Arden's sunrise beginnings
The Sunrise Beach Civic Association was formed in 1955 by community members who realized that many changes were necessary to make this a really desirable neighborhood. Its formation was intended to create an informal organization of associated interest groups through which residents and/or property owners could meet to improve and protect Arden while maintaining and encouraging a strong sense of community. With that goal in mind, much has been done since to enhance our community.
Charter members of the association included almost all of the families living here at the time. One of the first accomplishments of the organization was securing a few street lights on corners where they were most needed.
Knowing that the area was formerly known as "Arden," the members of the first civic association worked to change the name of the community from Sunrise Beach to Arden On The Severn. Interestingly, this effort was undertaken because several lot owners wanted to build homes and were unable to secure mortgages due to the lenders' claim that the name "Sunrise Beach" carried the connotation of a beach community; they assumed the proposed homes would not retain their value if surrounded by beach cottages. The name "Arden On The Severn" was voted upon and approved by the majority of lot owners. The community's new name was accepted by the Post Office, but no legal action was ever taken through the Anne Arundel County Government because of the cost involved; hence all property deeds still read "Sunrise Beach." Amazingly, over the course of more than fifty years, maps, government projects, development documents, etc., all refer to "Arden On The Severn" because of the the common name.
Town hall: A true Community Center
Originally the civic association conducted all its business meetings and social activities in the home of a member. As it became obvious that a community building would be needed if the community continued to grow. The association negotiated with Beach Shores, Inc. (the owner of the open lots within Arden) and they donated four lots on Omar Drive. Once the land was available, every effort was bent toward the construction of a building which would be useful to the community. Ultimately, the building was built in 1966 and has served as a community center ever since. It should be noted that, the building may be rented for private parties when it is not in use for a community function.
PLAY A PART
In the 2000s, the Arden Civic Association was incorporated and now serves as the governing body that organizes the community into activity groups, meets to determine the focus of community interests, and oversees the publication of the NewsBuoy (the official publication of Arden). ACA acts independently of the ABI, collects its operating budget through donations from community members, and maintains independent financial and operating records.
All residents in Arden, both full and part-time, lot owners, and property owners adjacent to Arden, age 18 and over are eligible for ACA membership. The volunteer members of the ACA Executive Board are elected to their positions: president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. The five sections within Arden are represented on the ACA board by a Section Delegate. It is the responsibility of the board to oversee the organization. All members in good standing with ACA are eligible to run for a position. The board strives to maintain communication with other local organizations and Anne Arundel County Government officials in an effort to represent the community's view on specific issues.
SMALL ACTs ADD up
The annual membership contribution is $10.00, but most people find a way to send a little more — the money goes a long way to improving the community for everyone. The single goal of ACA is to keep Arden a desirable place to live for its residents regardless of age, sex, color, religion, etc. Some improvements within the neighborhood may have come to be over time, but it was the community association that recognized our needs and lobbied the county to move a little faster. With that in mind, ACA encourages all the residents of Arden be supportive, whether it be financially or through volunteer work.