Community - Severna Park

Around the Park: Carrollton Manor launches waterfront improvement drive

By LESLIE HUNT, Staff Writer
Published 10/15/09

The community of Carrollton Manor is under environmentally-friendly management as residents and local Scouts install native plants and clear out grasses at one of the community beaches along the Severn River. The community is in the first phase of many projects and received a $1,000 grant from Unity Gardens to help get started.

Residents of Carrollton Manor, a 530-home waterfront community, one of the oldest in Severna Park, are embarking upon a new venture to improve three common recreational areas in need of attention.

Established in 1931 as a vacation haven with bungalows dotting the shores of the Severn, Carrollton Manor is known for the curvy winding roads that weave every which way, including down to the river. The property was once mined for sand, which was used in glassmaking up to the 1920s.

Lisa Bender, vice president of the Homeowners Association, said the abundance of sand is one of the reasons there is so much runoff. She said the community also sits on underground streams and Artesian wells.

With stormwater runoff and erosion a concern for the already-threatened scenic river, Lisa, a 23-year resident of the community, decided to bring her knowledge gleaned from participating in many environmental workshops over the years to the community.

The community's Erosion Committee teamed up with Eco Gardens, the Severn River Association and Low Impact Design studio to begin several projects to improve the environmental and wildlife sensitivity of the community, while educating neighbors in ways to slow down and filter stormwater runoff.

One project, Lisa said, is the popular riverfront Crab Away community pier and lawn area. This area requires multiple tasks of erosion control, including building a living shoreline, removing and controlling the problem of invasive vegetation and landscaping with a natural meandering walkway down naturally formed terraces.

At Crab Away, one of three beach properties in need of attention, Eagle Scout resident Ron Blevins, constructed a bike rack and made a sign to support a "Buy a Plank" program to improve the deteriorating pier. He also made a wooden bench for visitors at another community beach, Sunset Beach.

Thanks to a $1,000 Unity Gardens grant, local Wolf Scouts Pack 918 Den 9 along with several Carrollton Manor residents came together for a planting of native species and rain gardens on Oct. 3. at the Crab Away Pier, surrounded by an overgrown area that is now cleared out via a permit.

"This is a great opportunity for our youngsters to learn about the benefits of 'Bay-Wise gardening' and how plants can help filter pollutants, improve Severn River water quality and provide habitat for wildlife," Lisa said.

"We started looking at ways to control erosion, runoff and beautify our properties, using non-structural and environmentally friendly methods," said Lisa.

On the same planting day, additional plantings at other community beach properties in their "Adopt A Garden" program offered families an opportunity to plant and maintain an environmentally functioning garden area.

"These gardens have also been designed to help demonstrate the benefits of plant landscaping for storm water management and erosion control," Lisa said.

This is the first of several projects the community is planning. "We would like to provide an ongoing example of how bay friendly gardening can benefit the entire Chesapeake watershed," Lisa said.

Local Severna Park artists, Denise Traynor and Merla Tootle will be showing their work in pottery and watercolor at a show running through the month of October at bb Bistro at 112A Annapolis St. in West Annapolis. A reception for the show is from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 23.

The October luncheon of Greater Severna Park Newcomers Club will be held at The Inn at Pirates Cove in Galesville beginning with social time at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at noon on Wednesday.

The guest speaker is Rosemary Williams, Eastport resident and author of "Maritime Annapolis: A History of Watermen, Sails and Midshipmen." Reservations are needed by tomorrow. All women are welcome regardless of length of time in the community. Call Nancy Avent, membership chair, at 410-757-5444 for more information or to learn about joining Severna Park Newcomers.

Severna Park Elementary School is looking for business sponsors of the inaugural Trick or Trot for Technology walk beginning at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 30. Monetary donations are tax deductible and donations of gift cards or other items for prizes are welcome. To be included on an event T-shirt and for information on sponsorship levels, respond by tomorrow to Laurie Levitt at 410-222-6477.

E-mail your Severna Park news to lhunt@capitalgazette.com or call 410-280-5944.

(Revised September 2009)