301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, September 11, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the August meeting include:

  • accepted bid proposal from American Tennis Courts, Inc. for tennis court repair and resurfacing in the amount of $12,160.00 plus possible add-on of $2,865.00.

From the Mayor…

Town representatives met on August 12th with Assistant Chief John Van Gieson, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, about solutions to facilitate emergency access/way-finding in the Town. Issues included changes in mapping and emergency communication, house address signs, emergency personnel familiarization with the Town layout, readable/reflective street name signs, and hydrants. To follow up this meeting, the Town has sent Chief Van Gieson a spreadsheet of access information for each individual home intended to enhance the computer system used to dispatch police, fire, and ambulance vehicles. We look forward to continued collaboration to improve emergency response.

The Historic Preservation Commission is seeking someone to hire as their Secretary. Tasks include attending a meeting one time per month, taking the minutes during the meeting and writing up the draft minutes for Commission approval. This job if slated for approximately 3 to 4 hours per month and pays a minimum of $20 per hour. Please contact me if you are interested in filling this position

The Montgomery County Board of Election is seeking a volunteer to work with them in using McCathran Hall as a voting place. This task includes allowing access to election judges the evening before an election and access on Election Day and closing after 10 p.m. If you are interested in more information or for filling this important position, please contact me.

September is Back to School month. Please be advised the school bus picks up and returns our children at our intersections in Town. Please be mindful of the 15 miles per hour speed limit and keep an extra eye out for our children. Students: Welcome back to school.
Joli A. McCathran, Mayor
[email protected]

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, September 6, 2017, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

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. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. Both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help with your renovation/building project.

Permits up for approval on September 6, 2017:

  • 201 Grove Ave. Shed

Historic Preservation News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, September 19, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Hey, what’s the big deal about our street signs?

By Gail Littlefield, HPC member

Did you know our brown wood street signs with white letters, on wood posts, found at intersections throughout the Town, are a rare and endangered species? Washington Grove is the only historic district in Montgomery County to have preserved its historic street signs (metal or wood), and the only one in the whole state of Maryland to have preserved its historic wood street signage. Wood street signs were features of camp meeting communities—former camp meeting communities of Zoar in Ohio and Pacific Grove in California have also maintained their very similar brown wood with white letters street signs.
Are you aware of any other examples, past or present?
The originals of these signs were first installed in the late 1930’s, as part of Washington Grove’s infrastructure upgrade as it transitioned from a camp meeting association to an incorporated Town. (See Phil Edwards’ Washington Grove history 1937-1977 at 39 and 159 for some pictures of 1940’s-50’s signs.) Our street signs are considered historic because they originated more than 50 years ago and have been replaced in kind ever since. They are historically significant because they tell the story of life in Washington Grove in its early days and contribute to its unique “sense of place.” They show that Washington Grove cares about preserving its unique landscape.

Historic buildings and structures in the Grove are rustic, rural, vernacular, and made of a natural material, wood, to blend in with the unique natural environment of our “Town within a forest.” This distinguishes us from our neighbor Oakmont, with its much more suburban feel. The sign system (around 150 individual signs) is an integral part of our historic rustic road, street, and avenue system. Visitors entering the Grove for the first time at Grove Road and Railroad Street know instantly as they pass a series of brown wood signs that this is no Gaithersburg subdivision—“What is this place?!”
After 1986, Town Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher began a variation of the basic sign, replacing the flat white letters with routered ones. In the center of the signs, he painted a picture of a native plant or creature, with genus species name and common name. While this variation is not itself historic, since it did not exist 50 years ago, it contributes in the same way as the original signs to the historic and natural character of our town and our roadways.
The Federal Highway Administration has recognized the historic significance of street signs in historic districts, and has exempted their historic streets signs from the usual specifications for city street signs. It gives historic districts flexibility to provide effective navigational information to road users, while maintaining their historic street signs.

Town Council is currently considering proposals for reflective aluminum and for reflective wooden street signs. Mockups of samples of each will be mounted at Grove Road and Brown Street for your perusal.

Maple Lake News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 21, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. All are welcome!

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: September 13, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Did you know? Montgomery County will plant shade trees in your yard– for free!
Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is looking for places to plant, especially in yards of single family homes. The shade trees will be installed, and given some after care, all for free. The County says the program is on-going and funding is available. They do have a waitlist, but someone from the DEP staff will contact to you as soon as possible.

This is a great opportunity to improve our Town tree canopy, get a beautiful tree and its shade at very little effort or cost, and to improve local air quality and filter storm-water runoff.

It’s easy to apply online at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/green/trees/tree-montgomery.html

Woods Committee News…

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The change of date is due to the Labor Day Holiday. Meetings are open to the public. Please join us!
We continue projects to improve the health of the East and West Woods. Our October meeting will be Monday, October 2.
Over the last two weeks the ground cover in the East Woods has gone from green to brown. This browning is a positive sign. It shows us just how out of control stilt grass was in parts of the forest. Invasive Plant Control has used a very low concentration of specific chemicals to target this very opportunistic stilt grass, which has been choking out native ground cover. Volunteers have also helped by hand pulling stilt grass in specific sites. In future years we expect to see a resurgence of native grasses and wildflowers.

Woman’s Club News…

Pull out your favorite recipes for September’s Annual Pot Luck Supper! Fall means it’s time for the Woman’s Club’s Annual Pot Luck Supper! Please join us at the Clubhouse, Friday evening, September 22nd, starting at 6:30 PM. Bring your appetite and a favorite dish.

Gude Men’s Shelter – Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Town, we will be filling and delivering 60 packages of shampoos, soaps, socks and etc. to the Gude Men’s Shelter in October. The need for socks never ends, so collecting them will be an ongoing project. Please drop donations off in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch, at 119 Grove Road.

Winter Wear for WGES – Again this year, we’re collecting gently used winter wear for the needy children of our own Washington Grove Elementary School. Far too many of the kids are without warm coats, hats, scarves or gloves. It’s heartbreaking. So please, sort through your closets and bring any children’s coats, hats, scarves or gloves to the plastic bin on the Clubhouse porch.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., October 11, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Labor Day “Stuff” at a Glance

Don’t miss the Labor Day Activities!

SATURDAY, SEPT. 2nd Woodward Park

  • 10:00 AM – 1:00PM Field Events
    Six (6) contests for kids and adults of all ages. Registration begins promptly at 10:00 AM. Don’t be late!
  • 4:30 PM – 34th Annual Grove
  • Triathlon. Start at Maple Lake. Pre-register by calling Craig English 301-840-1897 or sign up at the Field


  • 9:30 AM – Tennis – Adult Mixer
  • 4:00 PM – Bike Races
  • 5:00 PM – Running Races
  • (Grove Rd. across from courts)


  • 10:00 AM – New Event – Soccer Skills Competition – Fun for all ages
    (Woodward Park)
  • 1:00 PM – 30th Annual Croquet Tournament. Everyone invited!
    (Woodward Park)
  • 6:00 PM Potluck Dinner & Awards
    (McCathran Hall)

Film Society News…

Welcome to the 2017/2018 Film Series, presenting five (5) entertaining and thought-provoking movies. The season begins October 15–see the insert in this Bulletin for the film titles and details. The Film Committee will be on hand at the Town Labor Day event on Saturday, Sept. 2, 10 AM to noon, to hand out flyers; please take this opportunity to sign up for a subscription (still only $20) to see all five (5) films.
Looks like a great season—see you at the movies!

Sunday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
In McCathran Hall

5-Film Subscription $20
A discussion follows each film

Purchase $20 subscriptions by sending a check, payable to the Town of Washington Grove, to Birgit Henninger, Box 355.

Tickets cost $7 at the door. Please support the series by purchasing subscriptions. If you miss a film, use the ticket to bring a guest to a later film this season.

Sing Street October 15, 2017
Directed by John Carney, 2016, Ireland, English, shown with subtitles, 106 minutes.

What’s the best way to fit in at school, face down a bully, impress a girl? Start a band, even if you don’t play an instrument! In this heartfelt and hilarious story, a young man in Dublin finds himself through the music of the 1980’s.

Sita Sings the Blues November 12, 2017
Directed by Nina Paley, 2009, U.S., English, shown with subtitles, 82 minutes.

Written and drawn by American artist Nina Paley, “Sita Sings the Blues” ingeniously weaves together ancient tales from the Ramayana, jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, and events from Paley’s own life. It is a vivid, exuberant work of art.

Nine Queens January 14, 2018
Directed by Fabián Bielinsky, 2000, Argentina, Spanish with English subtitles, 114 minutes.

Deceptions pile on top of duplicities when a couple of small-time swindlers are enlisted in a big-payoff scheme involving coveted rare stamps. With quicksilver performances and sassy twists, “Nine Queens” surprises its audience again and again.

My Life as a Dog February 11, 2018
Directed by Lasse Hallström, 1985, Sweden, Swedish with English subtitles, 101 minutes.

Ingemar, 12, is too much for his ailing mother to handle and is sent to country relatives. To fortify himself against life’s vicissitudes, he ponders the worse plight of Laika, the Soviet space dog. This acclaimed coming-of-age movie is both sensitive and charming.

Ida March 11, 2018
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013, Poland, Polish with English subtitles, black & white, 82 minutes.

Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan, is about to take vows as a nun when she learns from her aunt that her parents were Jewish. Austerely beautiful, the film follows the two women on a journey to the aunt’s childhood village in search of meaning and identity.

Washington Grove Church News…

The Best Little Arts and Crafts Festival in Montgomery County!

Washington Grove, Maryland’s “Fall Festival” presents the beautiful hand crafted work of 25 talented regional artisans in a special one-day show on Saturday, September 30 from 10 am-5 pm. You’ll see an exciting selection of jewelry, paintings, original prints, photographs, pottery, glass, wood, metal, leather and more. Enjoy delicious dining at our food trucks and your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Victor Litz Music Center will feature a “musical petting zoo,” plus there will be a pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and a Kids Art Exhibition. Hours are 10am-5pm with free parking. Presented by the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880.
For more info call Craig 301-840-1897

Emergency Preparedness Committee

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 28, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend.
Please review important EPC information on last page **

WG on TV!

County Cable Montgomery (CCM) is currently featuring Washington Grove in its series “Neighborhood Niches.” This is one of CCM’s community interest stories and includes an introduction to the history of Grove and an interview with local artist Joseph Craig English. Below is the link to the airing schedule.

The segment can also be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6QZcF8whQ&feature=youtu.be

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

Mark your calendars! The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for Oct. 14, 2017. 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.

Recycling Reminder…

If you place your co-mingled recyclables (plastic containers, glass bottles/jars and metal cans) in a plastic bag, the recycling is considered contaminated and our contractor has no other choice but to throw it in with the regular trash. Please put your co-mingled recyclables in a bin or a box. This is also true for paper products. NO PLASTC BAGS!

High Priority Alert!

The Town of Washington Grove has a serious problem with non-native invasive Japanese Stilt Grass. The annual grass resembles a small, delicate Bamboo; mature plants grow to 2-3ft in height. Stilt-grass spread by seed and vegetative by rooting at joints along the stem – a single plant can produce 100 – 1,000 seeds that remain viable in the soil for at least three years. It spreads easily and you have probably seen it in your own yard as well as in our East and West Woods.
The good news is that stilt grass is shallow-rooted and pulls out easily. Before the last round of work by Invasive Plant Control, Inc (IPC) in the East Woods a small team including Charlie Challstrom and Joan Mahaffey went in and hand pulled all of the stilt grass in two of the small exclosures (#1 and 2). Trees (and acorns, thanks to Charlie!) were planted when the exclosures were installed in 2009 and are doing well.
We ask anyone who can do so to help out by pulling (rather than cutting) stilt grass they find in their own yard. And PLEASE join our efforts to pull stilt grass in the East (or West) Woods. The ongoing resident effort to pull garlic mustard has been outstanding! You can pull stilt grass whenever you see it, and feel free to contact Joan about future group efforts. The more is pulled by hand the less IPC will need to treat next year!


Have a kid that needs homework help?
Have a dog that needs walking?
Do your plants need watering?
Lots of help has been given this past month!

Become a WGC helper using the Washingtongrovecares.org website!

To ask for help: At the top of the screen, click on “Make an Assistance Request” and follow the link to fill out the form.

To offer help: Click on the calendar and choose one of the dates with a green squares to sign yourself up as a helper for that task.

There are no requests too big or too small. It feels great to be able to help a neighbor in need!

Dog Park Work Group

The Dog Park Work Group has the following dates scheduled for their meetings: September 16; October 7; October 28; and November 18.

All meetings begin at 3:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

** EPC Information

September is National Preparedness Month and Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is conducting a number of events to help you and your community prepare for disasters. Please see their website for details: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/oehms

Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) fall training is going to be offered from October 11th to November 11th. This is an extensive emergency preparedness course designed to train citizens who can help emergency responders in times of crises. Training includes topics such as disaster preparedness, mass casualty triage, first aid, search and rescue, and hazardous materials awareness, and is offered for free. It requires a significant time commitment—2 hours Wednesday evenings and 4 hours Saturday mornings for 5 weeks. The course includes a full CPR/AED certification course. You can find out more about the course and register at: https://montgomerycert.org/training/cert-training/. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.


The 9th Annual Washington Grove “BLUESTOBER FEST!” is on for Saturday, October 14th, 2017, 6-10:00 pm. Please come out and enjoy a fun musical gathering with family and friends as we celebrate the autumn season with the acoustic sounds of Jay Summerour & Mark Peryear from 6-7:00 pm and then electric blues from The James Mabry Blues Band from 7:30-10 pm. This event will be held at the Gazebo (McCathran Hall if it rains). Sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, condiments and cookies provided. Please bring a side dish to share. BYOB!

For more information, contact Lawren Lankford at (703) 203-1643 or Eric Selby at (703) 203-8100. We can sure use some help with set-up and clean up so please e-mail or call us if you are willing to help or have any question.

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