Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, April 12, 2021; 7:30pm
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/297850640?pwd=czh3ODBEdEpTeXdkRTc5bDFmLzN2UT09
Or Dial-in to 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385

Actions at the March Meeting Included:

  • Endorsement of Brown Street (Alignment 3) as the Town’s preferred bikeway connection to Crabbs Branch Way.
  • Awarded contract for refuse and recycling collection to Potomac Disposal.
  • Enactment of Ord. 2021-01; Amending the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to Terminate Certain Restrictive Covenants and to Authorize Related Legal Instruments Suitable for Recordation in the Land Records of Montgomery County.
  • Adopted Resolution 2021-04; Evaluation Criteria for Driveways and Parking Areas Permitting.

Maryland State Income Tax

Washington Grove Subdivision Code: 1612
Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because most residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. Therefore it is critical for all Washington Grove residents (including renters) to designate subdivision “1612” and “Washington Grove” as their physical address on the MD tax form. For those filing electronically or using software, there should be a drop-down menu to select Washington Grove. Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes but DOES help ensure the Town receives its proper share of income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.

Elderly Individual/Military Retiree Tax Credit

For property owners aged 65 and over who either (1) have owned and lived in their home for the last 40 consecutive years, OR (2) are retired from one of the United States Armed Forces including military reserves, the National Guard, and the uniformed corps of the Public Health Service and the uniformed corps of NOAA. For information about this five-year tax credit, please call 311 (240-777-0311).

Annual Town Elections

Election Day is Saturday, May 8.

  • Eligible voters are those registered to vote in Montgomery County at a Town address.
  • All eligible voters are strongly urged to cast their votes by the absentee and emergency ballot procedure for “early voting” used last year.
  • An Election Ballot for early voting must be requested using the Absentee Ballot Application Form.
  • All details and Application Forms for ballots will be available the week of April 5th on the town website, from the Town Office, and will also be distributed electronically in a Grove Alert.
  • Ballots will be available soon after the close of nominations on April 12th.
  • The Town Council will make a final decision on April 12th whether any in-person voting will be allowed on election day.

You can check your current voter registration by:
Clicking this link: http://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch
Or by sending a Text message: text “Check” to 77788.

Questions to [email protected] or to any member of the Board of Supervisors of Elections (Margo Cavenagh, Dave Hix, Mary Blake)

Nominations for Town office close April 12. Nominees so far:

  • Mayor (one year-term) John Compton
  • Council (two three year-terms) Christine Dibble, Audrey Maskery, Barbara Raimondo

Candidates Forum For 2021

The 2021 Candidates Forum will be held via Zoom on Saturday, May 1, at 3:00 pm. The candidates for Mayor and for the Town Council seats will introduce themselves and answer your questions. The Zoom link for the Candidates Forum is: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

We use a waiting room. You can also dial in to: 301-715-8592 and follow instructions. Meeting ID is 781 347 688.

Town residents will receive an email with written statements from the candidates the week of April 12 (after the nominations period closes).

This event is sponsored by an ad hoc committee of residents interested in voter education.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., April 7, 2021; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Planning Commission Meeting will be conducted online, rather than in person.
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

Building Permit Submission Deadline
The deadline to submit a building permit application for approval by the Planning Commission and review by the Historic Preservation Commission is the 2nd Wednesday of the month prior to the PC meeting at which the permit will be reviewed (this will be in the following month). This timing ensures the HPC will be able to complete a formal review before the PC meeting as this review is required for the PC to approve the permit in a timely fashion. If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process.

Permits Up for Approval in April:

  • Public Ways & Property – 410 4th Avenue – parking pad
  • Building Permit – 412 4th Avenue – Shed Relocation

2021 Comprehensive Plan Work Session

Please note that the 2020 Master Plan is now the 2021 Comprehensive Plan.

The 2021 Comprehensive Plan draft versions are available on the Comprehensive Plan page of the Town website. The Agenda will be posted on the Town web site home page.

Work Session Notice: Wednesday April 21 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY
As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Comprehensive Plan Work Session will be conducted online, rather than in person. The agenda will be posted at the Town office and on the Town web site the week before the meeting.

Work Session Access:
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688
Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom device in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, April 20, 2021; 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. For a copy of the Agenda, email Chairman Bob Booher ([email protected]).

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688
One tap mobile
+13017158592,3440199688# US (Germantown)

FROM THE ARCHIVES IS BACK!! pdf

Racial Equity Committee…

Next meeting: Sunday, April 11, 2021; 2:00 p.m.
All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link. And more information on how to join the committee, our goals, past meeting minutes, and historical resources can be found here: https://linktr.ee/RacialEquityGrover.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

To join the Zoom Videoconference:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88952052869?pwd=cklnNDBUdzhOdHBPMS9hREFLRGx0QT09
Meeting ID: 889 5205 2869
Passcode: 055636
One tap mobile
+13017158592,88952052869#, *055636# US (Washington DC)

Woods Committee News…

Next meeting: Monday, April 5, 2021; 7:30 p.m. via Zoom Video Conference.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89164732756?pwd=bWVRWkI0a0MzWW5EaU9WWDJzZU9Cdz09

By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 891 6473 2756
Passcode: 455613

Our meetings are regularly held on the first Monday of each month. The May meeting will be held on Monday, May 3.

The WC has been working to improve the walking trails and your experience in our forest preserves. We have created “timber turnpikes” made of packed soil and wood chips secured with tree limb edging on the wettest parts of several East Woods trails. We added brown gravel at the Maple Avenue Extended entrance to the East Woods stabilizing this wet trail section. We will continue with trail maintenance projects in the future. We hope these improvements make your forest preserves experience safer and more enjoyable.

Each Spring the WC schedules a West Woods Cleanup Day but this year, because of the pandemic, we do not want people to congregate in work groups even for this worthwhile effort. However, there are several cleanup projects to be completed. If you or your family are interested in volunteering in the West Woods, please contact Joan Mahaffey at [email protected]. Joan has a list of cleanup projects needing volunteers. She will explain the project and its West Woods location and provide you with trash bags and other supplies you might need. In addition to the satisfaction of having created a cleaner forest area, you will be rewarded with a sense of peace and beauty from your experience with nature.

Lake Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 15, 2021, 7:30 pm Via ZOOM Video Conference

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85028224870?pwd=ZURLeDU1a0JYTkJXT2lZNU94ZEJyQT09
By phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 850 2822 4870
Passcode: 506893
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kCErODdlH

Maple Lake Cleanup:
The annual cleanup will be on Saturday, April 24th at 10 AM. Please join in and bring your leaf rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow if you have one. Rain date is Sunday, April 25th at Noon.

Call John Hutchinson at 240-997-5820 for details or questions.

Geese: We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!

Lake Committee Meetings: Third Thursday of each month via Zoom until we can meet at the Town Hall. We need to plan for lifeguards, swim lessons, and making the lake even better for this summer. New members welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson if you have any questions or suggestions.

Lifeguards: Lifeguards Needed for Maple Lake this Summer. Hours are from 12-6, seven days a week. Lifeguards must be certified in Lifesaving, CPR, and First Aid. Pay is $14.00 per hour. (We can help you pay for the training.) Call John Hutchinson for details.

Swim Instructor: Swim instructor needed for Maple Lake for the month of July. Pay is $19/hour. Call John Hutchinson for details.

Film Society News…

“Graduation” – Discussion on Sunday, May 2
An earnest doctor, disgusted by corruption in post-Communist Romania, resolves that his daughter will escape to a better life via a scholarship to a British university. Events threaten to derail his dreams for her, resulting in ethical dilemmas and painful choices for his whole family. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post writes that the film “engages issues of ethics, globalism, civil society, personal morality and the agony of parental separation within a genre that might be dubbed a socio-philosophical thriller.” It sounds as if we’ll have plenty to discuss! Directed by Cristian Mungiu, 2016, Romania, 128 minutes, Romanian with subtitles.

Stream “Graduation” for $2.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play, or YouTube. Then join the discussion on Zoom on Sunday, May 2, 7:30 pm. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88189173505?pwd=K2R4enlUdXVUa01zbWlSNkorVWxpUT09

WG United Methodist Church News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church Sunday services continue to be online.

As we continue to Stay at Home during the COVID-19 crises, the Church has been enjoying Sunday morning Zoom services. If you would like to join us, please contact Pastor Andrew Peck-McClain at [email protected] to be included.

When we can once again go out into the world, please join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-869-3753).

We are collecting non-perishable food donations to support the St. Martin’s food bank. Your contributions can be dropped off on the screened-in porch at Peggy Hansen’s house, 201 Chestnut Avenue, in Washington Grove.

Washington Grove United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, which means we believe that each person is a precious creation of God and is of sacred worth. We welcome and celebrate persons of every gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability into full participation in the life of this faith community. We celebrate the gift of love and affirm all loving relations and marriages.

Washington Grove Cares News

As a COVID-19 precaution, WGC suggests ways to avoid trips to the grocery store or pharmacy:

We have a volunteer making a weekly shopping trip:
MONDAY: (notify by Sun. 5 pm) Shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MOM’s or Aldi’s; text or email Caitlin Bethepu at 414-208-8661 [email protected]

Post your own impromptu grocery/shopping trips: If you are going to a particular grocery store/pharmacy and can pick up items for others, consider posting a message to the listserv ([email protected]) – note the new address for the Town listserv.

If you are low-risk and willing to provide a weekly trip to a particular grocery on a specific day, please email [email protected] with your name and phone number, and we will call you to get the details.

Not on the new WG neighborhood Google Groups listserv? Get notices of impromptu shopping trips (and very occasional WGC-sponsored events) sent directly to your email.
Email [email protected]

Woman’s Club News…

Thanks for All the Desserts for the Men’s Shelter Dinner!

So many generous people in Town donated desserts for our Men’s Shelter Dinner that we were also able to share some with other shelters in the area. They were so grateful both for the treats and to know that people cared enough to think about them. What a wonderful, giving Town we are!

The Woman’s Club is Becoming Inclusive!
Our Club has always depended on the help of the men in Town in carrying out our events, and over the years, some of those men have become honorary members. In these days of inclusiveness, we have been approached by some men who would like to become regular members, and at our last meeting, we decided that’s a wonderful idea! For those men who would like to join our Club, the annual dues are $15, which can be paid to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, to PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

These dues will help make it possible for us to support Town programs such as The Summer In the Parks, the Acorn Library and the Holiday Show. They also let us host our annual Town events like the January White Elephant Sale, the February Chili Supper, Project Linus, the Spring Egg Hunt, the May Flower Show, the June Progressive Porch Party, the September Pot Luck Supper and guest speakers. Plus, all year-round we collect for our Community Outreach programs.

We’re Helping Out Where SNAP Leaves Off
As the desperate needs of those around us continue, we are collecting some of the much-needed items that SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) doesn’t pay for. Donations are appreciated, or if you would rather give us a check for please note that it’s for SNAP Plus.

  • Similac – especially the blue boxes of powder
  • Pedialyte – any flavor
  • Diapers – sizes 3 and up
  • Diaper wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine hygiene products

Tots to Teens…Kids in Need of Underwear
Again this spring, the County is reaching out to us to help them make sure that tots to teens, boys and girls, the least fortuante of the children have underwear. Over the years, we have developed resources to purchasing these and ensuring that we are providing for each group, so more than any other project, we ask for monetary donations to help in providing these needed items. Checks for this project should be noted for Kids Underwear.

Where to Drop Off Your Donations
Monetary donations should be made out to the Woman’s Club with a notation in the Memo line if you want it to go towards a specific project. All donations can be dropped off either in the boxes on the Clubhouse porch or in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road.

Lighting Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 28th at 7:30pm, 2021 via ZOOM Video Conferencing. We will continue to meet on the 4th Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to attend!

PEPCO has recently filed a major tariff that could greatly affect the lighting in TWG. TWG is on the National Register of Historic Places. PEPCO owns all the poles and light fixtures in TWG and they want to replace ALL their fixtures with brighter more centrally controlled units. We have been in discussion with both Maryland Public Service Commission (MDPSC) and Pepco concerning their new multi-year plan.

We will be meeting via a Zoom Conference and all are welcome to attend!!
Link to Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88632201443?pwd=aVdLTENDNW9yclVITTROMG1KM2R1QT09

Meeting ID: 886 3220 1443
Passcode: 589786
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,88632201443#,,,,*589786# US (Washington DC)
Questions, ideas or concerns please contact Virginia Quesada at:
301 706-7933 cell. [email protected] Or Robert N. Johnson [email protected]

Climate Action News…Sustainability Group

Next meeting: April 27, 2021, 7:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688

One tap mobile
+13017158592,3440199688# US (Washington DC)
Dial by your location
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Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

Join the Zoom meeting by videoconference:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82991276202?pwd=c3gyN0Jld2pia1JKdThHaDEvYUFVdz09

By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 829 9127 6202
Passcode: 728172

COVID-19 Vaccine update: The state of Maryland is opening additional mass vaccination sites beginning the week of April 5th, including a site at Montgomery College in Germantown. For additional information on state and county vaccination programs, please see: https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/ and https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/.

And please look out for any neighbors who may need assistance finding and obtaining a vaccine. Together, we will get through these challenging times.

We are actively seeking new committee members! One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help strengthen our community. We welcome your input and ideas on how to achieve this and any other goals related to preparedness and safety. Please join us at our next meeting.

Border Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 8, 2021; 7:30 p.m. Via ZOOM Videoconference. This Committee meets the second Thursday of each month. All are welcome. Contact Peter Nagrod ([email protected]) for information on how to join the meeting.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: April 14, 2021, 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM Video Conference
Isn’t spring beautiful? Wonderful invitation to get out for a walk!

At our next meeting, we will be planning for the spring tree planting. We’d love to have you join us! If you can’t make the meeting but have a suggestion for where a new tree is needed, please contact F&B Chair Georgette Cole ([email protected]) or our Council Liaison Gray Yachup ([email protected]).

Trees in the Grove: Magnolias

Of the approximately 100 species of Magnolias, eight are native to the eastern U.S. Cultivars of the species preferred in trade, however, number in the thousands. Magnolias prefer acidic soil and full sun. Other common magnolia characteristics are attractive, smooth, light gray bark; smooth edged, central veined leaves that may be deciduous or evergreen; and showy, fragrant flowers, for which they are most prized. Flowers are large and solitary with tepals (undifferentiated petals and protective sepals) ranging in number from 6 to 20. This column describes four magnolia species that are found in Washington Grove, described in the order that they typically bloom. The three photos were taken in Washington Grove last March.

Star Magnolias (Magnolia stellata) are found as often as shrubs as trees. Their early bloom in March makes them more prone to frost damage. As with other magnolias when the temperature falls below 28 degrees, the flowers brown and quickly turn to mush.
The fragrant flowers are composed of 1 ½ to 2” inch long strap-like tepals, 12 or more in number that are white to pale pink (photo #1).

Most of the notable magnolias blooming in Washington Grove beginning in early March are saucer magnolias (Magnolia xsoulangeana – a hybrid with two Chinese parents). Blooms are more intense towards the end of the month. The saucer shaped, fragrant flowers have 9 tepals opening 9-12” wide in myriad shades between white to light pink to purple (photo #2 and photo #3). Saucer magnolias may be the most widely planted of all the magnolias because of their reliable, stunning flowers and because they easy to propagate and grow.

Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)is a native, less showy tree that begins to bloom in April once the tree has fully leafed out and can continue through the summer. The flowers are creamy-white, 9-12 tepaled, lemon-scented and 2-3” wide. In our area, this is a semi-evergreen single or multi-stemmed tree that has the advantages of tolerance to full shade and excess water. Also, it is a preferred host for the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly and is a source of seed food for squirrels and numerous birds.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandifolia) is probably the most readily recognized magnolia, growing into a massive tree with messy, large evergreen leaves and heavily scented milk-white flowers, the sort one puts in a bowl of water to perfume a room. It is native to the southeast U.S. from North Carolina to Texas. The 8-12” in diameter flowers begin to open in May and continue sporadically.

April Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

April 5 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 7 » Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 12 » Nominations for Mayor & Town Council Due
April 12 » Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 13 » Early Voting Ballots available
April 14 » Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 14 » Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 15 » Lake Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 18 » Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm ZOOM
April 20 » Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 21 » Comprehensive Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 21 » Recreation Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 22 » Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 28 » Lighting Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
May 2 » Film Society “Graduation” 7:30 pm ZOOM
May 3 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
May 8 » Election Day: Deadline for all Ballots 7:00 pm
May 8 » Annual Town Meeting 8:00 pm ZOOM