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Next meeting: Monday, October14, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the September meeting include:

  • Introduction of Ord. #2019-14; Authorizing the Sale of Part of Former Alley and Part of Former Park in Block 11 Adjacent to #8 The Circle.
  • Introduction of Ord. #2019-15; Expanding Applicability of the Public Ways and Property Permit.
  • Approval of Mayor’s appointment of Kirk Greenway as an Alternate Commissioner to the Historic Preservation Commission.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on October 14, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave, to hear public testimony on proposed Ordinance #2019-14 pdf Authorizing the Sale of Part of Former Alley and Part of Former Park in Block 11 Adjacent to #8 The Circle. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town at P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-926-2256) and on the Town website; www.washingtongrovemd.org.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on NOVEMBER 11, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave, to hear public testimony on proposed Ordinance #2019-15 pdf Expanding Applicability of the Public Ways and Property Permit. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town at P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-926-2256) and on the Town website; www.washingtongrovemd.org.

Resolution 2019-13; Providing for Proper Governance of Washington Grove Committees

This Resolution 2019-13 pdf was introduced at the August meeting of the Town Council to encourage adoption of bylaws by town committees in order to facilitate volunteerism. This has jump-started discussion of whether and how the Town Council should provide guidance to Town committees. Input from all concerned residents is requested. The comment of committee Chairs and the Committees themselves has been solicited.

The merits of the Resolution will be further discussed at the October Town Council meeting on the 14th. Your written and oral comments are encouraged. A summary of the recent discussion by the Town Council can be found on the website (www.washingtongrovemd.org) in the Draft Unapproved Minutes of the September Town Council meeting and the August Town Council Minutes.

Get-Together with Marc Elrich in The Grove!

October 20, 2:00 – 4:30 pm in McCathran Hall
You are invited to join neighbors and friends on Sunday, October 20 for an informal get-together and conversation with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. This is not a campaign event but an opportunity to discuss issues facing the County and to ask questions in an informal gathering. Light refreshments served.

MCDOT Amity/Crabbs Branch Study Presentation to the Town Council

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has initiated a study of completing the connection between Crabbs Branch Rd and Amity Dr., and will review their plans at 7:00 PM on October 14, 2019 in McCathran Hall before the Town Council meeting. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wednesday, October 2, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

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.

Recent Permits Approved:
112 Grove Avenue Fence
119 Grove Avenue Fence
203 Washington Grove Lane Fence
205 Washington Grove Lane Fence
215 Washington Grove Lane Fence

Permits for Approval in October
412 4th Avenue Addition/Renovation
500 McCauley St. Shed

2019 Master Plan Work Session

The next 2019 Master Plan Work Session will not be in October, but on November 20. We will be reviewing a new submission on the Bike Path (Section 3.4). We will review decisions made on Section 6 from September 18, especially Section 6.3.1 (Other Sensitive Areas-Maple Lake). We will continue to 6.3.2 (Brown Street Corridor) and 6.3.3 (Ridge Road Corridor). Next is Section 7 (Water Resource Management) and Section 8 (Commercial Corner).

A copy of the latest 2019 Master Plan Working Draft and the draft minutes from each work session is available on the Town web site as a link on the 2019 Master Plan page .

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 15, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

National Register Update…

Continued Progress on the Updated & Expanded National Register Historic District Nomination
In last month’s Town Bulletin we let you know that the latest (and nearly final) draft of the updated and expanded National Register of Historic Places Washington Grove Historic District nomination is now available on the Town website. Since then the HPC has continued to work closely with our consultants (Robinson and Associates) as well as with the Maryland Historic Trust (the state agency that assists and encourages efforts to preserve Maryland’s historical and cultural heritage). We now have further progress to report.

The Maryland Historic Trust has recently finished their review of the draft nomination. Most importantly, they have approved nearly all of the proposed expansions (i.e. areas not included in the original 1980 Historic District, some of which are not within the Town’s boundaries). The two expansions not approved contained residences of comparatively recent construction, including eight houses at the far eastern end of Brown Street as well as a group of four houses located on the eastern side of Ridge Road, opposite its intersection with Center Street. The approved expansions include: Ridge Road’s eastern extension; the Conservation Meadow; the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad corridor, including the Humpback Bridge (already independently listed on the National Register); portions of the Oakmont Subdivision (including Hershey’s and two other buildings); the Commercial Corner; and three houses on the western side of Washington Grove Lane. Before any of these areas can be incorporated into the Historic District, however, a majority of the property owners within each one must first provide written consent to their inclusion. To this end, the Maryland Historic Trust has sent a letter to each property owner explaining the meaning and benefits of listing on the National Register as well as the process for either consenting or objecting. In the event that a majority of property owners within any of the expanded areas object to being included in the Historic District, the boundaries of the updated Historic District will be revised accordingly.

A few more steps remain until the new version of the Historic District is officially listed on the National Register. Next, a group of historic preservation specialists known as “the Governor’s Consulting Committee” will review and most likely approve the nomination at their bi-annual meeting on October 15. Because some of the proposed expanded areas overlap properties under the jurisdiction of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County, their Historic Commissions will also be given an opportunity for review. Following any requested revisions, the nomination will be sent to the National Park Service (home of the National Register of Historic Places) for a final review that must be completed within 45 days. Based on prior experience with the process and because of their support of our nomination, the Maryland Historic Trust is predicting that the proposed updated and expanded Historic District will finally be approved and listed in early 2020. The HPC will continue to provide updates as the nomination works its way through the system.


By Archival Staff & HPC Commissioner Mimi Styles

“Francis Hiller – The Only Nature Lover?”

It was customary in Washington Grove’s earlier days as a camp meeting association with a Board of Trustees, that the president of the Washington Grove Association* would give an annual report to the stockholders. In his 1930 report, President Francis L. L. Hiller expressed his concern for the health of Washington Grove’s woods. Although perceived threats to our woods have evolved in the almost 90 years since Hiller’s report, we are reminded of Washington Grove’s longstanding commitment to stewardship of this precious resource.

Excerpt from “The Annual Report of the President of Washington Grove Association”
May 30, 1930 from the Town Archives

“ . . . The Woman’s Guild has continued, during the year now closed, it’s care of the entrance to Washington Grove, and other points about the Grounds for which service, I am certain, the thanks of all dwellers in the community are due the Woman’s Guild. The Woman’s Club has been very active during the year in matters looking toward the improvement of conditions in Washington Grove, and in the opinion of your President bids fair to become our foremost agency for civic betterment.

Your President cannot forbear saying on this occasion something about the general condition of the Washington Grove grounds outside of the restricted area where we have our homes. I am sometimes constrained to think that I am the only nature lover in Washington Grove because in my walks thru the furthermost recesses of the Washington Grove grounds, it is only on the rarest occasions that I ever meet anyone except a stray small boy or two. Fifteen years ago or more when I began these walks there were many places within our grounds that were real beauty spots, but I regret to say that there now remain only a few secluded places where it is any longer any pleasure to go. Our outlying woods properties have been more and more neglected – that is they have been neglected by everyone except the people who dump trash wherever it is most convenient for them. It makes no difference now in which direction you go in our woods now, it is just a succession of old tin cans, abandoned oil stoves, broken crockery, discarded furniture, and household refuse of every possible description. I would as soon ask a visitor to take a walk with me over the city dump in Washington as thru our once beautiful woods. Beginning on the west side of the Pike, not over 18 inches inside the gate, with a discarded tin bathtub, the road from there to Whetstone Spring—a road that it was a pleasure to walk along not many years ago, is now decorated on either side with a constant succession of piles of unsightly refuse. Going east from where I live it is the same story. All this is certainly not a good advertisement for Washington Grove. Instead of what we now have in this line, the expenditure of a few hundred dollars, and a decent regard thereafter for cleanliness, order and beauty, could give us in either direction from our homes, woodlands that would be a joy and inspiration to walk in. It is up to the residents of the Grove to say whether present conditions shall be improved, or whether present conditions shall be permitted to grow worse. Perhaps nobody but the present President cares much about this—at least during the entire year out two people have com(pl)ained to your President about It . . . “

*Note: In 1906, the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (formed in 1873) changed its name to Washington Grove Association.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., October 16, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Open to the public.
Anyone interested in joining should come to the next meeting!

Congratulations to this year’s “Super Grove” Jude Gilmore!!


The 11th Annual Washington Grove BluestoberFest is Saturday, October 5th, 2019, 6:00-10:00 p.m. Please come out and enjoy a fun musical gathering with family and friends as we celebrate the autumn season with acoustic sounds from PURYEAR, SUMMEROUR & SELBY from 6-7pm and then enjoy the high-energy blues, soul and roots favorites from LIZ SPRINGER & BUILT 4 COMFORT from 7:30-10pm. This event will be held at the Gazebo (McCathran Hall if it rains). Sausages, hot dogs, potato salad and condiments provided. Please bring a side dish to share. BYOB!

For more information, please contact Lawren Lankford at (703) 203-1643 or Eric Selby at (703) 203-8100. We can sure use your help with set-up and clean up, so please e-mail or call us if you are willing to help or have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you as we gear up for the 11th Annual Washington Grove “Bluestober Fest!” And, of course, “Lederhosen Optional.”

Film Society News…

October kicks off our 20th year showing movies in McCathran Hall.
In celebration, the Film Society is pleased to announce that ALL films in the 2019/2020 season will be FREE to all.

Our first film of the season, on October 13, is A Man Called Ove. A cantankerous widower’s determination to join his wife in the afterlife is surpassed only by his obsession with making sure people obey neighborhood rules that he helped write. Mingling humor, grief and joy, the film weaves a touching love story. Directed by Hannes Holm, 2015, Sweden, in Swedish with English subtitles, 116 minutes. Movie shown at 7 PM, discussion to follow.


Come one, come all, to an introductory meeting for the 2019 Washington Grove Holiday Show on Sunday, October 6, from 2 to 4 PM at McCathran Hall. If you are interested in participating in any way — as an actor, singer, musician or dancer, as a stage hand, helping with lighting and other technical aspects, assisting with costumes, makeup, art work, sets. If you want to take part in this creative adventure, come to the meeting – or let us know if you want to be involved but can’t make that meeting.

Our Holiday Show is always a group effort! As the outline develops, the need for actors, musicians and backstage talent will evolve. We need many people to make this wonderful tradition come alive. There’s always something for everyone who wants to be involved. No one will be turned away and we welcome adults and children. The more the merrier!

If you’re new to Town, this is a great way to get to know people. Whether you are new to Town or not, if you want to take part, please contact either Judy Mroczka ([email protected] or 301-785-3491) or Marilynn Frey ([email protected] or 301-351-4784). Check back here next month for more information about this always popular show. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:30 PM.


What is a Ceili? Come and find out at McCathran
Hall from 7 – 10:30 on Saturday, October 26.

Get an early start in celebrating with the Blackthorn Ceili Dancers. Try out those dance steps while listening to live music. Don’t want to dance? Just come and enjoy the music. A potluck supper is served about halfway through so don’t forget to bring a dish to share. Free to Grove residents though contributions to pay the musicians are always welcome. Sponsored by the Blackthorn Ceili Dancers and the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

Woods Committee News…

Next Meeting: Monday, September 30, 2019 at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. The November meeting will be held on Monday, November 4th. Meetings are regularly held on the 1st Monday of each month. All are welcome to attend!

The 2019 Maryland DNR deer archery season commenced on September 6, 2019 and extends until January 31, 2020. Our Town-authorized deer hunt session by DNR-permitted and Montgomery County Parks qualified volunteer bow hunters will occur 1-2 times a week during early weekday mornings only. No hunting will take place on weekends or holidays. During the month of September, our volunteer bow hunters harvested six (6) deer in the East and West Woods combined and the venison was donated to the “Hunters Feeding Families” program. Please contact WC co-chairs, Pat Klein and Joan Mahaffey if you have any questions.

At our October WC meeting, we will discuss future trail maintenance and initial plans for native tree planting to commence next Spring 2020. We need volunteers to help with future tree planting, watering, and maintaining deer damage barriers.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 9, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
We will continue current discussions: plans for the fall tree planting, handling of committee governance, and the potential for using GPS to map our Town trees.


An issue which arose at our September meeting was the dumping of yard clippings on Town property. Just a reminder: please don’t do this! The yard waste we noticed was clippings from a non-native invasive called oriental bittersweet. Worse yet, the bush had berries on it and the area where it was placed in Morgan Park will now need to be monitored for new bittersweet growth. Clippings with berries or seeds on them should be BAGGED and placed in regular trash, NOT yard waste. A photo of oriental bittersweet will be posted on the Town web site so you can spot it if you have it in your own yard (see article below). All other clippings can go into yard waste bags and be recycled for mulch.

Fall planting: new trees will start appearing between October and December. PLEASE let us know where you’d like to see a new tree or what kind of trees you’d like to see here in the Grove. We’d love to hear from you. You don’t have to come to a meeting (although we’d be delighted to have you there). You can email or talk to either Georgette ([email protected] or 301-330-6740) or Audrey ([email protected] 240-205-4756) with your ideas. We’ll be talking trees on October 9 and All Are Welcome!


American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
American beech is a slow growing, moderate sized native tree (up to 70’ tall and 100’ wide) that is abundant in eastern forests. The tree is often recognized from a distance by its attractive gray bark. A tree with names or initials carved into its smooth bark is most likely to be a beach. It is also an act of vandalism that scars the tree for life. Other distinguishing features are long, pointed cigar shaped leaf buds that extend at a 45 degree angle from the twigs; pronounced leaf veins, each ending in a tooth on at leaf’s edge; and bright fall foliage accompanied by spine covered nuts. American beech is not often planted by homeowners as it is difficult to transplant, does not adapt well to urban areas, and the dense, above ground root system make it difficult to grow much beneath it. In contrast, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is found commonly in trade, is smaller, and comes in many varieties, including purple leaved and weeping forms. American beech is a stately shade tree for larger areas such as parks. An attractive specimen was planted by the town three years ago off Oak Street near 305 Maple Ave (photo attached).

Oriental Bittersweet (celastrus orbiculatus)
Oriental bittersweetis a non-native, invasive vine with attractive fruit (photo attached showing leaves and immature fruit) that is widely spread by birds. It grows rapidly and densely in almost any soil. Once autumn leaves have fallen, the red and gold fruit entice the unknowing to bring cuttings into their homes to use in arrangements and later dispose of them where the vines will quickly grow. Bittersweet can grow to the top of most trees, which can then be killed by girdling or uprooted by the weight of the vines. According to University of Maryland Extension (https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/invasive-vine-groundcover-control), the plants should be cut and dug out before they fruit. This may have to be done repeatedly over several seasons for established plants. Once fruit appears, the stems need to be cut, bagged, and sent to a landfill. They should not be composted. The attached photo, taken recently, demonstrates the immature, rounded fruit.

Washington Grove UMC News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church…A Reconciling Congregation

We are now officially a Reconciling Congregation! 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.

Join us on Sunday, October 20 at 11:00 am at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, as we celebrate becoming Reconciling! 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-869-3753).

Emergency Preparedness & Safety News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall. All Town residents are welcome to attend and discuss any issues or concerns regarding emergency preparedness or safety. We are always looking for interested people to join our committee.

Washington Grove Cares

Thanks to Mary Blake and her co-presenter, William Kellibrew for leading a stimulating discussion of trauma and trauma-informed care. And thanks to our Washington Grove neighbors for attending and participating in this important discussion. A list of relevant resources that Mary has compiled is available on the Washington Grove Cares website: www.washingtongrovecares.org.

Woman’s Club News…

Don’t forget that you can rent the Woman’s Clubhouse!
Are you planning an event? Our Clubhouse is available to rent from late March through early December. The per day cost is $100 for Club members, $150 for Town residents and $250 for non-residents. If you are interested, please contact Cynthia Werts at 301-926-1668 or [email protected]. We are in the process of improving the clubhouse with a new, far quieter and more efficient mini-split heating and cooling system. Our next meeting will be Thursday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the clubhouse.

Want to Join?
Joining the Woman’s Club is easy! Our 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. These dues make it possible for us to host our many popular events and support Town projects.

Supporting the Washington Grove Elementary School
The kids are back to school and supplies in the Teachers Closet are in such high demand that they are already running low. Please help us keep the Closet stocked with much needed things such as note paper, glue sticks, pencils, backpacks and so forth. If you’d rather, we’ll do the shopping for you ??.

Remember, too, that as the weather turns cold, there is a desperate need coats, hats and scarves for children who have no warm winterwear. If you drop them off, we’ll get them to the school.

White Socks for the Gude Men’s Shelter
Winter is coming soon, which brings an even greater need for white socks for the men in the Gude Shelter. The bitter cold is especially hard for the homeless, who too often are going without socks. If you ask a homeless person if they would rather have food or socks, most of them will choose socks. While they can usually find food somewhere, socks are too often hard to come by! And don’t forget that we also collect those small bottles of shampoo, soaps, mouthwash and other complimentary things you may have collected from various hotels when you travel. We will deliver them to the men at the shelter, where maintaining good hygiene can be a challenge.

Project Linus
One of our more fun and successful outreach programs is Project Linus, and we continue to contribute blankets and throws to provide comfort to children in foster care or who are seriously ill or traumatized. If you’d like to help with this, let us know and we’ll get you the instructions for making throws from fleece, knitting or crocheting. Contact Wendy Weisbard ([email protected] or 301-758-1097) and Marilynn Frey ([email protected] 301-357-4784).

Help us Support Interfaith Works
While the less fortunate children of our County need essentials, they also need some treats in their lives, and we try to help provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith Works.

There is an ongoing need for new underwear for boys and girls from toddlers to teens. We have developed sources for purchasing the underwear, so the easiest way to help with this need is through money donations.

Where to Bring Your Donations
Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill. 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’ll sort where they go! Checks are always appreciated. Just put it in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project. Drop them off or mail them to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Stormwater Management Committee

The Stormwater Management Committee would like your help. Our next meeting will be on October 8 at 7:30 in the Council Meeting Room. We will be discussing a list of stormwater issues in Town and the stormwater portion of the Master Plan. All are welcome to attend and participate in these discussions.
Contact Robert Johnson at 301-346-6267 or [email protected] if you have questions.

General Information

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for Nov. 9, 2019. Materials may include furniture, appliances (nothing with freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc. Material may NOT include construction by-products from your renovation projects, large automotive parts or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Please keep your metal separate from the rest of your trash.

P3 Program Update

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration I-495 & I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program continues working to relieve the National Capital Region’s traffic congestion. To learn more, go to 495-270-p3.com/p-3 information


OCTOBER 31, 2019
6:00 – 8:00 P.M.


Sept. 30 »  Woods Committee Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 2 »  Planning Commission Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 5 »  BluestoberFest 6pm-10pm Zoe Wadsworth Park
October 6 »  Holiday Show Meeting 2:00 pm McCathran Hall
October 8 »  Stormwater Management Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 9 »  Forestry & Beautification Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 13 »  Film Society 7:30 pm McCathran Hall
October 14 »  County Bikeways Meeting 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
October 14 »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 15 »  Historic Preservation Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
October 16 »  Recreation Committee Meeting 7:30 pm Old Council Room
October 16 »  Master Plan Work Session 7:30 pm Council Room
October 20 »  Elrich Get-Together 2:00 pm McCathran Hall
October 23 »  Lighting Committee Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
October 24 »  Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm Council Room
October 31 »  Trick or Treating 6pm-8pm Town-wide
November 4 »  Woods Committee Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room

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