The Calverton Citizens Association (CCA) was formed within weeks after the first homeowners moved into the development in 1965; Robert Shook served as the first president. For many years, the officers and 16 board members have represented the residents on issues of importance at all levels of government.
Calverton is an unincorporated development located in both Silver Spring and Beltsville. Albert W.Turner constructed the original 1100 homes on a former sand and gravel pit owned by the Contee Sand and Grave Co. He named it after Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. Other builders added to the development which now has about 1700 single family homes, 700 apartments, and 220 town houses. It has a Baptist church and two elementary schools (Galway Elementary for Montgomery County students and Calverton Elementary for students in Prince Georges County Students), a shopping center and an office complex. The homes were built between 1961 and 1967. At that time they sold for about $21,750.
Throughout the years, Mr. Turner has maintained a close association with the CCA and has been very supportive of the associations efforts to maintain the community. Since Calverton is located in both Montgomery and Prince Georges counties, the representatives have had to attend meeting and public hearings in both counties in order to form a strong working relationship with elected officials and have a voice in educational, traffic, zoning, recreational, and safety matters.
During the early years, the CCA organized a Recreation Council as a standing committee of the association which has been one of the strongest unifying forces in the community. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the council has done a remarkable job of providing local youth and adults with a comprehensive sports and recreation programs which includes baseball, football, flag football, softball, soccer, basketball, and volley ball. An awards banquet was held each year. Next, they organized the Calverton Pool and Swim Club which provided the funds to build a pool on land donated by the builder. The club is still owned and operated by its members.
The youthful exuberance of the first homeowners was extraordinary. For the first ten years, they boasted a troupe of players who put on three or four shows a year. Each spring, the CCA sponsored an Easter egg hunt and a Spring Dance. The Fourth of July picnic featured a parade, a moon bounce, pony rides, games, and free hot dogs and sodas. Both the dance and the picnic are a continuing tradition. Calverton was considered the ideal place to raise a family.
In the early years, the CCA published a 12 page newspaper call The Outlook. Since 1989, the news comes in the form of newsletter titled The Calverton Current, which is delivered to each home by block captains. A new directory with its residents phone numbers and other valuable information is still published every two years.
Many sports and other CCA activities have taken place on the parks adjacent to
Calverton Elementary School and Galway Elementary School. These school parks are maintained and operated by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, MNCPPC.
In 1969, the CCA was approached about making a landfill out of a gravel pit where trash and stagnant water accumulated behind Galway School, and near Fairland Road, with the promise that in about two years, it would be developed into a park for Calvertons use. The fill would consist only of non-combustible, non-putrescible materials such as old autos, water heaters, household appliances, and waste building materials. The request was approved and, as promised, the park with its ball fields, tennis courts, playground, picnic area, and hiking path was completed in the late 1970s.
In 1976, Calverton participated in the nations year-long Bicentennial celebration. Everybody got involved. Fourteen events were planned for the year encompassing everything from womens rights to art shows. School children created the red, white, and blue design for the fire hydrants and participated in essay contests. There were dances, a concert, a photo contest, and an ethnic day.
The Fourth of July picnic that year featured a parade complete with floats, marching bands and Calvertons own Uncle Sam. A reviewing stand was build for the state and county dignitaries who spoke. There were trophies for winners of games and a replica of the liberty bell for everyone to ring. A time capsule was prepared to be opened on July 4, 2000.
In early 1980, over citizens strong objections and two organized protests, Montgomery County opened a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission composting facility about a half mile from Calvertons boundaries. Led by the CCA, volunteers raised $30,000 by going door-to-door to collect money to pay for legal fees with which to fight the battle of the sludge. It was all in vain. The facility, known as Site 2, operated for the next 19 years before a continuing effort by homeowners and some government officials finally achieved success.
Building on the sturdy foundation begun by its first residents, Calverton remains a highly organized, civic minded community. The CCA not only serves as a watchdog for new development in the area, it also helps meet the social and recreational needs of Calverton even as the community and area is changing.
Resources: Charles Brannan, Don Praisner, Albert W. Turner, The Sentinal, June 24, 1976, The Free Nov. 15, 1989. Daniel Epps, (CCA, President ) Jan 1, 2011.
History of the Calverton Citizens Association (January 2011)