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Sustainable Cul-de-sac Grant Program


What is the sustainable cul-de-sac grant program?

The purpose of the Harper’s Choice Cul de Sac Beautification program is to assist residents in sustainably enhancing the cul de sac islands on their streets. Harper’s Choice recognizes that these islands are county owned but adjacent homeowner maintained. These islands are for the aesthetic enjoyment of all residents.

You and your neighbors must agree to develop, plant, and maintain a sustainable landscaping plan. Harper’s Choice awards a limited # of grants on a first come, first served basis.

How do I qualify for the program?

To qualify, your cul-de-sac must be on a county-dedicated street in Harper’s Choice Village. A cul-de-sac grant may be awarded to a street every other year. Streets that are privately owned, such as those that are maintained by an individual HOA, are ineligible for grants.

The Association recognizes that there are unique areas in Harper’s Choice that do not fit the definition of a cul-de-sac island. Residents who have a special condition may ask for an exception from the Village Manager to participate in this program.

How do I apply?

Complete and submit an application to or mail to 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD 21044.

Your grant application must include:

  1. Completed application form

  2. Signatures of agreement of a simple majority of the cul-de-sac residents

  3. “Before” photograph of the circle

  4. Diagram of the cul-de-sac island with a layout of your proposed landscaping plan and list of intended plants

What happens after I submit my application?

  1. HCCA staff reviews and approves or denies the grant application.

  2. If approved, the applicant is contacted.

  3. Cul-de-sac landscaping is completed by applicants.

  4. When planting is complete, the contact person submits receipts and an “After” photograph of the circle.

  5. A check for reimbursement, up to $300, will be mailed to the contact person.

Whether you are following a template or creating your own plan there are important factors to consider:

  1. How much sun/shade does your cul-de-sac island get? Is the area particularly dry or wet? This will affect which types of plants will thrive in your cul de sac.

  2. Are deer and other critters a concern? If so, look for plants that are deer resistant and/or consider how to protect your plants. For information on deer resistant native plants, click on this link Deer Resistant Native Plants | University of Maryland Extension.

  3. Do you want to attract wildlife like birds and pollinators? If so, consider plants with berries and flowers that will be attractive and beneficial to them.


The purpose of this grant is to help you establish a sustainable landscape within your cul-de-sac. This should be largely perennial native plants that require little water and intervention after the first year.

  1. 80% of new plantings must be native species such as trees, bushes, flowering plants, and grasses. There are hundreds of native plants to choose from and you can select ones that will provide year-round color, texture, and support for local wildlife – all while being deer resistant!

  2. Avoid invasive plants that could cause harm to our ecosystem and natural resources. Such plants may seem innocuous, but they can have a large negative impact. For additional information on invasive plants follow this link:

  3. Tier 1 and Tier 2 invasive plants listed on the Maryland Department of Agriculture Invasive Plant list will not be approved

HC CARES stands for Harper’s Choice Community Action and Resources for Environmental Stewardship and is our own environmental stewardship group! They can be contacted for design questions and resources or if you have interest in volunteering –

Live Green Howard offers a vast amount of information on their website that can be helpful when choosing and maintaining your plants –

Howard County’s Bee City USA Templates are a great guide or starting point for your cul de sac project. You can choose to follow them exactly or use them as a starting point. Either way, they are a great resource to use when planning your cul de sac.

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping is a publication that includes pictures as well as user-friendly information on native species appropriate for planting in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and adjacent coastal regions. NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf

Howard County Landscape Manual 2010 Updates lists both recommended trees and plants as well as those that are prohibited. 3d&portalid=0

Howard County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide horticultural education services to individuals, groups, and organizations. Master Gardener programs and services are available free of charge to all Howard County residents and community groups. environment-and-natural-resources

Bang for your buck:

  1. This grant can be used in combination with other programs such as Bee City USA HoCo tree give away (Spring each year, @Greenfest).

  2. $25 coupon towards a native tree of a $50 or greater value:




Maryland Native Plant Society has a list of vendors that sell native plants:

            Nuts for Natives is a blog that also has a list of local nurseries that sell native plants.

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