Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, Sept. 14, 2020; 7:30 p.m.

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

Mayor’s Kudos

  • To Charlie and Mary Challstrom for posting signs on Town streets reminding everyone to social distance.

Actions at the August Meeting Include:

  • Appointment of David Hix to the Board of Supervisors of Elections

Town Treasurer Position

The Town of Washington Grove seeks a qualified individual to fill the position of Town Treasurer beginning Spring-Summer 2021. The Treasurer has broad responsibilities, functioning as financial officer, bookkeeper, purchasing agent and in other capacities to insure smooth operation of Town government. The Treasurer provides essential continuity and guidance to help elected officials and other volunteers be effective in serving the Town. The position requires independence, organizational skills, and the capacity to effectively communicate and work with diverse individuals. This part-time position (approx. 10 hours per week) does not include benefits. Work hours are flexible.

Applicants must be able to provide their own workspace and computer/printer. Strong computer skills are essential. Please send expressions of interest in writing to Mayor John Compton at PO Box 1187 or [email protected].

Are You the Next Historic Preservation Commission Alternate?

The Historic Preservation Commission is looking for a volunteer to serve as the Alternate. If you have an interest in historic preservation in Washington Grove, or would like to become more knowledgeable, and are ready to get more involved and help your Town, please contact the Town Office or one of the current HPC members. As Alternate you participate in HPC meetings (3rd Tuesday of the month) and vote when a full member is absent.

The Washington Grove Bikeway Connector Study

In March, the MCDOT study of three alternative multi-use pathway routes to connect the Town to the County Bikeways system at Crabbs Branch Way began in earnest following input from residents. Progress has been slower than planned during the epidemic, but the report from the study contractor responsible for assessing traffic and impacts is expected to be submitted to them by September. Subsequently an update will be distributed to the public concerning the next phase for the study.

Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee Forming

The Committee to Advance Racial Equity in Washington Grove will be holding our next meeting on Sunday, September 13 at 4pm over Zoom. The meeting is open to the public, so please feel free to spread the word! Anyone can join even if you were not at the first Zoom event. Please email us at [email protected] to register. You can also sign up for our mailing list and/or join the committee here.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, September 2, 2020; 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 September: None

2020 Master Plan Work Session

Please note the 2020 Master Plan draft versions are available on the Master Plan page of the Town website. The Agenda will be posted on the Town web site home page.

Work Session Notice: Wednesday September 16 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY
As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Master Plan Work Session will be conducted online, rather than in person.

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 use passcode PCFB

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, September 15, 2020; 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/91859198359?pwd=MmdPcjB6d21uN215aitYTmMrZmR4dz09
Meeting ID: 918 5919 8359
Password: 008571
Or dial-in to 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.

The Washington Grove Auditorium – Last of the Summer Series

Last month, we looked at the role of the Auditorium in the Chautauqua Movement and the significance of the Auditorium in the early development of Washington Grove. Again, we express our appreciation for the work of Robinson & Associates in preparation of the Updated and Expanded Washington Grove Historic District Nomination. This month’s focus on the significance of the Auditorium in the Town’s eastward development, and the Auditorium’s eventual demise, is based on their research.

The Auditorium Signals the Town’s Eastward Expansion – The construction of the Assembly Hall (McCathran Hall) in 1901 at the southern end of Howard Park represented a decentralization of community life in Washington Grove away from the camp meeting-era Circle. In 1905, the eastern half of Oak Avenue (Street) and Maple Avenue were cleared and graded. The subsequent demolition of the tabernacle and the construction of an Auditorium for Chautauqua in Woodward Park that same year underscored this reorganization.

A number of factors, including concerns over health and sanitation, infrastructure improvements, and the development of recreational facilities, had the effect of encouraging residential development outside of and away from the historically sacred precinct (the Circle); the impetus for development in the eastern half of Washington Grove had begun. In many instances, cottages were relocated from the Tent Department to open lots within the Cottage Department, creating open pockets of space, relieving crowded conditions within the former and introducing new physical forms and visual associations within the landscape of the latter.

Would Chautauqua Programs Evolve? Chautauqua attendance remained steady at Washington Grove through the first decade of the twentieth century, bucking the trend of decline in the rest of the country. The Chautauqua Committee was skeptical of shifting towards more entertainment programming, as other independent assemblies had done. They argued to the Association’s Board that educational features that were either historical or engaged with the latest political questions would be better received by their audience than the lighter fare that had become more common. The religious component of the Chautauqua also continued. In 1910, the Chautauqua Committee reported a deficit for the first time, and committee members feared that public interest had waned. It recommended introducing lighter fare, while still avoiding entertainment that ventured toward vaudeville.

It is not clear, however, whether this recommendation was implemented or when Chautauqua programming officially ended at the Grove. Camp meeting attendance also began to decline during this period.

New Roles for the Auditorium – In the decades after Chautauqua activities ceased at Washington Grove, the Auditorium in Woodward Park was used to show movies and stage theatrical performances, as a meeting place for social clubs, for dances, and as a gymnasium for indoor sports, such as basketball and shuffleboard.

Following World War II, a younger generation reinvigorated the theatrical tradition in the Grove. The Banbury Players, consisting of ten or twelve adults and six to eight teenagers in Town presented a series of one-act plays in the Auditorium in 1948. In 1949 they proposed to the Town Council a four-week season of plays.

Efforts to Enforce Racial Segregation Stifle Auditorium Uses – The Council approved the proposal on condition “that the organization shall be responsible for retaining control over the use of the Auditorium.” Following further discussions with Town Council about how the group could comply with this condition, the president of the Banbury Players’ corporation reported that “the group was anxious to carry out the established segregation policy of the Town … although no definitive plan for enforcing a policy of exclusion had been formed.”

After several months of Town Council wrangling and wordsmithing over this condition in the theater permission, the theater group finally withdrew its proposal, stating that it “could not and would not attempt a policy of segregating by exclusion of negroes from attendance.” The matter was dropped.
Such a policy would come to be prohibited in the 1964 Civil Right Act.

The Gates Shut in 1897 – The practice of racial segregation in Town dated to the end of the 19th century. For a time, African Americans had been permitted to walk through Washington Grove along Grove Avenue to get to the Emory Grove camp meeting. Later, however, with Jim Crow segregation and the doctrine of “separate but equal” confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, the B&O trains and stations, including Washington Grove’s, were segregated. Washington Grove’s perimeter gates were closed to Emory Grove camp meeting attendees in 1897.

The Final Blow – Another proposal to Town Council for a theater in 1962 dealt the final blow to the Auditorium. This time the proposal came from a Washington theater producer who offered to upgrade the Auditorium and use it for theater productions five nights a week for twelve weeks in the summer of 1962. (The Auditorium had become a burden to maintain and was a target for vandalism.) The Town was evenly split over the issue. On one side, some residents desired the availability of theater and other artistic pursuits in Washington Grove and saw it as a way to save the Auditorium. Others saw it as a commercial venture which would bring unwanted traffic into Town and tie up the Auditorium.

A Single Vote – The theater issue was put to vote at the annual Town meeting of 1962, where it lost by a single vote. When no other viable options for use of the Auditorium were brought forward by the time of the 1963 annual Town meeting, the demolition contract was let.

Soon after the building was razed, its site was redeveloped as part of a new “recreation center” with playground equipment and a multi-purpose, all-weather court. In addition, an all-weather tennis court was built north of the existing clay tennis courts.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed, September 9, 2020; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

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 use passcode PCFB

We will be discussing fall tree planting. All are welcome!

Lake Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

Zoom Meeting Link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82784421944?pwd=ZHhnbHZIS2RWNGJZeEM5elZ0T3dHdz09
By phone: 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 827 8442 1944
Passcode: 220457

Lake to Close September 8
A reminder that the Lake will be closed for the season on September 8th. Last day lifeguards will be present is September 7th (Labor Day holiday).

Woods Committee News…

Next Meeting: ONLINE Monday, August 31, 2020; 7:30 p.m. Our meetings are routinely held on the first Monday of each month, but this meeting was rescheduled to accommodate the Labor Day holiday. Our next online meeting will be held on Monday, October 5th.

To join the WC meeting, please use
Meeting ID: 875 0738 0443
Meeting link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87507380443?pwd=MG43S3hYUW1XU0FMQVpyUEVPaUlrQT09
By phone: 301 715 8592 / Password: 975138

Managed Deer Hunt
The volunteer Bow Hunter Firefighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) will again assist our Town this Fall/Winter to conduct a Town-approved managed deer hunt in the East and West Woods. The 2020-21 Maryland archery deer hunting season begins Friday, September 11, 2020 until Sunday, January 31, 2021. Metrics to evaluate successful outcomes towards restoring the health of our forest ecosystem will include monitoring native plant re-establishment.

Invasive Plant Control
Our contractor, IPC, recently completed targeted herbicide treatments along East Woods trail margins to reduce stilt grass overgrowth for tick control purposes. In September, IPC will cut and paint a large wisteria patch off the northern trail in the West Woods.
The Woods Committee is preparing a list of priority trail maintenance projects to include improved trail signage. One East Woods trail between McCauley and Ridge Road is unnamed and we are asking for your help with possible names for WC selection. We welcome Town volunteers to help keep trails safe and open. Please contact Joan or Patty if you would like to assist us. We thank our wonderful volunteers Larry French, Krista Zanetti, David Lutter, and Virginia Quesada for helping to protect new trees and spread woodchips along trails in the East Woods. Special thanks to Steve Werts and Bruce Rothrock for clearing trails blocked by fallen trees.

West Woods Boundary Survey
The West Woods boundary survey along Washington Grove Lane was completed. The West Woods is now one entire parcel of our Town property. We hope you continue to enjoy our East and West Woods forest preserves. Stay healthy and happy!

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 16, 2020; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

Emily Cavey is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Rec Committee Meeting
Time: Sep 16, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83748131339?pwd=dUJXZDJTQmpTOE1JZkp3cHA0Q2FiUT09
Or dial-in to: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 837 4813 1339, Passcode: 871990

HOLIDAY SHOW DEC. 12, 2020

The show must go on! And so it will! Plans are afoot for a virtual holiday show to air on December 12. If you would like to be involved, please contact Judy Mroczka at [email protected] or Marilynn Frey at [email protected]. We are in search of musicians, actors, artists, as well as people with videography and media skills, technical skills and organizational skills. We will not be having the usual series of in-person rehearsals, so do not worry. And whether or not you will be helping with the show, do mark your calendars for December 12 so you can watch with us!

Film Society News…

The timely and award-winning 2016 documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” is the Film Society’s choice for September’s discussion. It is streaming at no charge across numerous platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and Kanopy. All are welcome to view the film and join the discussion on Sunday evening, September 20, 2020. A link to the Zoom discussion will be emailed to the Town listserv a few days ahead, or request the link by emailing Freda Temple at [email protected].

Using archival footage and the words of James Baldwin voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, the film examines the civil rights struggles of an earlier era with special attention to Baldwin’s personal connection to the slain Malcolm X, MLK, and Medgar Evers – powerful words from one of the towering figures of American letters in the second half of the Twentieth century, and a chance to examine race relations in our country then and now. Join us!

WG United Methodist Church News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church
Sunday services continue to be temporarily suspended

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.

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.

Once we can 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).

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 (WGC) News…

Coordinating Shopping Trips During the COVID 19 Epidemic

Regularly Scheduled Grocery Trips:
Two volunteers are shopping at regular times during the week. Please contact them to make arrangements by the preceding evening.

MONDAYS: (notify by Sun. 5 pm) Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MOM’s, or Aldi’s; call or text Caitlin Bethepu at 414-208-8661.

WEDNESDAYS: (notify by Tues. eve.) Giant Food Store; call, text or email Paul Boynton at 301-367-7830; [email protected]

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]) hours before or even the night before you head out. Mention which store you plan to visit and list your phone number so neighbors can contact you before emailing requests.

NOTE: If you don’t regularly read the Washington Grove listserv, you can receive announcements of Washington Grove Cares-sponsored events and occasional impromptu shopping trips by emailing [email protected].

Woman’s Club News…

Our Outreach Programs During the Pandemic…As the pandemic continues to impact both our lives and our activities, the Woman’s Club has been making necessary adjustments to our Outreach Programs.

Halloween for Our Local Family Shelter…While we are all suffering from the isolation caused by Covid-19, it is especially hard for the children living in our local homeless shelter. Among the many social activities that they cannot do this Fall is to go Trick or Treating. To help make up for that, our Club will be collecting wrapped candies that we will put into individual bags to be delivered Halloween afternoon. There are also some infants at the Shelter who would love pouches of food they can suck on; teething cookies or yogurt treats that melt in their mouths. Bagging the candy will take a bit of time, so please, if you can donate to these families, drop off the candy and baby treats by Friday evening, October 23rd. Like all donations, the candy can be dropped off on the Clubhouse porch or in the painted cans on Wendy Weisbard’s porch.

Winterwear for the Kids…The need for kid’s winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves will soon be upon us. Because Washington Grove Elementary will not be opening for in-person classes this Fall, it cannot be a distribution point for the winterwear that we will again be collecting. Instead, families are turning to other resources, such as Interfaith Works, and we will be trying to help them fill those needs again this year.
New White Socks for the Men’s Shelter…As cold weather approaches, the men in the shelters will desperately need new white socks. Homeless people consistently say that while they can usually find food somewhere, but without socks the winter weather is brutal. We also continue to collect toiletries for the Shelter.

Working with Interfaith Works for the Children…As the less fortunate children, like the rest of us, must stay at home, the need for things to brighten their lives is even greater. While they always need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives. Our Club helps provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith Works.

Where to Bring Your Donations…Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill. Even though our Clubhouse is currently closed, we have bins on the porch to collect for our Community Outreach Programs, or you can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road. You bring them and we will sort where they go! Checks are always appreciated too, just put in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project and mail to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

The 2020 – 2022 Washington Grove Directories are here…The new 2020-2022 Directories are now available. The cost remains $3 each or 2 for $5. If you want copies, please contact Joan Mahaffey (301-641-2452 or [email protected]) or Marilynn Frey (301-351-4784 or [email protected]).

Joining the Woman’s is easy…The Woman’s Club dues are a modest $15 per year and can be paid at any event, or by sending a check to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, to PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Enjoy Our Recent Bring Your Own Porch Party Video…For those of you who missed our post-humous guest at our Zoom July Porch Party or who would like to watch it again, the video is now available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3yooRP7kKQ&feature=youtu.be.

What Your Dues Help Make Possible…Your dues 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.

Stormwater Management Committee

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 8, 2020; 7:30 p.m.

The Stormwater Management committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We welcome all interested residents!

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/91339104517?pwd=YnFLWm9LMndYSVFNR3NGZTA1Z2dvZz09
Meeting ID: 913 3910 4517
Passcode: 647042
Dial by your location: 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

Questions, concerns or ideas, please contact:
Robert N. Johnson at [email protected] or 301 346-6267

Potential Rebates For Stormwater Projects
Montgomery County has several valuable rebate programs for stormwater related projects. The maximum rebate has been increased and residents can receive up to $7,500 for projects including rain gardens, conservation landscapes, green roofs, water harvesting, installing permeable pavement, and existing pavement removal. Details about the overall program can be found at:
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water/rainscapes/

And a list of the amounts of the potential rebates can be found at:
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water/rainscapes/rebates.html

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

REMOTE ACCESS ONLY by using Zoom videoconference at https://zoom.us/j/913357212, password: 768563

If you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19, please review CDC and Maryland guidance on this topic, which is available on the Town website at: https://washingtongrovemd.org/whats-happening/alerts/grove-alert/what-to-do-if-a-member-of-your-household-tests-positive-for-covid-19/. This guidance includes information for how to take care of yourself and others who may be sick, as well as steps to protect our community, such as appropriate isolation and quarantine. In addition, CDC guidance for how COVID-19 positive individuals should protect and care for their pets is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html.

COVID-19 Mask Regulation: Montgomery County now has a mask use requirement in public. See details here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/face-coverings.html

Lighting Committee News…

TWG Lighting Committee was formed in January 2019 to address the issues concerning what to do with our aging streetlights. Since then the committee was able to finalize a deal with Pepco that will convert the bulk of our streetlights (95) to LED bulbs. This will not only reduce our Pepco billing rate going forward but it will extend the life and functionality of our streetlights for at least a few years. Additionally, the TWG Lighting Committee has written a Master Plan submission that outlines a vision for TWG Lighting needs going forward into the next decade.

This work was done by all the TWG Lighting committee members with a special recognition to Charlie Challstrom whose excellent TWG streetlight inventory and map expedited our work with Pepco! https://bit.ly/3lkxrMC

Though our initial tasks had been successfully completed and the Lighting Committee could just write a final report and disband, it was decided that we would continue to meet but less often.
Overall, it was felt that the Lighting Committee still had work that could be done in: monitoring the upcoming major tariff that Pepco will be filing; investigating retrofitting our current streetlights with modern attributes; researching and testing alternative lighting for walkways; and developing guidelines for lights to be added or removed.

The next TWG Lighting Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:30p.m. We will be meeting via a Zoom Conference and all are welcome to attend! The Zoom conference information will be shared closer to the meeting.

Questions, ideas or concerns please contact Virginia Quesada at: 301 706-7933 (cell) [email protected]

Dog Park Committee News…

The dog park, located in the West Woods Forest Reserve, currently has a total of twenty “bone-afide” users! For those who don’t know about this amenity, we have included an application in this Bulletin should you wish to sign up. If you would like more information about the Dog Spot, please see our page on the Town website (bit.ly/wg-dogspot) and read all about it!

September 2020 – Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

August 30  »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 2  »  Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 3  »  Swing Time Big Band Rehearsal 7:30 pm Outside Town Hall
September 8  »  Stormwater Management 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 9  »  Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 9  »  Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 13  »  Committee to Advance Racial Equality 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 14  »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 15  »  Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 16  »  Recreation Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 16  »  Master Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 17  »  Lake Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 23  »  Lighting Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
September 24  »  Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOOM