There are three lakes, more than 40 ponds, 60 assorted stormwater management facilities and over 40 miles of streams on Columbia Association (CA) property. The lakes, ponds and stormwater facilities are all man made. 

The watersheds that serve as the water sources for our streams, ponds and lakes are comprised of residential homes, commercial and industrial areas, roadways and parking lots, public facilities, open turf areas and woodlands. Everything that is deposited, applied or placed on the ground within these watersheds – regardless of the source – has the potential to be washed into our streams, ponds and lakes. Materials such as animal waste, lawn fertilizer, trash and road wash-off can have a negative effect on the quality of our environment.

CA encourages residents to enjoy and take care of the open space throughout Columbia. Urban lakes, streams and the land surrounding them are a resilient but delicate natural system that can be challenged by human activities. 

CA provides advice and incentives to residents to help reduce the introduction of alien plants, pollutants and trash into open space. It is important to advise community members about general conditions (heavy rain storms, for instance) that can result in potential high levels of bacteria. Increasing watershed stewardship upstream may increase overall water quality and habitat in Columbia Association open space.

Stream Restoration

Stream restoration is all about reconnecting a waterway to its floodplain, which prevents erosion and sediment issues. Down the line, this can help CA protect homeowners’ property and open space from significant damage. It can also eliminate the need to excessively dredge our lakes, saving valuable resources from being spent on more temporary fixes. By providing a more permanent solution to stream bank erosion, these projects also allow CA to maintain the overall health of our community’s treasured lakes.

As environmental and financial stewards, CA supports and seeks out these projects as a viable way of maintaining our waterways and ensuring they can be enjoyed for generations to come. Just because a stream is aesthetically pleasing does not mean it is healthy, and CA is responsible for ensuring streams in open space have a chance to thrive. That might mean some short-term changes to the landscape, but we truly believe in the long-term benefit for our community.

Relevant information:

Contact Us

To request more information about watershed and open space program resources, please email or contact John McCoy via phone or email at 410-312-6336 or