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APL: A Key Howard County Business

APL Campus Aerial
Aerial view of APL, looking north toward Columbia

Howard County’s location and quality of life have attracted a talented and diverse labor force. Twenty percent of employees in the county work in technical fields. APL is the largest private-sector employer in Howard County.

Neighborhoods and Housing Choices

Howard County Housing Development
Communities of Howard County

Centered along the Baltimore–Washington corridor and stretching to the west, the communities of Howard County are home to 287,000 Marylanders. Approximately 98,000 people live in the county's population center—the planned community of Columbia, which was conceived and designed by urban developer James Rouse with a commitment to preserve open space and promote racial diversity. Residents can choose from a wide variety of housing options, from efficiency apartments to luxury homes on large lots. Housing styles range from traditional to transitional to contemporary.

Fitness and Fun: Recreation Choice

APL Campus Aerial
Centennial Park in autumn

Recreational choices abound in Howard County. Parks offer a range of outdoor activities for families and sports enthusiasts. The 2.5-mile path around the lake at Centennial Park (one of three such lake parks in Columbia) attracts cyclists, rollerbladers, fitness walkers, and children in strollers. The Department of Recreation and Parks sponsors sports leagues and outdoor festivals in the parks. The county also has two state parks (Patapsco Valley and Patuxent River), seven golf courses, both private riding stables and the Columbia Horse Center, and five tennis clubs. The Columbia Association sponsors numerous activities, including swimming in neighborhood pools. Columbia has 94 miles of bike paths and seven Columbia Association gyms and fitness centers.

Excellence in Education

APL Campus Aerial
Three-school complex in Fulton, a mile from APL

One of the primary measures of excellence in Howard County living is the quality of its public school system. The county's schools are some of the best in the state, and student test scores consistently top the list for all Maryland school districts. Public school construction has kept pace with the county’s growth in recent years to safeguard against crowded classrooms. Many students attend local schools that are within walking distance of their homes, especially in Columbia.

Columbia: The Planned City

APL Campus Aerial
Columbia's downtown lakefront

Located just 2 miles from APL, Columbia is home to almost 100,000 people, including many APL staff. James Rouse began construction of this planned community on 21 square miles of farmland in 1967. Part of his vision for the new town included a unique sharing of religious facilities in Interfaith Centers and preservation of one-third of the land for parks and open space. Each of Columbia’s 10 villages has its own village center for everyday shopping needs and services. The 10-acre Lake Kittamaqundi in downtown Columbia is surrounded by a mall, restaurants, offices, and a plaza.

Linking Past and Present

APL Campus Aerial
Main Street in historic Ellicott City

Howard County’s rich historical legacy is embodied in Main Street, Ellicott City. This historic Quaker community was founded in 1772 around a grist mill on the Patapsco River. Many of the town’s structures, built directly into rock ledges along the river, retain their original character. In 1830, the B&O Railroad linked the town with Baltimore, 12 miles away, via steam engine. The Courthouse, built in 1840, represents the continuity of Ellicott City’s role as the seat of Howard County government. Main Street today is a thriving commercial center for residents and tourists alike, featuring specialty shops, pubs, fine dining, and antique shops.

Destination: Baltimore

APL Campus Aerial
Baltimore's Inner Harbor

The most-photographed area of Baltimore, the Inner Harbor is a model of successful urban renewal and redevelopment. Formerly a working port and industrial center, Harbor Place is a popular festival marketplace development, similar to Fanueil Hall in Boston, that rejuvenated downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore Convention Center is within blocks. The waterfront area also features the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, an open-air concert pavilion, and the landmark Power Plant, which contains restaurants and a bookstore. Baltimore cultural attractions include the Meyerhoff Music Hall, the Lyric Opera House, and the Morris Mechanic Theater.

Destination: Washington, DC

Washington DC
Washington, DC

Our nation's capital is known for its impressive collection of free, public museums and attractions, including the National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American History, and National Zoo. The National Mall is frequented by locals and tourists alike and is home to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, and several other famous landmarks. Washington is a national center for the arts, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Warner Theatre, and the Washington Ballet are just a few of the city's well-known cultural attractions. The Georgetown waterfront and Rock Creek Park are popular outdoor destinations.

Professional Sports

APL Campus Aerial
Camden Yards (foreground) and Ravens Stadium (background)
FedEx Field
FedEx Field

Several major league sports facilities symbolize the wide range of recreational activities available in the Baltimore/Washington area. Oriole Park at Camden Yards was built on the remains of a railroad center, two blocks from the birthplace of Babe Ruth. The stadium, which opened in 1992, captures the style of big league ballparks built in the early 1900s. Six years later, Ravens Stadium opened to National Football League fans. The sports complex is a short walk from the city's Inner Harbor attractions.

Washington, DC, has a professional team in each of the five major U.S. professional sports. The Washington Redskins play at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, and the Verizon Center plays host to two other professional franchises—the Washington Capitals hockey team and the Washington Wizards basketball team. Established in in 2005, the Washington Nationals baseball team plays at Nationals Park, which opened in 2008. Washington’s soccer team, the D.C. United, plays at RFK stadium.

Homewood: The Center of JHU

APL Campus Aerial
JHU's Homewood Campus

Established in 1876, The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) was the first research university in the United States. The university's emphasis on integrating both learning and research revolutionized U.S. higher education. Today, Johns Hopkins has sites throughout the world, with centers in China, Italy, and Singapore, among others. JHU continues to set the pace for U.S. higher education. It remains a world leader in its mission to simultaneously develop individual talent and advance knowledge for the world. The University comprises nine academic divisions and APL.

A World-Renowned Medical Institution

APL Campus Aerial
Johns Hopkins Medicine complex

For more than a century, Johns Hopkins Medicine has been a recognized leader in patient care, medical research, and teaching. The 22-acre Johns Hopkins Medicine complex in East Baltimore includes The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and the School of Medicine. Hopkins scientists and researchers are awarded more federal research funding than faculty at any other medical school. The building in the center of the photo is one of three late-19th-century structures still in use. World-renowned specialty centers include the Wilmer Eye Institute, the Brady Urological Institute, and the Children's Center. The Centers serve research and education missions and provide diagnosis, treatment, and patient care.

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