301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 11.12.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the October 8th Council meeting included:

  • approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Freda Temple to serve as the alternate on the Planning Commission.

Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park Update

Brenda Sandberg and Mike Jones of the Montgomery County Parks Department (MCPD) presented the draft Operation and Use Plan for the "LOS" field at the October 8 Town Council Meeting. The plan is the result of collaboration between the Washington Grove Meadow Committee appointed by Mayor Darrell Anderson and the representatives of the MC Parks Department who will administer the Park as a "natural open meadow". The draft Operation and Use Plan is now on the Town web site. This document gives a good overview of what we will see in our new park. It incorporates the plan developed by the Washington Grove Meadow Committee within the framework of an Operations and Use Plan used by the Parks Department. The open space that was part of the agricultural heritage of Washington Grove will be maintained in modified form. Annual mowing in late winter will keep the field open. To provide wildlife habitat and add visual protection for the Town more native trees will be added on the borders of the field and some of the native tree "volunteers" within the field will be retained.

Natural surface trails will be maintained by mowing with entrances to the field at the south corner where most of us are used to entering, at Oak Street, at the cul-de-sac from Shady Grove Crossing and at the forested buffer area between the upper and lower field. MCPD will install standard Parks signage for site identification and information on the cultural significance of the meadow to the Town of Washington Grove. No Hunting signs will also be installed as we have recently found that hunters do not yet understand that this area is now strictly off limits to them.

To date significant work has already been done in the Park to start to eliminate the existing non-native invasive species especially in the area bordering upper Ridge Road. In late October this area will be raked to remove roots and vines, graded to level it, and then seeded with a Piedmont native grass mixture. The resulting vegetative cover will control erosion, soften the landscape and build up soil. New trees will be planted this fall in both the area along Ridge and the border between the upper and lower field.

The Washington Grove Meadow Committee deserves tremendous thanks from all of us for the excellent work they have done on this project over the past two years. They are Jim Fletcher, Keith Gillis, Janet Lottero, Audrey Maskery (Town Forestry), Joli McCathran (Council liaison), Greg Silber, David Stopak and Dan Tutas, Chaired by Ernie Kawasaki. Significant assistance was also given by Wendy Harris a professional archaeologist who also specializes in historic preservation. They have incorporated their own vision along with input from their neighbors and other Town residents to shape a park that preserves the open space which protects the historic resource that is the Town of Washington Grove. At the same time they included areas with trees to soften the edges and provide wildlife habitat. They designed a trail system that utilizes the existing walking pattern and thus provides access for passive recreation without having a standard "loop" trail. The Montgomery County Parks Department also deserves our warm thanks as Brenda Sandburg has worked long and hard with us to develop and formalize this Operations and Use Plan. Mike Jones has also consulted and will be the Park Manager. Carole Bergmann has contributed extensive expertise in the evaluation and management of the field flora. The O&U Plan posted on the web site has truly been an impressive collaborative effort. Thanks again to all who have worked to make it happen.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. US Lawns will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins November 1 and ends January 1, 2012, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging.

Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. As the contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming, if you rake when most other people rake the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Joe Clark 301-869-7944 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Please place your windrows along the side of the road or walkway (keeping in mind, traffic & pedestrian flow), and don’t include brush or limbs that foul the vacuum.

Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

Historic Preservation Commission News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 11.20.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Every year Preservation Maryland selects eleven historic properties from across the state for inclusion in their annual Endangered Maryland List. As stated on their website
(https://www.preservationmaryland.org), these properties "reflect the diversity of Maryland’s heritage of sites and traditions, and illustrate the threats facing them." The list and an article describing the properties appear in the magazine Maryland Life. This September, the Washington Grove Historic Preservation Commission prepared and submitted a nomination for our own Washington Grove Historic District. Selected excerpts from the nomination appear below. A more complete summary (which includes a description of the property and its surroundings, a description of the property’s historical significance, and a description of the community commitment for saving the property) is posted on the Town website.

Description of the threat facing the community

Threats of encroachment and development are the major threats facing our community and these have already taken their toll. Although the Town’s boundaries remain well defined, all are pressed upon by construction, visual impacts, noise, and pollution. The increased noise levels from the recently completed ICC penetrate to the center of Town disturbing the sense of tranquility that once was. Redevelopment at the Shady Grove Metro has moved the County Road Maintenance facility within 50′ of Town residences. Shady Grove Crossing, representing a subdivision of former farmland, will place a large development along the along the northeastern edge of the Town’s Conservation Meadow. In the Town’s most recent conflict, owners of the Towne Crest Apartments Complex, adjacent to the Town’s West Woods Forest Preserve, propose a zoning change to allow a dense complex of 356 units, 44 units/acre, for its redevelopment, representing a three-fold increase in the existing number of residents, a huge increase in the height and footprint of the existing buildings, and dependence on the public open space of the Grove. Their plan impacts also result in a defacto "taking" of trees from the Forest Preserve. An additional and more ominous threat looms, involving the reworking of the County Zoning Ordinance in order to accommodate more urban forms of land use all around us. These plans, outside of the County Master Plan process, would result in increasingly incompatible, high-density development along our borders as well as possible incursions into the historic district and damage to our open spaces.

Description of how designation of Endangered will benefit the property

In the course of fighting the most recent unresolved threat to Washington Grove, it has become apparent that those who make decisions regarding surrounding land use tend to disregard our status as a significant historic resource. Because the Town has its own planning and zoning authority, it is not listed on the county’s Historical Atlas as a resource. Thus impacts on historic resources that the county would normally regulate fall through the cracks in the ordinances. We are in need of measures to gain the attention and respect of the surrounding jurisdictions. In addition to threats already itemized in this application, Washington Grove has begun to identify a series of less well-defined threats awaiting us in the near future and have begun to take a number of steps to meet these challenges. One direction that we have embarked upon is reaching out more directly to our neighbors, local civic associations, and elected officials. We have gained knowledge as well as allies by working with others such as the Shady Grove Civic Alliance and Montgomery Preservation on an array of environmental and historic preservation issues. We have also learned that the Town’s special qualities are also valued by neighboring communities who see us as an oasis in a sea of asphalt. The Endangered Maryland status and inclusion on your list of "Maryland’s Historic Treasures." would bring us public interest and support ?something that we badly need at this point in our history.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 11.07.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot coverage and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. The permit fee for a major building permit (addition/renovation) is $40.00. The fee for a minor building permit (fence/shed) is $10.00. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Permits approved on October 3rd:

  • 302 Ridge Road—fence

Permits up for discussion on November 7th:

  • 302 Ridge Rd.- Garage

Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee News

Next meeting: Monday » 11.19.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Join us at our next meeting on November 19. The Committee meets at 7:30 pm on 3rd Monday of most months, in the Council Room of McCathran Hall.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 12.19.12@ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.


This year’s Holiday Extravaganza will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall.

Zumba in the Grove!

Wednesday nights at 7:30-8:30 – McCathran Hall.
Contact Carolyn Rapkievian 301-519-2021 for more information. $5.00 per class. November Zumba classes will be on the 14th and 28th only. Sponsored by the Recreation Committee.

ONE-TIME SPECIAL: Belly-dance Workshop

Wednesday November 7th, 7:30-8:30pm McCathran Hall
If you can walk, you can dance! Join us for beginning movements of belly dance–American Tribal Style – taught by the Grove’s own Valery Turner! Get your groove on with the shimmy, figure eight, snake arms, body wave and more, starting and ending with a moving meditation. You will learn enough to perform your own improvisation. Belly dance is not (usually) aerobic, but develops strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and creativity. Wear loose clothing and bring a hip scarf if you wish (fringe and jingles welcome). No experience necessary. Valery has practiced and shared ATS since 2002. (Check out FDBC.com for performance clips, history and more information.) No registration required – cost is $5.00/class payable to Washington Grove. Sponsored by the Recreation Committee. Contact Carolyn Rapkievian for more information.

Washington Grove Dancers – Lessons Start Up

These dance classes for ages 5 to 12 combine ballet, zumba, jazz and other dance forms to pop and world music. Classes are in McCathran Hall on Mondays from 4:30 to 5:15. $5 per lesson. The fall session classes will prepare the students for performing in the holiday show. Call Samantha Beres with any questions; 301-330-8509.

Film Society News

November’s film is After the Wedding. Jacob Peterson struggles to keep his orphanage in a Mumbai slum afloat, so he accepts an invitation to visit a rich businessman in Denmark who has offered a generous donation. The secrets revealed when Jacob attends the posh wedding of the man’s daughter shatter his world. A compelling script, stylish photography and editing, and superb acting create an emotional powerhouse of a film. Directed by Susanne Bier, 2006, Denmark, Danish with English subtitles, 120 minutes. Join us on November 11, 2012, 7 PM in McCathran Hall.

Woman’s Club News

Next meeting: Thursday » 11.15.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Clubhouse.

We are delighted to welcome Grove author Karen Lottes. Karen has recently published a book about Montgomery County ghost stories. She will talk to us about her work and her research. Copies of her book Montgomery Ghosts will be available. Please join us for an exciting evening on the dark side and support local talent. All Grove residents are invited to attend.
We will also have our election of officers for the coming year. We proudly announce our slate of officers.

  • President – Sylvia Appleby
  • Vic President – Lynne Lucas-Dreiss
  • Corresponding Secretary – Leigh Partington
  • Recording Secretary – Liz Robertson
  • Treasurer – Cynthia Werts


  • Nov. 4th-Pick-up of dried and canned food for Gaithersburg Help – Many thanks!
  • Nov. 21st-Interfaith Thanksgiving service 7:30 pm, Come to give thanks and share special music, pictures, and the reading of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation!
  • Nov. 28th-Red Cross Blood Drive between 2 and 8 pm at the church. Contact Judy 240-912-9895.

Attention Woodward Park Users

Remember this? We need your help. Town Maintenance and others have noticed an increase in the amount of trash left in Woodward Park. If you bring food, drinkboxes, napkins, wipes and the like to the park, please remember to take the remains home with you.
Help keep your park clean…Carry In/Carry Out!

Speaking of Trash…Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

A bulk trash collection is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2012. Materials may include furniture, appliances (nothing with Freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc… Materials may NOT include construction by-products, large automotive parts, or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Residents are asked to separate metal from the rest of their bulk trash. Please place items "curbside" by 7:00 AM.


Our new trash/recycling contractor, Potomac Disposal, WILL pick up trash and recycling on Thanksgiving Day. Please place your trash and recycling out for the usual Thursday collection.

YARD WASTE Collection Ends

Per our contract with Potomac Disposal, November 29th will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste. This service will resume in early March. Please make a note of this.

Dog Question

This question is posed to those of you who let your dogs do their "business" in public areas and do not pick up after them. Do you know what happens when a lawn mower runs over a pile of dog waste?
Think about it. It’s not pleasant and it happens to our maintenance crew on a regular basis. Please help! They are tired of having to change clothes in the middle of the workday.



Music by the Martin Family Ceili Band
McCathran Hall
Washington Grove, MD
November 17, 2012

  • Marilyn Moore will call the dances
  • Ceili from 6:00 – 10:30 PM
  • No $Admission
  • Contribution to help pay the band
  • Soda bread and Tea during 1st break
  • Pot Luck, bring a hot dish, salad or dessert to share
  • Soft drinks available
  • Plus a 50/50 raffle


Walls of Limericks
Siege of Ennis
Six-Hand (Fairy) Reel
Stack of Barley
Antrim Set
Waltz Cotillion
Harvest-Time Jig
Clare Lancers Set
Siege of Carrick
Clare Plain Set
Haymakers’ Jig


Harp and Fiddle
4844 Cordell Ave.

For more information call: 301-990-0184

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