Where We Live | Calvert Manor in Prince George's County

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Calvert Manor, which lies along the shore of Piscataway Bay, just south of Fort Washington, Md., owes its name to the colonial aristocracy of the 1600s. According to a plaque erected by the Maryland Historical Society, the land is part of 3,000 acres that was given to William Calvert by his uncle Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, in 1662. (Craig Hudson/for The Washington Post)

Water and nature lovers will want to take note of the Calvert Manor neighborhood, which lies along the shore of Piscataway Bay, just south of Fort Washington, Md., in Prince George’s County. The comfortable, almost rural, feel of the community of more than 100 homes, with its private park, boat dock, water system and shoreline wildlife, is what residents love about it.

“The waterfront park — which is community-owned and open to members of the Calvert Manor Civic Association — is a fantastic part of living here,” said longtime resident Katie Fisher, who bought her Cape Cod in 2003 and has served a number of roles over the years, including as a board member of the Calvert Manor Civic Association and now board member of the Calvert Manor Corporation, the neighborhood’s water company.

“We had a socially distanced meeting of the board in the pavilion there last week amid the ospreys and eagles eating their dinners,” she said.

Colleen Puterbaugh and her husband, Lee, bought their house in 2016. “Connection to nature and the land is a big reason why many people choose to live in our little neck of the woods,” she said.

Puterbaugh commutes to Clinton, Md., (20 minutes by car) and her husband works “around the corner” on their commercial beef cattle farm.

“Our farm has actually been in my husband’s family for over 100 years,” she said. “Small farms are pretty common in our area of Accokeek/Bryan’s Road,” she said.

Among the farms she mentioned are nearby Longview Farm (meat, vegetables and wildflowers), Plane in Hand Farm (organic produce and canned and jarred foods — year-round), Red Tree Farmstead (flowers), and Wild Ginger Herbal Center (herbs and workshops).

Calvert Manor houses, which have been built by individual owners since 1948, include a wide variety of styles: ramblers, contemporary, mid-century modern, split-level, Colonial, Cape Cod and log cabin.

“There are a variety of houses — a real hodgepodge,” said longtime resident Annmarie Buckley. “Mine is a one-level stucco, but I have log cabins on either side of me.”

Buckley, her husband, Timothy, and their three children moved to Calvert Manor in July 1982.

“We were immediately welcomed by a longtime resident who brought us fresh veggies from her garden. It was — and still is — a great place to raise children,” said Buckley.

The neighborhood’s website notes that the community “is home to plumbers, musicians, engineers, poets, federal contractors, photographers, police officers, carpenters, teachers, military folks, and nurses, to name a few.”

“Each house here is unique. Each resident is too,” said Fisher.

The community owes its name to the colonial aristocracy of the 1600s. According to a plaque erected by the Maryland Historical Society, the land is part of 3,000 acres that was given to William Calvert by his uncle Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, in 1662.

The Calvert Manor Civic Association hosts a range of activities. The association participates in the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, an Easter egg hunt, community yard sales, a fall picnic, a Halloween party and a holiday party in December with caroling around the community tree.

“The annual community potluck picnic in the park gives the longer-term residents a chance to meet all the new folks who have found their way here, many of them with young kids,” said Fisher.

Residents pay $85 per year for membership in the association. Members are listed in the community directory, can participate in the Neighborhood Watch and may use the private Calvert Manor park. The park, which sits on the shore of Piscataway Bay, has a dock, boat ramp, a large pavilion (available for reservations by members), swings, a slide, a tennis court, a basketball court and a large grassy field. The park is maintained by, and for, members only.

The community is proud of its environmental efforts. Residents are stalwart participants in the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s efforts to clean up the Potomac River watershed, which includes the neighborhood’s Calvert Manor Park.

“In addition to our community park on Piscataway Bay, Calvert Manor has about a quarter mile of shoreline, and the annual watershed cleanup really brings the community together,” said Fisher.

In 2016, the neighborhood won the PLANT (People Loving and Nurturing Trees) Silver Award from the Maryland Plant Community Awards Program. Buckley spearheaded the community’s efforts that led to the award. The award was given in recognition of the association’s “enthusiasm and hard work in planting and caring for trees” in the community.

“One of the unique things about the community is that we have our own water system — with the best water in the county,” said Buckley.

Buckley was once the editor of Calvert Manor’s monthly newsletter, the Potomac Palaver, (currently on hiatus) and is now the treasurer of the Calvert Manor Corporation. When the first houses in the neighborhood were under construction, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission would not build out to include the area. Neighbors came together to form an independent water system that began serving residents in 1955.

“It’s been run by a volunteer board and providing excellent water to the community ever since,” said Fisher.

Living there: Calvert Manor is bounded by Leonard Calvert Drive and Wannas Drive to the east, Indian Head Highway to the south, Farmington Creek Road to the west, and Piscataway Bay to the north, according to the Calvert Manor Corporation. It has 127 single-family houses within its boundaries.

One home is for sale in Calvert Manor, a three-bedroom, one-bathroom rambler listed for $337,000, according to real estate agent Sheryl Romeo of Sheryl Romeo Real Estate.

So far in 2020, four homes have sold. Home sales have ranged from a three-bedroom, one-bathroom rambler for $289,000 to a six-bedroom, five-bathroom contemporary fixer-upper with an indoor swimming pool on a Piscataway Bay waterfront lot for $784,895. The average price of homes sold so far this year is $447,750.

Schools: Accokeek Academy (lower campus for K-5, upper campus for grades 6-8), Gwynn Park High.

Transit: There is no bus route or other public transportation in or around the neighborhood. There are commuter buses (Park & Ride) within about five miles, both north and south on 210. The closest Metro stations are Branch Avenue, 15 miles northeast, or Anacostia, 16 miles north.