Our Mission

Engage our diverse community, cultivate a unique sense of place and enhance quality of life.

Columbia strives to be a community that welcomes diversity, respects the land and fosters the growth of individuals. To sustain that vision, Columbia boasts a full complement of services. There is a vibrant town center featuring Lake Kittamaqundi, a promenade, restaurants, a mall with a variety of shops, department stores and a multiplex movie theater. There are quality recreational and childcare services, schools that rank among the highest in the state, and acres of parks, lakes, ponds and wooded pathways.

Despite the breadth and variety of our services, what makes Columbia truly special is an ongoing commitment to the vision espoused by James Rouse, our founding father. As he stated, “By creating the image of the rational potential of a city, we generate the power to carry it forward. Without vision, there is no power.” At Columbia Association, we consider ourselves keepers of Columbia’s vision.

In support of this vision, Columbia Association offers a vast array of recreational, cultural and community services (See full list below).

In addition, CA maintains nearly 3,600 acres of open space as a permanent asset for residents. Neighborhood amenities include lakes, parks, tot lots, basketball and tennis courts and 95 miles of walking, jogging and biking pathways.

Together — with your input and commitment — we will keep Columbia the special community that James Rouse envisioned.

What is CA?

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, MD, home to approximately 100,000 people. Columbia was founded in 1967 by James Rouse and his Howard Research and Development Company. Rouse sought to build a complete city that would respect the land, provide for the growth of people and, ultimately make a profit.

CA operates:

  • 3 full-service fitness clubs
  • 5 tennis clubs
  • 4 indoor swimming pools and a hot water therapy pool
  • 23 outdoor swimming pools, including two Mini-WaterParks
  • Columbia Archives
  • Columbia Art Center
  • Columbia DogPark
  • Columbia Ice Rink
  • Columbia SportsPark and SkatePark
  • Fairway Hills Golf Club
  • Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club
  • Volunteer Center Serving Howard County
  • Youth and Teen Center at The Barn

In addition, CA maintains nearly 3,600 acres of open space as a permanent asset to the community.

Neighborhood amenities include lakes, parks, tot lots, basketball and tennis courts and 95 miles of pathways to connect residents to amenities.

CA offers many programs and activities for community members to enjoy. CA also works to encourage the community to embrace its diversity, not only in race but in age, religion, gender and economic status as well.

CA strives to ensure all of its programs and services are accessible to persons with disabilities and to all Columbia residents, regardless of income.

Annual Report

The Annual Report link opens in a new window is an annual publication to help better inform you about the Columbia Association — how it operates, the last year of upgrades and improvements to CA’s facilities and departments and information on the annual charge and budget.

CA Recorded Deed, Agreement & Declaration of Covenants

The Columbia Association, formerly The Columbia Park and Recreation Association, Inc., was formed in 1966, two years prior to Columbia’s inception to nurture Rouse’s vision and represent city residents. Click here to view the original Deed, Agreement and Declaration of Covenants, Easements, Charges and Liens.

If you’re a member of the media looking to speak to someone at CA, contact Sr. Manager of Communications and Media Relations Dannika Rynes at Dannika.Rynes@columbiaassociation.org.