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Out and about

Warmer weather opens up more opportunities for exercise, fun at Oak Crest

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
photo of outdoor bocce court


Regardless of the season, is always abuzz with activity thanks to its ingenious weatherproof design granting on-the-go residents access to the entire campus without ever going outside. 

But with spring on the horizon, another world will soon come to life as golfers, gardeners, and outdoor enthusiasts of every kind head back outside. 

“Having the ability to stay active and socially engaged regardless of the weather is a huge advantage to living at Oak Crest,” says Jim Antonakos, director of sales. “Our under-one-roof design allows community members to go about their busy schedules during the cold winter months. But when the weather is nice, the outdoors offers even more opportunities.”

Whether practicing on the putting green, fishing at the pond, or competing on the bocce courts, the community’s 87 park-like acres offer a large menu of outdoor activities. 


Joseph Colaianni knows the grounds at Oak Crest as well as anyone. He walks an average of seven to eight miles on campus every day. 

“I like to get out before 9:00 in the morning,” says Joseph, who moved to Oak Crest from Lutherville with his wife Judith four years ago. “I walk for about an hour and ten minutes, and then in the afternoon I walk again for another 45 minutes. 

“It’s a beautiful community,” says Joseph. “The first thing you notice is the grounds—everything is well-manicured. While I’m walking, I do a lot of thinking, a lot of praying—I really enjoy it. It’s helped my weight, and I’ve been very healthy to date.”

Grandkids can often be spotted feeding the fish and ducks at Oak Crest’s Lake Victoria. A wide variety of wildlife are also attracted to the lake, including deer, squirrels, fox, geese, ducks, hawks, bluebirds, and woodpeckers. 

The deck and gazebo overlooking the man-made lake that stretches one acre and reaches depths of three to four feet is the perfect place to fish. It’s stocked with bass, blue gill, and catfish. 

In May, Oak Crest’s Blue Heron Yacht Club, a group of model yacht enthusiasts, kick off their sailing season by launching their 31-inch Victoria Racing Class boats onto the tranquil water. 

Golfers grab their putters and practice their short stroke over at the putting green. Others compete in a friendly game of horseshoes or try their hand at bocce. And from April through August, Oak Crest’s summer outdoor bocce season is in full swing. 

Joy ride

For Oak Crest resident Robert Thuman, warmer weather is the perfect time to enjoy one of his favorite pastimes: bike riding. 

“I ride a few miles around the community—in and out of the different courtyards,” says Robert. “I play softball at Belmont Park across the street a few days a week, and I ride my bike to and from practice. You still have to be aware of your surroundings, but I feel quite safe riding here in the community.” 

Robert stores his bike in a resident storage locker located on the ground level, a few floors below his fifth-floor apartment, making it easy to go for a ride whenever he wants. 

When he’s not riding his bike or playing softball, Robert exercises his green thumb in his garden where he grows onions, green peppers, string beans, and mint, which he dries and uses year-round for tea. 

Oak Crest features 80, 10- by 10-foot gardens, and 6, 7- by 7-foot raised planter beds, allowing residents plenty of room for planting everything from strawberries to roses. The gardens are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, a 55- by 24-foot greenhouse is the perfect place to start seedlings and propagate plants.

To assist residents with their gardens, the Oak Crest grounds department provides mulch, compost, peat moss, water, and one free tilling each year in early April. Gardeners may also store their tools in an on-site shed.

According to Antonakos, the unique blend of a country setting along with the conveniences of a metropolitan environment sets Oak Crest apart from other retirement communities.  

“When you are here on the campus, it’s easy to forget you’re just a few miles away from the area’s best shopping, dining, golf courses, parks, and outdoor recreation,” he says.