Living in Carderock

From Jen DeMarinis: My husband and I started looking for houses when my son was 6 months old.  We had a few requirements:  a real community, a distinctive home style, and a park-like setting.  We searched for about 5 months through Bethesda and Northern VA and could not find what we were looking for anywhere – so we stopped looking. We had even gotten an offer on our house at full asking price and turned it down.  


About a month later, a friend of mine told me about Carderock Springs so we checked it out – we fell in love instantly.  It had a lot of houses that met our criteria so we started to look in the neighborhood.  We bought the second house we looked at.  Not only is it on a cul de sac and backs up to Cabin John Park it has hiking paths in the back yard!  On top of that we have awesome roads for road biking and are about a mile and half away from the C&O Canal, which is great for walking, running, hiking and biking. 


What I also wanted for my children was for them to grow up in a place with a sense of community and Carderock has just that.  We have monthly activities for the kids at our club house which include movie nights, Spring Egg Hunt, summer pool games, and an annual Fall Fun Fest and Chili Cook-Off that brings the whole community together.  My children know all of our neighbors by name and know they can count on them for kindness and safety.  


Moving into Carderock Springs has been the best decision my husband and I have made for our family.


From Margie Orrick   Washington is in many ways such a transient town, yet there are a few neighborhoods which are real neighborhoods, where people really do know their neighbors and their community. Carderock Springs is one of those gems.

You can tell the Carderock neighborhood is different when you first drive through it. Instead of center-hall colonials of so many other nearby neighborhoods, Carderock has modest contemporary homes from the 1960's which are nestled naturally on gentle sloping hills.

The contemporary homes are easy to live in as they are or to renovate, as we did nearly 20 years ago with an addition. Since the neighborhood has architectural covenants, we went through a review process when we were still in the design phase with the local neighborhood architectural committee who had excellent ideas we implemented.

People don't necessarily buy in Carderock for the homes, though. Rather, people buy in Carderock for the neighborhood, for the community feeling, for the other people (and dogs!). The nearby Swim and Tennis Club offers not just swimming and tennis teams for all ages but also weekly summer BBQs, plus holiday parties and events throughout the year. Theres even an informal summer camp for neighborhood elementary school kids which has our own Carderock teens as counselors.

A neighborhood group email list enables residents to exchange information on events and topics of interest. A monthly newsletter is additional glue which holds us together.

Everywhere in Carderock there are community-building activities and opportunities. While looking for a neighborhood to raise our family, we identified just a few communities where neighbors really knew each other. Carderock was our first choice and we are glad we found it!   Margie Orrick Carderock Springs resident, Bethesda MD August 2007

 From Maryland Pao Holland   I think what my parents liked best about Carderock Springs in 1962 was the innovative and affordable design of a spacious contemporary home in the woods. It was also conveniently located between Rockville and Chevy Chase where my parents each worked. Back then, Carderock was actually considered rural backwoods and there were still springs by the roadside before River Road was expanded!

What I love about Carderock is the tranquility I feel once I turn off River Road and enter this wooded haven. I also love that Carderock is an interesting and diverse community. Until pretty recently, my neighbors were the same neighbors I had growing up-so much for DC being a transient town. There are many who have lived here since its inception and many who are moving back to raise their families like I did mixed with an international crowd. It makes for a vibrant community. Maryland Pao Holland, Carderock Springs, August 2007

From Jenny Holland   There are a lot of things I love about Carderock, but the thing I appreciate above all is the sense of community within our neighborhood. I have lived in Carderock for the majority of my 18 years and spent most of those years playing soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, and simply growing up with my next-door neighbors. We spent our afternoons together and even most of our summers together and through that I have found some of my deepest and most important friendships.

Being able to comfortably walk up the street at any given moment to hang out with friends is not something most teenagers can boast. However, the sense of community transcends just my immediate friendships. I have worked at the club, babysat, pet-sat and collected mail for various and numerous families in Carderock, which only makes me feel more connected to the neighborhood.

Growing up in the house that my mom grew up in has also created a huge support system for my sisters and me in Carderock. Our neighbors have been the same neighbors that were there when my mom was growing up, which has led to countless fun and cherished Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations.   Jenny Holland, Carderock Springs, September 2007

From Mary Lou Shannon   Every resident of Carderock Springs finds unique meaning in the experience of living here.  My Carderock Springs story began in 1965, when I visited an aunt and uncle who lived on Park Overlook Court.  I recognized right then that I was drawn to the architecture and the sense of community, and hoped to one day live here.  In 1983, that day finally came. 

 My movie to the community came at a time when my youngest daughter, Kathleen, was still living at home.  She participated in the swim and dive teams, the Summer Fun counseling program, and as a lifeguard.  For both of us, the club provided a source of recreation and social inclusion that can be so hard to find in modern-day urban areas.  Our experiences were so positive that my oldest daughter Becky is now raising her family here, and my son, Tim, has joined the swim club so that his young children will be able to enjoy what is now a 25 year Shannon-family tradition of summer time at the clubhouse! 

Just as Mr. Bennett had planned, the club remains the center of the community.  Even after the pools have closed, the clubhouse is active with aerobic and yoga classes, movie nights for kids, pot luck dinners, and private birthday and anniversary celebrations.

There are many other wonderful community traditions that are alive and well in Carderock Springs, including the fall House Tour, the Halloween Parade, and the Easter Egg Hunt.  What Ive found over the past 25 years is that our community continues to adapt to the lifestyles of its multi-faceted residents, carrying on traditions while making way for new events to emerge.  From my experience and from the experiences expressed by many of my neighbors, whether Edmund Bennett planned it or not, Carderock Springs makes every resident feel completely at home

From Karen Orrick

The Community is what makes Carderock such a fairy tale place to grow up in. With a centralized Swim and Tennis club and countless basketball teams, soccer teams, and scout troops, it's incredibly easy to make friends that last for life. Not only are there huge opportunities to meet and play with kids your own age, but there is so much opportunity for intergenerational engagement as well. Carderock is the type of community that raises you, and the moms who watched you dribble Popsicle all over your face as you cheered for your older sister at the Lollipop Swim Meet are the same moms who you later babysit for and then later consult for internships, job advice, and career planning. The networks that are formed through childcare, house-sitting, pet sitting, tutoring, community parties, club barbeques, swim meets, soccer games, dog runs, dog swims, fireworks, and the countless other community activities are the networks that make it completely natural to stop and chat with the seven neighbors you pass on the street as you walk your dog.

The security and tranquility of Carderock is also an incredible aspect of its inviting and comfortable character. With all types of trees lining the streets, and woods and trails within walking distance in any direction, Carderock helps one stay grounded and in touch with the natural beauty of the world around them. As a kid these wooded areas provide unreal tromping grounds with boundless opportunities to explore, expedition, adventure, and play. Some of my best memories include romping around in the woods by the creeks or sprinting back to "home base" in an epic game of manhunt. The woods are also a great place to disappear and get lost for a while before finding your way back to the beaten path. The ability to feel completely safe walking, running, or driving through the neighborhood at any hour of the night is really special. Carderock is also a great place to see brilliant stars- if there aren't too many trees around.

 Karen Orrick

Michael Shapiro
Michael Shapiro
4650 East-West Hwy Bethesda MD 20814