Community spirit embraces families Lake, swim club among amenities

NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE

November 14, 1993|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,Contributing Writer

When Paul and Kerry Agathoklis moved their family into Springlake almost 10 years ago, one of their new neighbors left cookies on their doorstep.

"This was a wonderful community to settle in," Mrs. Agathoklis said. "We knew nobody here and suddenly the hands of friendship just reached out to us."

Residents in this Baltimore County neighborhood -- in northeast Timonium, nestled between Loch Raven Reservoir and Longview Country Club -- say that there's a community spirit, a feeling of belonging among the 460 or so families here, where the homes surround a spacious park complete with duck pond, splashing fountain and swim club.

Neighbors watch out for one another's children. Volunteers run the community swimming pool and organize year-round events. And almost everybody gathers at the Timonium United Methodist Church for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

In recent years, that spirit has been renewed, as some of the neighborhood's older, original residents have begun to sell their homes to younger couples with children.

"There are so many young families moving in, even several with parents who grew up here," said Jeanne Welch, who has lived in Springlake for 28 years. "There are also some longtime residents who have moved from one house to another so they can stay in the neighborhood."

Springlake is close to Towson and Hunt Valley, with shopping, major transportation routes (Interstate 83 and the Beltway), two light-rail stops, schools and a public library minutes away. It has an active community association, which publishes a newsletter, enforces building restrictions, sponsors a cleanup day and ensures maintenance of the park and other public areas.

"It's a very popular area," said Carolyn Benson, a real estate agent with O'Conor Piper & Flynn. "There's the beauty of the lake. An elementary and a senior high school sit right in the development. They have their own swim club, which is not an obligation. There's a good variety of homes. And the location makes it good for commuters."

Springlake was built on 276 acres that, until the 1950s, was a horse breeding farm and riding academy. Housing construction began in 1959 along Fallsbrook Road; the newest homes were added in 1977 on Tyburn Court.

Park includes large pond

Most of the houses -- two-story Colonials, ranchers and split-levels -- are well-maintained and sit on one-quarter-acre and one-third-acre lots.

The roads twist and turn through the community, which includes many connecting streets and cul-de-sacs. The main thoroughfares are Springlake Drive, as well as Fallsbrook, Treherne, Chantrey and Girdwood roads.

At the heart of the neighborhood is Springlake Park, 25 acres of open space owned and maintained by the county. It includes a section between Springlake Drive and Fallsbrook Road that has a large pond.

Children come here to feed the ducks, to search for turtles and frogs and to fish for sunfish, bass and catfish. A blue heron is a regular visitor to the area.

Volunteerism helps boost club

The Springlake Club swimming pool, with about 300 members from the community and surrounding neighborhoods, is also here. The pool sponsors a swim team and social activities during the summer months.

"It's well-maintained because it's managed by volunteers who are interested in it," said Marcie Hoesch, a nurse who serves on the board for the club. "The community is small enough that people show this interest. You feel a sense of belonging here."

For other recreation, residents use a playground and multipurpose court at Pot Spring Elementary School. Dulaney High School has lighted tennis courts, baseball diamonds and a track. Also nearby is County Home Park, with its 18-hole Longview Golf Course, lighted tennis courts, two ponds and athletic fields.

Support for schools

Born in Cyprus, Mrs. Agathoklis grew up in England, married there, relocated to Toronto and finally settled in Baltimore, where her husband works as an industrial chemist.

She says residents strongly support Pot Spring Elementary School and Dulaney High School, as well as nearby Ridgely Middle School. Mrs. Agathoklis volunteers at all three schools, is vice president of the elementary school PTA and serves on the board of the Springlake Community Association.

Her oldest daughter, Andrea, is 17 and a high school senior. Mariana, 12, attends the middle school and Steven, 7, is in the second grade.

"All of the neighbors here are very, very helpful," Mrs. Agathoklis said. "And they take a lot of pride in their neighborhood. I think I lucked out."

Community activities

Mary Ellen McLewee moved here two years ago from Loch Raven Village. She is membership chairwoman of the Springlake Club, volunteers for the PTA and chairs the community association's welcoming committee.

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