The next time you drop off your musician child at School of Rock or pick up your prescription from Arnold Pharmacy, take a relaxing drive down Arnold Road to Severn Way and cross the B&A Trail into the winding streets of Pines on Severn.
As one might expect, the neighborhood is filled with statuesque conifers. Nestled below the pine needles are a collection of adorable bungalows, single-story ranchers, traditional, and contemporary homes. Several deep, wooded ravines run through the neighborhood and are home to abundant wildlife.
The neighborhood is an outdoorsy family’s paradise. A massive community green space features an oversized playground, sport fields and basketball courts. There is also a spacious community beach with a pier and boat slips into Chase Creek. Many families join the adjacent Chase Creek Swim Club for the successful swim team and tennis courts.
Community events include chili cookouts, community yard and plant sales, and a host of events for youth, like Easter egg hunts, Halloween bonfires, Fourth of July parades, and end-of-school ice cream socials. One neighbor started a Little Library so kids on the way to the beach can take a book to read.
Children attend Arnold Elementary, Severn River Middle School and Broadneck High School. Pines on Severn has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1926.
James and Kathi Scott
Residents for 44 Years
James Scott grew up in Prince George’s County and his wife, Kathi Scott, lived outside Pittsburgh. The couple came to Anne Arundel County 1972 when James was in the Navy, stationed at the former Navy Radio Transmitter Facility at North Severn. They moved to “the Pines” in 1975 and into a smaller cottage-style home, but in 1985, they relocated to a larger home in the community to better accommodate their growing family.
“The Pines was very convenient for our job commutes,” James said. “We knew the local schools were well regarded and liked the idea of being near the water.”
James said some of his family’s fondest memories were of the annual crab feasts at the beach in late summer and adult volleyball at the playground.
Even with a long list of community amenities, James said his neighbors are the biggest asset for living in the Pines.
“We are fortunate to live here long enough to see changeover from those who built their homes back in the ‘70s to younger families who have recently moved in with hopes of living in those same homes for the next 20, 30 and 40 years,” James added. “It’s also interesting and encouraging to see how families upgrade and renovate some of the older cottages and homes in the lower Pines, built in the 1930s.”
James and Kathi have been active participants in the Pines Community Improvement Association (PCIA), and James served two terms as PCIA president and also on the board of governors. Kathi served on the Chase Creek Swim Club board and assisted with swim team activities. Currently, she is an active member of the Pines Garden Club.
Doug and Debbie Coulson
Residents for 36 Years
Doug and Debbie Coulson moved to the Pines from Takoma Park in Prince George’s County in the ‘80s after meeting a Pines resident at a local folk dance.
“It really was love at first sight,” Debbie said. “We loved the funkiness of neighborhood, the modesty of the homes, friendliness of eclectic neighbors, proximity to the water, and the wooded ravines that separate many of the homes and provide places for kids to play.”
The Coulsons never hesitate to recommend the Pines to anyone who might be looking for a home and cannot say enough about their “friendly, eclectic, community-oriented and outgoing” neighbors.
“This happens on a regular basis,” exclaimed Doug, referring to his neighbors helping one another. “For example, one resident was incapacitated after a ladder fall and residents brought food, took her to doctor appointments, and looked in on her on a daily basis.”
Doug is a past officer on the community board and ran community events for five years, including various cleanups and community fundraisers.
Resident for 44 Years
Lucia Robson moved to Maryland to take a job in the Anne Arundel County Public Library system.
“When I first came to Maryland in 1975, a realtor showed me several houses, but I knew right away [which one I wanted],” Robson said. “I call it ‘The Bluff’ because it sits on a ridge above the street, and also because I couldn’t afford the outrageous asking price of $37,000!”
Although she enjoys many of the community events like picnics, crab feasts, community yard sales, softball games and volleyball, she has one favorite.
“My favorite neighborhood event is what we call ‘dumpster days.’ The county leaves two large dumpsters at the parking area of the playground,” Robson explained. “Neighbors bring trash and items they want to get rid of. Furniture and other items in good condition are placed at the side of the parking area for anyone who wants to take them home.”
Robson would recommend Pines on Severn because she feels her neighbors are helpful and compassionate, especially when her mother fell and neighbors took the time to check in on her.
She served two years on the board of directors.
William and Carrie Tranter
Residents for Eight Years
Carrie and William Tranter moved from Texas to the Annapolis area nine years ago. After a short stint in an apartment, the couple bought a Pines house that was “in need of some love.”
“We loved all the nearby amenities! The playground, the pool, the beach, and the B&A trail – this place has it all,” Will said. “And, the people are great. There’s a real sense of community because almost everyone tries to get to know their neighbors.”
Their son attends Arnold Elementary, and is starting first grade this year. He loved kindergarten there but he’s especially looking forward to a new building this year.
As for what makes Arnold special, Will said, “Despite the large population and heavy traffic at times, it still has a small-town feel. I always see people I know when out and about. Our neighbors are very nice people. This is the only place I’ve lived where I feel like I know everyone on my street.”
Will is a community board member, and the whole family volunteers at beach and park cleanups. They are also involved with the Chase Creek swim team.