301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, August 10, 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

Actions at the June meeting include:

  • Approval of Resolution 2020-08; Authorizing Deer Management for 2020/2021 Bow Hunting Sessions
  • Enactment of Ordinance 2020-01; Amending Article XIII, “Application of County Legislation” Section 1, “Exemption from County Legislation” to Add Chapter 33B “Pesticides” as a County Law Applicable in Town

Mayor’s kudos at the meeting:

  • To Emily Cavey, the Rec Comm and other Town personalities and talents for continuing the Grove traditions of Music Weekend, especially the Youth Recital, and the 4th of July Grove drive-thru and High School Grad video shown online during the difficult restrictions of the current pandemic.
  • To John Hutchinson and the Lake Committee for their energy and care to open the Lake to supervised swimming during the current pandemic by instituting safe procedures and supervision to minimize the health risks for residents.
  • To Steve Werts for excellent preparation of the clay tennis courts.

Town Council Enacts Ordinance 2020-01 Approving Amendments to Town Article XIII

Ordinance 2020-01 pdf incorporates a new Montgomery County law banning the use of certain registered pesticides on lawns by commercial companies and individuals on private property as also applying in Washington Grove. Copies of the ordinance are available at the Town Office and on the Town website.

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.

Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee Forming

In recent months, many Grovers have begun the hard work of learning and thinking about racial injustice in our country and our community. Joining a movement of communities across the country making or renewing their commitments to anti-racism, we are organizing a volunteer ad hoc committee in Washington Grove dedicated to furthering the Town’s values of inclusion and diversity and addressing the Town’s history of racial exclusion. If you are interested in participating and/or learning more about the committee’s goals, please join us for an open Zoom meeting and informational session on Sunday August 16 at 4pm. We would love to hear your ideas, perspectives, and questions.

To register to attend the Zoom meeting please email [email protected]
Please note, we decided to provide an email as opposed to a Zoom link to avoid being hacked during the meeting. We will provide anyone who emails us a link to access the meeting.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, August 5, 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 August:

  • 107 Pine Avenue Patio Roof (#2)

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 August 19 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

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, August 18, 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

Meeting ID: 918 5919 8359
Password: 008571
Or dial-in to 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.

Street Sign Project

The Street Sign Volunteers have been recognized once again for their restoration work on the Town’s historic wooden street signs. Preservation Maryland has chosen the Washington Grove Street Sign Volunteers, under the capable and energetic leadership of Susan Van Nostrand, to receive one of four Community Choice Awards as part of its Best of Maryland Awards 2020.

The statewide Community Choice Awards, as described by Preservation Maryland, “are presented to ‘small’ projects with big impact and projects that simply would not happen without the dedication of community organizations, strong staff/volunteer/boards, and a true commitment to the work.” Details of award presentation, tentatively scheduled for October 1 in Baltimore City, are to be determined.

Grove History

The Auditorium – Central to Chautauqua
In June, we looked at the Chautauqua Movement and its manifestation in Washington Grove. Again, we express our appreciation for the research of Robinson & Associates in preparation of the Updated and Expanded Washington Grove Historic District Nomination. Excerpts from their work, which follow, focus on the role of the auditorium in the Chautauqua Movement and the significance of the auditorium in the development of Washington Grove.

The role of the auditorium in the Chautauqua Movement – The signature building and principal focal point in Chautauqua assemblies was the auditorium, or amphitheater. The Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York, included both an auditorium – an open-air structure with a gable-on-hip roof – and a smaller Hall of Philosophy, which was a Greek-style temple for lectures. Because building and maintaining a Hall of Philosophy, in addition to the auditorium, proved difficult for many assemblies, few were built. An auditorium, which housed large quantities of ticket-buyers, on the other hand, was a commercial necessity. Most Chautauqua assemblies therefore merely combined the functions into one all-purpose building.

Perhaps the most influential architect to perfect the design of the Chautauqua auditorium was John Cilley of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Cilley, a self-taught civil engineer, solved a central problem that proved frustrating for auditorium builders – how to support the structure without a center pole, which was often visually obstructive to audiences. Cilley borrowed from advancements in barn architecture for his solution. Triangular trusses began to be used in the 1880s to free barns of the center pole, which obstructed hay loading. Cilley adopted the concept to stabilize the Chautauqua auditoriums he designed. Due to his influence, many auditorium builders started using triangular trusses in rectangular buildings or a Cilley-designed adaptation, which employed steel tie-rods connected to a collector ring in the center, for circular or polygonal buildings.

Auditoriums were typically large, frame structures with simple massing, usually in the form of a rectangle, circle, or polygon. The level of exterior decoration varied, but many were austere. Indeed, some were essentially wooden shells that kept out inclement weather. One assembly admitted its auditorium could make no claims to architectural beauty. Some, however, like the Colorado Chautauqua auditorium in Boulder, were expressed with more flare. There, the front façade of the auditorium featured a temple front flanked by pylons. A large dome sat atop the Redondo Beach, California, Chautauqua auditorium. Popular cladding materials for auditoriums included wood siding or shingles. Other signature features of the Chautauqua assembly auditoriums were clerestory windows for natural light and ventilation and generous window and door openings that let in cross breezes. Creating a space that was readily open to the elements was also meant to emulate the outdoor assembly areas and open-air tabernacles of Methodist camp meetings. Dissolving the division between exterior and interior space was usually accomplished by either incorporating wall openings filled with sliding doors or leaving the walls entirely open. Despite the Colorado Chautauqua auditorium’s decorated front façade, one of its side elevations was left open. Auditorium interiors usually consisted of a single volume with seating and a stage. The stage was usually at one end of the building, even in those that were circular or polygonal.

An auditorium for Chautauqua activities in Washington Grove – Washington Grove leaders quickly realized that the assembly hall (today McCathran Hall) and tabernacle were both insufficient for the number of Chautauqua events at the Grove and the size of its audiences. In 1905, to provide better accommodation, the association cleared and graded an area in Woodward Park north of Oak Street and built an auditorium specifically for Chautauqua activities; the builder was Hezekiah Day. It soon became the epicenter of public life in Washington Grove, hosting Chautauqua programming, camp meetings, and fraternal and political meetings.

The Washington Grove auditorium, with a capacity of 1,400 persons, had a generous rectangular plan under a gable-on-hip roof with hipped dormers. Wood siding clad the lower level of the frame building, while the upper level’s gable ends, and dormers were covered with wood shingles. The lower level was fenestrated at the front and sides with large openings, each fitted with double sliding doors with divided-light glazing. When the doors were opened the building became an open-air pavilion. Divided-light, pivot windows and dormers provided light and ventilation. The roof was supported by triangular trusses on iron posts. Interior surfaces were left unfinished, revealing the building’s frame structure. The building was first furnished with gas chandeliers; electric lighting would follow in 1914. At the back of the building was a stage flanked by men’s and women’s dressing rooms. The auditorium could be used as a theater or an arena, depending on the seating arrangement.

The construction of the assembly hall in 1901 at the southern end of Howard Park represented a decentralization of community life in Washington Grove away from the historically sacred precinct of the tabernacle. The demolition of the tabernacle and the construction of an auditorium for Chautauqua in Woodward Park in 1905 underscored this reorganization.

Next time: More about how construction of the auditorium influenced the evolution of Washington Grove and the building’s eventual demise.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed, August 12, 2020; 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.
Meeting access: Residents and the public may access By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 using Meeting ID: 781 347 688 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

We will be starting our fall meetings earlier than usual to discuss the reforestation of Grove Avenue. WSSC will be doing significant work on sewer mains and laterals along Grove Avenue in August. We will review the proposed work and discuss remediation and enhancement of this historically important area. All are welcome!

Ambrosia Borer Beetle Is Here
Forestry and Beautification recently consulted Davey Tree Experts concerning the rapid decline and death of several trees in Town. The investigation alerted us to the presence of Ambrosia borer beetle. The beetle attacks weakened trees; one possible cause could be the very wet Spring weather for the last two or three years). The Ambrosia Borer was accidentally imported in some peach trees in North Carolina that had arrived from China in 1974. It has since spread across the US causing millions of dollars in plant loss. Once F&B became aware of the problem it was decided to remove the affected trees as soon as possible.

Identifying affected trees is relatively easy, the beetle leaves distinctive traces, and in some cases a boring dust straw poking out of the drilled hole. In wet weather the dust is just visible in the tree bark. A slide show with excellent photos and information is available from the University of Maryland Extension at: https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/ipmnet/2017%20Ambrosia%20beetle%20talk%20-%20Stanton%20Gill.pdf
Forestry and Beautification would like to encourage every Town resident to examine the trees on their own property and when walking through the residential areas and Woods. If evidence is noticed please contact a member of F&B (for residential area) and the Woods Committee for both East and West Woods.

Lake Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

Join Zoom Meeting:
Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 863 6502 2773
Passcode: 097534

For a copy of the Agenda, email Chairman John Hutchinson ([email protected])

Woods Committee News…

Next Meeting: ONLINE Monday, August 3, 2020; 7:30 p.m. as part of the Town’s response to protect ourselves and our community from the COVID-19 pandemic Our meetings are held on the first Monday of each month and will be REMOTE ACCESS ONLY.
NOTE: Our September meeting will be rescheduled because of the Labor Day Holiday.

To join the WC meeting, please use
Dial-in: 301 715 8592 / Password: 250458
Meeting ID: 885 1038 9063
Video Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88510389063?pwd=aEg3QkQvZTAvNzJDSHNZeHdzNjVhdz09

The Town Council has approved a managed deer hunt in the East and West Woods with the volunteer Bow Hunter Firefighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) during the Fall/Winter (2020-21) deer hunting season to continue control of the deer population and to reduce deer damage in our Forest Preserve. Thanks for all your support.
On a recent walk with our contractor, IPC, we were all amazed at the re-emergence of many native plants in the East Woods including sedges, white grass, trumpet vine, and tulip poplar saplings as a result of our deer management and non-native plant control efforts in our Forest Stewardship Plan. In August, IPC will apply some targeted herbicide treatments along East Woods trail margins to reduce grassy overgrowth for tick control purposes. We also welcome town volunteers to help with additional mechanical grass trimming (weed-wacking) to keep trails open. Please contact Joan or Patty if you would like to assist us.

We thank our wonderful volunteers (Larry French, Krista Zanetti, David Lutter, Charlie Challstrom) for helping to install protections around the 8 newly planted trees in the East Woods. Special thanks to Steve Werts for his dedication to watering the trees.

Thanks to Joan Mahaffey, Virginia Quesada, Dodger Tippman, Mary Warfield, and Will & Luke Holt for helping to spread wood chips along the East Woods trails. Thanks to Alex Lembesis for grass trimming to re-open the Franklin trail. The Maple Avenue wooden bridge was repaired and the shortcut across the stream now has been blocked to prevent further stream bank erosion and direct people across the actual footbridge trail.

Please see the East and West Woods trail maps included in this bulletin and help us to name the ‘Question Mark ??? trail’ between McCauley and Ridge Road. Please send your suggestions to Joan Mahaffey by August 15th for Woods Committee selection. Thanks to Tom Land for preparing these maps!
We hope you continue to enjoy our East and West Woods forest preserves. Stay healthy and happy!

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, August 20, 2020; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 725 5404 3850
Password: 988494



Mark your calendar for December 12 at 7:30 p.m. for the 2020 Washington Grove Holiday Show. It will probably be virtual, but it will definitely be fun. Watch this space for information on how to get involved (or you can contact Judy Mroczka at [email protected] or Marilynn Frey at [email protected] right now).

Film Society News…

The Film society invites you to our August Film Discussion: join your neighbors on Zoom to share your thoughts on Samba, August 30, 7:30 pm.

“Samba,” a 2014 crowd-pleasing, social comedy-drama, comes from the makers of “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, and is their second collaboration with charismatic lead actor Omar Sy. Samba Cissé, a migrant from Senegal to France, works as a dishwasher in a hotel. After a bureaucratic slip-up lands him in detention, he is ordered to leave France, but with help from a burned-out businesswoman (Charlotte Gainsbourg), he fights to stay. From the Roger Ebert web site: “Sy makes Samba’s positivity and humor a real thing with practical applications, a survival skill.” Directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, 2014, France, in French with English subtitles, 118 minutes. Rated R for language.

Find the film free on Hoopla from Montgomery County Public Libraries or for $2.99 from Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, FandangoNow, or Vudu.

Send an email to Freda ([email protected]) before August 30 to receive a link to the Zoom discussion. A link will also be posted on the WG listserv before the date of the discussion.

Washington Grove Cares (WGC) News…

Coordinating Shopping Trips During the COID 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…

The 2020 – 2022 Washington Grove Directories are here!
The new Directories are back from the printers. The challenge in this time of Covid-19 will be how to distribute them. Our hope is to set up a table in front of the Woman’s Club a couple of evenings for people to come over and pick them up. We will let you know as soon as those evenings can be scheduled. The cost remains $3 each or 2 for $5. We ask if, at all possible, that you bring either a check or exact change.

People brought their own Porches…
Our July Virtual Porch Party was a resounding success. It was both fun and informative. We are currently working on finding a way to make the evening’s program available online for those who missed it, or who want to watch it again.

Once again, Washington Grove is the Little Town with the Big Heart…
Thanks to the always generous hearts here in Town, we’ve been able to answer the County’s call for underwear and diapers for boys and girls, infants to toddlers, and to date we’ve delivered 131 packages of underwear and 5 big boxes of diapers to be distributed. This is an ongoing need so please continue to think of the children with your donations. The easiest is always a check, made out to the Woman’s Club with a notation in the memo field that it is for diapers and underwear.

After the Quarantine Ends, You Can Rent Our Clubhouse…
Once life returns to normal, this historic clubhouse will be available for rent to Town residents from mid-March to mid-December. It is ideal for parties, showers, wedding receptions, meetings, or other such events. Our rates are reasonable, and members of the Club receive a significant discount. For more information about this lovely facility, please contact Cynthia Werts (301-926-1668) or Joli McCathran (301-869-5358).

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.

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.

For the Washington Grove Elementary School…
With the recent decision not to reopen the Montgomery County Public Schools for the first semester this year, we’ve put this Outreach Program on hold. We hope to resume it again when schools are back in physical sessions.

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.

Small Gifts
While the less fortunate children of our County need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives, and we help provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith works.

White Socks and Toiletries for Area Shelters…
The small, travel sized toiletries from hotels are always needed by shelter residents, and we collect and distribute them. Also, winter is hard enough for the homeless without them going without socks! We continue to collect new white socks.

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.

Stormwater Management Committee

Next Meeting: Tuesday, August 11, 2020; 7:30 p.m.
The Stormwater Management committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We welcome all interested residents!

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

Join Zoom Meeting
Or Dial-in to: 301 715 8592 using Meeting ID: 940 2710 0371, passcode: 575642

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:

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY by using Zoom videoconference at https://zoom.us/j/913357212, password: 768563.

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

Lighting Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. We meet the fourth Wednesday of every month. We will be meeting via a Zoom Conference and all are welcome to attend! The details are below.

Good news, we have finalized the LED conversion of our Streetlights with PEPCO and this investment will reduce our PEPCO billing rate going forward.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 244 199 836
Passcode: 264038
One tap mobile
+13017158592, 244199836# US (Germantown)
Questions please contact Virginia Quesada at:
301 706-7933 cell. [email protected]

Washington Grove UMC 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.

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

Dog Park Committee News…

Dog Park Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 26 at 7:30 by Zoom. If you are interested in attending, please contact Christine Dibble at [email protected] so we can send you an invitation. All are welcome to attend!

August 2020 – Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

August 3 »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 5 »  Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 10 »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 11 »  Stormwater Management 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 12 »  Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 12 »  Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 16 »  Racial Equity Committee organizing 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 18 »  Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 19 »  Master Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 20 »  Lake Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 20 »  Recreation Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 26 »  Lighting Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 26 »  Dog Park Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
August 27 »  Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOOM

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