For those of us who use the Swim and Racquet Club (S&RC) on a regular basis, we know what we have there. It’s a diamond in the rough with a great pool, marina, tennis courts, a picnic gazebo, lagoon and walking trail. But the best attraction is the small beach, protected by a thin peninsula with the St. Martins River just beyond. Residents who have lived here for a long time tell stories of taking their kids to this beach to swim, fish and play in the sand. Now, we can also use the beach to learn to kayak and stand-up paddleboard. With all of these obvious attractions there is still more we can do to improve this amenity.
The Environment and Natural Assets Advisory Committee, under the auspices of the Rec & Parks Adopt a Park Program, has adopted the S&RC. This past spring, with a grant we acquired from American Water, we planted native grasses around the lagoon and near the peninsula. Our Public Works Department initiated a program to reduce the invasion of phragmites, which surrounds the lagoon and threatens the quality of water in the lagoon and at the beach. This effort will be ongoing. Our advisory committee, in collaboration with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and with the approval of the OP Board of Directors, is developing a landscaping plan for the Club that will include native trees and shrubs which will reduce stormwater runoff and create shady areas for a park-like venue for residents to enjoy. The committee is working to obtain a grant to implement this plan. Under the Adopt a Park Program, it is the committee’s task to maintain the park areas surrounding the club. The committee believes that the S&RC area can be a community demonstration project for practical and effective environmental practices, which will enhance this amenity and improve the quality of life for OP residents. Stay tuned for updates!