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Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park

[Legacy Open Space History]

Meadow seen from Ridge Rd, with dog walker

Meadow – from Ridge Rd

This beautiful meadow was once part of farm owned by Eugene B Casey, a major landowner in Maryland. From the establishment of the historic Camp Meeting in 1873 agricultural land bordered the southeastern edge of what is now the Town of Washington Grove, but this farm land between Washington Grove and the InterCounty Connector was eventually sold for development.

In 2001, the properties known as the Casey Property at Washington Grove were placed in the appendix of the Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan (M-NCPPC, 2001) for potential designation as a Natural Resource within the LOS master plan. When development was proposed on the site in late 2001, Legacy staff evaluated the site and determined that the site did not meet the LOS criteria for Natural Resources, but part of the property did meet the Heritage Resources criteria as an important part of the rural setting for the Town of Washington Grove. On February 7, 2002, the Planning Board approved the addition of 13 acres of meadow as a Heritage Resource to the LOS Master Plan. We are fortunate that preservation of the rural, open vistas of the agricultural fields that formed the setting for the historically-significant Town of Washington Grove was recognized by the Planning Board as it led to the Meadow Park we now enjoy.

From 2002 to 2008, the Piedmont Crossing (now Shady Grove Crossing) subdivision plan moved through the development review process and reached final approvals and the construction stage. The Town of Washington Grove was very active in negotiating with the developers of the property throughout the development process. Thanks to Town and Park staff efforts, the final approved plan created a preserved open space adjacent to the Town consisting of 12 acres of meadow and forest to be dedicated to park use.

As a result of the development review process and subsequent court activity, the property ownership rights are currently split between the Town of Washington Grove and M-NCPPC. The Town of Washington Grove owns the underlying in-fee property interest while M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks holds a deed of dedication that requires the Commission to maintain and operate the land as an open space park. This park is now a native meadow habitat with pockets of early forest succession to provide additional wildlife habitat as well as wooded areas which help buffer the town. The Washington Grove Conservation Park and nearby areas have natural surface trails providing a network of walking paths that complement the historic walkways in the town. This provides pedestrian connectivity throughout the Town including Town community buildings, parks and forest preserves.

Contact numbers for the Parks Department and the Park Police can be found in the kiosk at the park entrance. If you walk your dog in the Park, don’t forget to pick up after them! Montgomery County code requires removal of dog waste by the owner of the dog. This is for the comfort and safety of everyone.

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