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Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday, January 10, 2022, 7:30 pm
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at bit.ly/WGCouncilMeeting
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385
Or dial-in to 301-715-8592

Actions at the December meeting included:

  • Awarded the FY22 Snow and Ice Removal contract to RJ Landscaping.
  • Deferred further discussion about EV charging stations and action to January 2022.
  • Approved the proposed Frisbee Golf installation in Woodward Park.
  • Approved Resolution 2021-13, designating Lower Brown street as the preferred shared-use pathway connection for the Washington Grove connector.

Steve Werts Retires (…to a quiet life on Maple Road?)

Steve’s last official day as Maintenance Supervisor was December 31st, completing 10 years of outstanding service to the Grove. In addition to performing and managing in exemplary fashion the extensive groundskeeping and maintenance needed to keep the Grove looking beautiful, Steve has been responsible for numerous special projects of his own undertaking, including some that have left an indelible and often visible mark in many areas around town. A few of these in recent years are:

  • the installation of identity fencing in at least seven walkway entries to Town,
  • rebuilding the Maple Lake access road culvert,
  • completing the long-deferred drainage project on Cherry Avenue,
  • the tennis court fencing (another long-deferred item which included a hefty volunteer crew),
  • improvements to the playground equipment enclosures and drainage,
  • McCathran Hall insulation and flooring,
  • renovation of the McCathran Hall kitchen, and
  • speed hump installations.

The list goes on… It is certain that we will miss Steve’s energy and dedication. Fortunately he and Cynthia remain as our neighbors. Thus, while it is unlikely Steve will be resting on his laurels or on his patio for very long, and the pandemic is delaying an appreciation event, you may look for an opportunity to congratulate him on his retirement in whatever form he actually takes it!

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News from Grove Commissions

Historic Preservation Commission News

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 7:30 pm.
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: 344 019 9688

Background Research by Robinson & Associates, Inc. for the Town’s National Register Nomination

Research by Robinson & Associates, Inc., in preparation of Washington Grove’s 2020 Updated and Expanded Historic Nomination to the National Register, produced four documents of valuable background information for our Town. (In December, an introduction to Viewshed Documentation was presented, focusing especially on the Washington Grove Meadow Conservation Park and the Piedmont Crossing Local Park).

All four documents are now available on the Town website here. They are grouped under the banner Background Research by Robinson & Associates, Inc., for the Nomination. Individual PDFs of the four documents can be accessed directly as well from the links below:

  • Historic Context Report 2019 (PDF) – describes the regional and national events and trends that shaped the development, design, and character of Washington Grove since its founding as a Methodist camp meeting in 1873
  • Cultural Landscape Analysis 2019 (PDF) – describes the intangible aspects, physical attributes and systems of the landscape that collectively contribute to the character of Washington Grove
  • Architectural Survey 2019 (PDF) – provides a brief description of each building within Town
  • Viewshed Documentation 2020 (PDF) – identifies the historic properties and landscapes that comprise the broader setting of the Washington Grove Historic District and contribute to its visual character and historic context

Each report contains a wealth of information about our town.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

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Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 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 can joining the Zoom videoconference at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2289422486, or dial in to 301-715-8592, meeting ID: 228 942 2486 and following the audio instructions.  Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom device in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

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 Approved in December

  • None

Public Ways & Property Permits (PW&PP) Approved in December

  • None

2021 Comprehensive Plan

The 2021 DRAFT Comprehensive Plan (CP) for the Town of Washington Grove was submitted for review to the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP).

The public hearing originally set for Thursday September 2 was postponed in order to incorporate some changes suggested by the MDP.  You can view the new DRAFT 2022 COMPRHENSIVE PLAN here. The Planning Commission will be discussing the draft plan at their regular meeting on January 5. The next work session will be on January 19. The Public Hearing date is expected to be in February.

Residents are encouraged to review the plan and send written comments to the Planning Commission if you have feedback.

The next CP work sessions will be January 5 and 19 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY
As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, these Comprehensive Plan Work Sessions will be conducted online, rather than in person. The agenda will be posted at the Town office.

Work Session Access:
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 228 942 2486
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2289422486
Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom device in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

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News from Grove Committees

Border Committee News

Next Meeting: January 13, 2022 at 7:30p.m. via Zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81915606459.

The Border Committee’s mission is to create a feeling of “welcome” for all motorists and pedestrians going through our Town with the goal of less speeding, litter, and vandalism. Our major effort is to remind everyone that Washington Gove Lane and Railroad Street are not bypasses around Washington Grove; you are going through a beautiful, historic town. Slow down, keep your litter in your car, and watch out for the Grove foxes and black squirrels.

At the January meeting, updates will be given on the status of the three Welcome signs at the town entrances at Ridge, the Commercial Corner, and the corners of the West Woods and Day Lilly Lane. Other topics for discussion are the clearing of brush along Washington Grove Lane; removal of the dumpster at the Commercial Corner; speeding and noise reduction along Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street; creating a common vision for the Town’s borders; signage for the walkway between Washington Grove and Shady Grove Crossing; and new business. All are welcome to attend and/or join.

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Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee News

Next Meeting: Thursday, Thursday, January 27, 2022  at 7:30 p.m.
Join the Zoom meeting by videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89199207143?pwd=aUVsTUpCbTRMWjdMdnZ1aEhLdGwrZz09
By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 842 6880 1803
Passcode: 410871

Plan ahead for disasters: Please visit the Ready.gov website for useful instructions on signing-up for emergency alerts and planning for emergencies, including building an emergency kit.

We are actively seeking new committee members. One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help strengthen our community. We welcome your input and ideas on how to achieve this and any other goals related to preparedness and safety. Please join us at our next meeting.

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Forestry and Beautification Committee (F&B) News

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 7:30 p.m. Via ZOOM Videoconference.
The Forestry and Beautification Committee is now on break for the winter. Our next meeting will be Wednesday March 9, 2022. We look forward to seeing you then.

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Lake Committee News

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 17, 2022, 7:30 pm

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Lighting Committee News

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
We meet the fourth Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to attend!

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 869 7729 0179
Passcode: 483578

The feedback on the trial installation of three bollard, low voltage lights along the pathways by McCathran Hall has been positive. There is currently discussion about adding one or two additional bollard fixtures.   We hope that TWG residents will go by one evening and check them out.  We would like to hear feedback about these light fixtures.

Questions, ideas or concerns? Please contact Virginia Quesada at 301-706-7933 (cell) or [email protected], or Robert N. Johnson at [email protected].

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Racial and Social Equity Committee News

Next meeting: Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022; 2:00 p.m.

All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link.

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Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: February 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Toys For Tots!
The Toys for Tots campaign, sponsored by the Recreation Committee, was a tremendous success this year. Toys for children from toddler to 12 years old were accepted and residents contributed even more generously than the first campaign in 2020. The campaign is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and relies on the generosity of donors. A hearty thanks to all who donated!
— Marida Hines and Terri Johnson

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Woods Committee News

Next meeting: Monday, January 3, 2022, 7:30 pm via Zoom Video Conference.
Join the Zoom Meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82405334979?pwd=WG9YdVR1U2lSWDlXMHpWaFlyNzRXdz09
By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 885 6087 3091
Passcode: 233020

The Woods Committee will be working on several projects in the New Year:

  • continue trail maintenance and signage to increase residents’ enjoyment of the Forest Preserves and to protect newly sprouting trees and understory.
  • develop digital maps of trails in the East and West Woods.
  • improve stormwater drainage in the West Woods coming from the residential part of Town, from Washington Grove Lane and from the Towne Crest area.
  • continue reforestation projects.

If you are interested in working on any of these projects, please contact either Joan Mahaffey or Patty Klein (Woods Committee co-chairs) or join us at our January 3 meeting.

Our volunteer Bow Hunter Fire Fighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) continued their bow hunting in our East and West Woods. One doe was harvested in December in the East Woods. Members of BHFFMD are EMTs and firefighters who are are vigilant about public safety, and therefore, there is no reason to curtail our use of the Woods. They will bow hunt at sunrise and sunset. The archery season extends through January 31, 2022. Please contact Joan Mahaffey or Pat Klein if you have any questions.

A reminder to please stay on the walking trails to protect understory native plant vegetation and avoid tick exposure to you and your pets. Do not use trails that are too wet and muddy to avoid soil erosion and damage to your boots. We hope the New Year brings you many opportunities to enjoy the seasonal beauty of our East and West Woods.

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News From Other Grove Organizations

Film Society News

Stream Three Colours: Red – Discussion on Sunday evening, January 16
Stream Three Colours: Red, then join your neighbors to discuss it on January 16, at 7:30 pm on Zoom.  Stream it on HBO Max, fubo TV, and the Criterion Channel; for rent, $3.99, on Amazon.

Zoom link for discussion:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82979334766?pwd=SnNCeDZES0pNcjl5bldFeDVEcDFudz09
Meeting ID: 829 7933 4766
Passcode: 726485

A beautiful model encounters a bitter, retired judge who has a disturbing secret. Meanwhile, nearby, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours: Red is an incandescent meditation on fate and chance from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers. Three Colours: Red is the final installment of the Three Colours trilogy (Blue, White, and Red), which examines the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity. The story of Red is loosely based on “fraternity.”  Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994, Switzerland/France/Poland, 99 minutes, French with English subtitles.

This is the kind of film that makes you feel intensely alive while you’re watching it and sends you out into the streets afterwards eager to talk deeply and urgently, to the person you are with. Whoever that happens to be.
— Roger Ebert

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Sustainability Group: Climate Action News 

Next meetings: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 and Tuesday, February 1, 2022, via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688

Town Joins ICLEI

Washington Grove has joined ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, an organization of over 2500 local and regional members worldwide. The Town will benefit from the organization’s expertise as we develop a carbon inventory and implement mitigation strategies.

Highlights of the United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26)

World leaders—and tens of thousands of negotiators—met in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 through November 13 for the United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to prevent climate catastrophe by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and holding global warming to a rise of no more than 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels.

At the end of the conference, a new global agreement, the “Glasgow Climate Pact,” (PDF) was signed by representatives from 197 countries. The agreement is not legally binding but does set the agenda for the next decade.

Some Important Points in the Agreement

  • Many countries (151) strengthened their national commitments at Glasgow to reduce the projected temperature increase from 4° C to 2.5° C. The current pledges are a notable improvement over previous pledges, but still fall short of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5° C.
  • Although no pledges regarding specific oil and gas reductions were agreed to, for the first time, they were both identified by attending countries as part of the problem.
  • To bridge some of the shortcomings, countries were asked to accelerate their climate planning and pledge further cuts at next year’s COP27 rather than waiting five years to release new plans.
  • Countries pledged to “phase down” coal use. This wording was less than “phase out” sought by many but is noteworthy as this is the first time in 30 years of United Nations negotiations that coal was named as a root cause of the climate issue.
  • Dialogue began to determine how “loss and damage” funds could be provided by industrialized nations to support developing nations threatened by climate change-related disasters.
  • An unexpected declaration came from the United States and China to cooperate to strengthen and accelerate climate action.
  • Over 100 countries agreed to work to end deforestation by 2030.

Outside the Formal Glasgow Climate Pact

  • One hundred nine nations signed on to a pathbreaking Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Coming primarily from oil and gas operations, coal mines, landfills, and livestock, methane emissions have a disproportionately large and near-term impact on climate change. Meeting this commitment will reduce adverse climate impacts in the next 20 years.
  • In addition, the private sector also made important commitments. Four hundred financial firms, which control over $130 trillion in assets, committed in Glasgow to realign their investments away from fossil fuels by 2030 to be on a carbon net-zero trajectory.
    Learn more about COP26.

Climate change is the issue of our time, requiring worldwide action, but change begins at the individual level. Washington Grove is a small town, but we must be a part of the global effort to reduce carbon emissions.

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Washington Grove Cares News

Hiking at Needwood Lake

Are you ready to put on your hiking shoes and get some fresh air? Grab your kiddos and head to Lake Needwood with other Grovers!  This is a great event for people of all ages, with or without kids.

Lake Needwood, Picnic Area 3
Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 1:00 pm

Optional: So we will know to wait for your arrival at the meet-up point or to send you weather cancellation updates, please RSVP, including your cell phone number, to Caitlin Bethepu at [email protected]. Questions? Call Caitlin at 414-208-8661.

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WG United Methodist Church (WGUMC) News

Washington Grove United Methodist Church…Please join us at 11:00 AM Sundays

Due to the recent increase in Covid infections that are currently so widespread, we have decided that at least until January 16th, we will be resuming Zoom services. After that, a decision will be made based on circumstances at the time. We hope you will join us at 11:00 AM Sunday mornings over Zoom.  Join us by using this link https://zoom.us/j/4353137794 or meeting ID 435 313 7794.

We continue to collect 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, or bring them when you join us on Sunday morning.

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.

Our mission is to follow Jesus, worship God, and provide loving service to our community and the world.

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Woman’s Club News

In Memory of Liz Robertson

Sadly, our President Liz Robertson passed away in December. She was a generous supporter of all our outreach programs, but for personal reasons, the one closest to her heart was helping to ensure that all children have underwear. We usually respond to the County’s request for help with this in the spring but because it was so special to Liz, we’ve decided to do our annual drive in her memory this January.

In honor of Liz’s 74 years, our goal is to collect enough money or contributions for at least 74 or more packages of underwear for boys and girls, toddlers to teens.

If you would like to help us reach this memorial goal, please drop off packages of underwear or checks, with the notation In Liz’s Memory, in the boxes on the Clubhouse porch or in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road.

Our White Elephant Auction Needs Help to Organize!

The Woman’s Club hopes to again hold our annual White Elephant Auction; however, we need a leader to organize it and workers to help in order to make it a success! The date for this year’s auction has not yet been set.

If you can help us with this always fun event, please contact Arlene McCrehan at [email protected].

Washington Grove Elementary School Still Needs Our Help!

The Teachers’ Supply Closet Always Needs Restocking!
The Teacher’s Supply closet is always in need of restocking, so one of our Club’s Outreach programs is try to keep that closet full. Without community support, the teachers end up buying needed supplies for the less fortunate children out of their own pockets! Some of the things always needed are glue sticks, hand sanitizers, paper, pencils, sharpeners and tissues.

Winter Coats, Hats, Scarves and Gloves
This winter, we will continue to collect hats, coats, gloves, scarves and other winterwear for the needy children of Washington Grove and the surrounding schools, because the needs keep growing. Our local schools work with each other to try to ensure that no students go through the winter without adequate winter clothing. They stay in contact and trade around as needed to secure the right sizes. So, as you sort your closets, please consider donating any outgrown or out loved winterwear that you could donate to these kids.

Helping Archways Kids and Their Families

There are now seven Archways families, and they are always in need of non-SNAP necessities, like towels, wash clothes, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products and deodorant. Other non-SNAP items that are always needed are diaper wipes, hand sanitizers, laundry detergent, paper towels, any flavor of Pedialyte, blue box Similac powder and toilet paper.

There are 17 children in the Archways program, ranging in ages from infants to teenagers. We try to give their social worker treats to take to the children when she visits, plus the care packages we have prepared for the families from your generous donations. For January, we are completely out of
diapers (sizes 4 and 5), cereal, jelly, pasta, mac and cheese, and rice for these care packages.

Please Remember that the Men of Our Local Shelters Always Need Socks

As the fall weather turns colder and the brutal winter approaches, please think about how hard it is on the homeless if they have no socks! We are doing a big push over the next months to collect new white socks. These are always the most requested items at homeless shelters. Our goal is to make sure that all of the men in our local shelter have at least two pairs of socks each, and it would be wonderful if we could give them more. Also, since there is turnover there, new men coming in will be in need of socks, too. There’s no such thing as too many socks to go around!

Where to Drop Off Your Donations

Monetary donation checks should be made out to the Woman’s Club with a notation in the Memo field if you want them to go towards a specific project, such as:

  • In Memory of Liz
  • Archways or Shelter Projects
  • Music program
  • School Supplies
  • Snap Plus
  • White Socks

Wendy’s can

All donations can be dropped off either on the Clubhouse porch or in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road.

You can now follow The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove on Facebook, at Instagram at @wgwomansclub, and our special events on this website.


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Other Notices

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ended

Please note that Thursday, December 30, 2021 was the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.

Leaf Collection by GREEN EARTH Ends

Bulk leaf collection by our contractor GREEN EARTH ended for the Winter on January 4, 2022. There will be a final collection in the Spring. Stay tuned…

Christmas Tree Disposal

Beginning Thursday, January 6, 2022, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Potomac Disposal. The collection will take place on Thursdays during January. This gives you four opportunities to have your tree collected by Potomac Disposal. To make it easier, we ask that you place your tree roadside near your trash and recycling.

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January Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference unless otherwise indicated)

January 3 Woods Committee 7:30 pm
January 4 Sustainability Group 7:30 pm
January 5 Planning Commission 7:30 pm
January 6 Swing Time Big Band 7:00 pm Town Hall
January 10 Town Council 7:30 pm
January 13 Border Committee 7:30 pm
January 16 Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm
January 16 Film Society Discussion of Three Colours: Red 7:30 pm
January 18 Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm
January 19 Comprehensive Plan Work Session 7:30 pm
January 20 Swing Time Big Band 7:00 pm Town Hall
January 26 Lighting Committee 7:30 pm
January 27 Emergency Prep. & Safety Committee 7:30 pm

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