and avoid getting turned off by headlights at night.

Old Light (in the center)

So after some research we found lights that we felt would deliver a much better result, and purchased them ourselves at a grand cost of $39.99.

New Lights (one on each side)

The caveat, however, is that installation is significantly more complex (a few hours versus 10 minutes), which we could afford since we did it ourselves at no cost.

But hopefully you'll agree with us that the result was worth it! Go out after dark and check them out for yourselves!

Let Them Bee

You may have noticed hundreds of tiny dirt nests in our community, mostly behind the north rows but a few in the front yards as well.

Our Community Manager April told us these are ground-nesting bees:

However, they are not aggressive at all unless handled (this was true even though they had been disturbed by our mowers, who are trained to recognize dangerous insects).

So after researching them, we decided not to spray them or try to force them out with water, because Cornell says they are benign pollinators and recommends allowing them to stay. And many bees populations are already under stress.

Hopefully they will move on after the Spring nesting season but we wanted to let you know what they are, and why we chose to "let them be."

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Autumn Walk 2018 Annual Meeting and Elections (Oct. 29)

The Autumn Walk Annual Meeting and Elections will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 7 PM in the Emerson Clubhouse.


  • FY2019 Budget
  • Landscaping Contract
    • Competitive bidding
    • Expanded services
  • Elections
    • One new Board Member needed
  • Resident Open Forum
We need 12 houses to reach quorum for the results to be valid, so please attend or submit your signed proxies. Hope to see you there!

Howard County Focus on the Route 1 Corridor

Savage County Association (SCA) and Howard County Citizens Association (HCCA) are hosting all of the candidates for Howard County Council in Districts 1 and 2, as well as our District 3, in an open forum to discuss the revitalization of the Route 1 Corridor.

Date: Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
Time: 7 PM
Location: Carroll Baldwin Hall, 9035 Baltimore St., Savage, MD 20763

Expected attendees are:
  • District 1: Raj Kathuria, Liz Walsh
  • District 2: Opel Jones, John Liao
  • District 3: Christiana Rigby
You can get reminders and updates by clicking the "Interested" button on the Facebook event:
Howard County has awarded a $300K contract to RKG Associates, a DC-based consultancy, to assist in revising the Master Plan for the Route 1 Corridor (which the Department of Planning and Zoning considers to be the part of Howard County east of I-95).

To see the scope of the work envisioned by DPZ, you can read the RFP for this contract:

A summary of the RFP's goals:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

RSVP: 2018 Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party & Chili Cookoff

Allie will once again be hosting the 6th Annual Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party and Chili Cook-Off!

Because Halloween falls on a Wednesday, the main event will occur on Saturday, October 27th.

Everyone is welcome to attend, spend some time with the neighbors, and judge a little chili.

To sign up to enter a vegetarian or meat chili go to the SignUpGenius page or send Allie an email at

The schedule (full information at the signup link above):
  • Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 (5 pm): Pumpkin Carving in the common area behind 9830-9840 row
  • Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 (6 pm - 8 pm):
    • Chili Cookoff (vegetarian and meat categories)
    • Halloween Block Party
    • If you will not be attending the annual meeting on Mon. Oct. 29, please bring your signed proxies to the Halloween Block Party so we can achieve quorum

2018 Autumn Walk Picnic

After weeks of rain, the weather for the 2018 Autumn Walk Picnic was unbelievably beautiful: sunny, mild, and with low humidity.

The HOA provided a wide variety of pizzas and the community furnished drinks, beer, side dishes, desserts, and most importantly - themselves!

Thanks go out to Melody and Jim for hosting the event in their garage and parking pad, as well as providing tents, tables, drinks, food, and even TV and music.

We had at least 18 houses participate in some form or another, with almost 50 adults and kids stopping by at some point during the day to chat or just to snag some pizza.

And the weather was so perfect that an event scheduled from 1 pm - 4 pm lasted well into the evening, with Jim and Melody breaking out the fire pit after sunset. Jim's drone was also a hit with both the big kids and the little kids!

For a full album, go the Facebook page, and we hope to see you all at the next event (probably the Halloween Block Party on Sat. Oct. 27th unless someone throws an impromptu Flaming Friday in between)!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Emerson Food Truck Fridays

*** Update: A dinner truck has been added for Friday, October 5th! ***

Emerson's first Food Truck Friday on Sept. 7th was a big success, with The Taco Bar serving up 72 lunches in a 3 hour span!

That success means that plans are underway to expand Food Truck Fridays by adding evening dinner hours and perhaps more days. Stay tuned for details!

In the meantime, two more trucks have already been scheduled:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Autumn Walk Picnic (and Halloween)

The 2018 Autumn Walk Picnic will be a pizza party and potluck, with our HOA providing pizza, on Saturday of next week (September 29th), at the end of the big cul-de-sac.

Note that the starting time has been corrected to 1 PM.

Please RSVP at the site:

With this late start, we're more concerned about getting a head count for pizza than any potluck so please respond by Wednesday evening (Sept. 26) if you can

You should be able to edit your response if you set up an account, or you can always mail us corrections at

We hope everyone will come out to meet the neighbors! We know we have a number of new residents so we hope everyone is able to attend.

This event is rain or shine since if the weather doesn't cooperate, we'll just go into the garages.

Finally, Allie will once again be hosting the Halloween Block Party at 9832 with a Chili Cook-Off and Pumpkin Carving contest. The exact date is still to be determined since Halloween falls in the middle of the week.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Maryland Shop Tax Free Week (plus Scholarships!)

Maryland's Shop Tax Free Week is Sunday, August 12th to Saturday, August 18th.

Various items of clothing and certain backpacks can be bought with no Maryland sales tax this week (though most sports equipment is excluded).

In addition, Maryland has announced an easy scholarship contest.

College students can win either a $2500 or $1500 scholarship to any Maryland college or trade school, by taking a picture with a "Maryland" theme, adding a catchy caption, and posting it to social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) with the hashtag #shopMDtaxfree.

Autumn Walk Picnic - Volunteers Needed

We are looking for volunteers to organize and/or host a pizza party or picnic in September.

This has traditionally been a potluck event with Autumn Walk HOA providing a small budget for drinks and a main course.

Contact someone on the Board or send an email to if you are interested in helping out!

Flamingo Friday Farewell - Take 2 (Friday, Aug. 17th)

The Farewell Flamingo Friday for Daphna, Sam, and Seth has been rescheduled for this Friday, August 17th!

Please join hosts Allie and Joe at 9832 as we wish a fond farewell to the family that brought Flamingo Friday to Autumn Walk.

Everyone is invited to come over early at 6 PM. The event will be held in back by their patio in the open common area behind that row, but if it rains it will be moved into the garage and basement.

As always everyone is welcome and the most important thing to bring is yourselves!

Flamingo Friday Farewell
Date: Friday, August 17, 2018
Time: 6 PM
Location: Behind 9832 in the common area
In Case of Rain: The event will be held rain or shine, but will move into the garage or basement if it rains