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Next meeting: Monday, April 10, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the March meeting included:

  • approval of the Mayor’s appointments to the Board of Supervisors of Elections: Meredith Horan (Chair), Kristin Perry, Nick Suzich

Town Elections

Nominations for Mayor and Council should be sent to Chair Meredith Horan at P.O. Box 337 or 127 Maple Ave. There is still time for more nominations. Nominations must be filed on or before the second Monday in April. The candidate must agree to being nominated and have been a Town resident for at least two (2) years for the position as Mayor and for at least one (1) year for Town Council. So far, the nominees are:

Mayor (1-year term) Joli McCathran
Mayor (1-year term) John Tomlin
Council (3-year term) Audrey Maskery
Council (3-year term) John Compton
Council (3-year term) Ed Roberts
(Two (2) positions open, three (3) people running)

Annual Town Meeting

This year’s Annual Town Meeting is set for May 13, 2017 in McCathran Hall at 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will follow the meeting.

Absentee Ballots

An absentee ballot for Town elections on Saturday, May 13th, 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm may be requested in writing by qualified voters. A signed written request stating you will not be present to vote during the voting hours must be submitted to Meredith Horan, Chair of the Board of Supervisors of Elections, by May 3rd Please send your requests and your completed absentee ballots to Meredith at
P.O. Box 337 or deliver to 127 Maple Avenue.
1 April 2017

From the Mayor…

Woods Committee Town Forum: The Woods Committee is hosting a meeting entitled “Forum for Saving the Woods” on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Please see the announcement under Woods Committee in this Bulletin for more details. This meeting is open to all and I encourage your participation.

Playground: Children of all ages are welcome to visit our updated playground. The Playground Committee of Jenn Hix, Chair, Emily Brown, Emily Cavey and Alison Faupel and all the children involved did an incredible job over the last two years planning for the playground and the new equipment. Thank you, Committee! Additionally, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, Terry Cox and additional volunteers did an outstanding job of working on drainage and installation of the new playground equipment. Thanks to all of you for a job well done!

Dog Park: At the March 20, 2017 meeting of the Town Council, a group of residents made a presentation to the Town Council about the installation of a dog park in Washington Grove. Residents spoke in favor of such a facility and concerns were also expressed about proximity to homes and other issues. After considerable dialogue, the Town Council requested the Planning Commission review the submitted report and consider possible locations for a dog park within Town.

Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA): On March 25, 2017 the BZA approved the special exception of the Highway Christian Church to relocate their church to the Commercial Corner. This organization is well aware of the regulations of this area in Town. We welcome them as neighbors. Thanks to the BZA volunteers, Marc Hansen, Chair, Sat Amagai, and Christine Dibble for their hard work and commitment to the Town.\

Welcome Spring! Joli A. McCathran

Important Message for Washington Grove Taxpayers

Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because our residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical all Washington Grove residents (including renters!) designate “Washington Grove.” For Maryland iFile, under “Name of county and incorporated city, town, or special taxing area in which you were a resident on the last day of the taxable period,” select “Montgomery, Washington Grove” from the drop down menu. This block is separate from the address blocks. Turbo Tax and H&R Block software also include drop down menus where you may select “Montgomery County” and then “Washington Grove.” Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer, if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure that the Town receives its proper share of local income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., April 5, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

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 April 5, 2017:

  • 103 Grove Ave. dormer enlargement
  • 15 The Circle partial demo & construction

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, April 18, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.


By Wendy E. Harris, Volunteer Associate Archivist

News Dispatches from Other Centuries
A series devoted to describing Washington Grove’s earliest days based on historic newspapers (appearing as written) and original records in the Grove’s archives.

Our Woods and Walkways: Are They Historic? (Part One)

During the past two months there has been much discussion as to whether various non-architectural features such as our community’s woods and walkways are truly “historic.” Whether or not this is the case, the woods of Washington Grove, representing nearly one-half of the Town’s lands, certainly have a history all their own. Since woods will be the focus of the first two installments of this article (the second and third installments will be devoted to our walkways), we open with the following quote taken from the 1893 “Report of the President to The Stockholders of Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association.” On May 30 of that year, President George Woodward observed:

“The record of Washington Grove is the ever recurring history of the dealing of the Almighty with his people. These woods dedicated to the worship of God have
been witnesses time and again of converting power.”

This is a very telling statement as it so perfectly describes the spiritual meanings attached to our woods by early (and usually seasonal) residents of Washington Grove, then a Methodist camp meeting ground. As explained by Elizabeth Jo Lampl and Clare Lise Cavicchi in their 2004 “A Harvest for Saving Souls,” The Camp Meetings of Montgomery County, participants in Washington Grove’s revival meetings “ . . . were viewed as sinners who must publically confess to be converted.” They note that during Washington Grove’s second summer as a camp meeting “. . . nearly 10,000 people came to pray, sing and commune.”

During the opening chapter of its history, Washington Grove, in common with other former camp meeting grounds, defined itself as “a place apart.” According to the National Historic Landmark Nomination for Massachusetts’s Wesleyan Grove Camp Meeting Ground, the spiritual effectiveness of the camp meeting experience was dependent not only upon the internal organization of space within the grounds but also upon the situation of the grounds relative to their external surroundings. Nineteenth-century camp meeting organizers selected sites that were physically removed from the pressures and distractions of everyday existence. Thus while Wesleyan Grove drew upon its isolation on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, reachable only by a prolonged sea voyage, participants in the early Washington Grove camp meetings traveled from Washington D.C. by train across miles of fields and forests to reach the meeting site, located near the train tracks on what Philip Edwards describes in the first volume of his history of Washington Grove as “a virgin forest . . . left undeveloped in a sea of cleared farmland around it.” The camp ground’s forests were further described in 1881 by The Washington Post as:
“ . . . filled with truly grand specimens of native oaks and graceful chestnut
trees . . . the obvious objection is that the trees are entirely too thick. At least one half could be cut down without detriment to shade and with decided advantage to coolness.”

Beginning with the first few seasons, newspapers such as Washington D.C.’s Critic-Record were casting Washington Grove’s camp meetings, as “sojourn[s] in the woods.”

In Washington Grove, through time, there occurred a gradual shift away from the pure religiosity of the camp meetings to milder forms of spiritual uplift, educational programming, and cultural forms of entertainment typified by the Chautauqua Assemblies. The first Chautauqua season was in 1902. These programs ran for the entire summer and were so successful that in 1906, the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (WGCMA) dropped the words “camp meeting” officially and changed its title to Washington Grove Association (WGA). This marked the trustees’ decision to relegate camp meetings to a secondary role and with this act the camp meetings were subsumed by Chautauqua. Nature study and nature appreciation were major features of the Chautauqua movement. As a result, the woods took on new and more secular meanings as evidenced in this excerpt from “The Grove Chautauqua,” the program guide for Washington Grove’s 1902 Chautauqua Assembly. In it the grounds are described as:

“Covering about two-hundred acres of land, well-timbered with magnificent old
trees of oak, chestnut, hickory and other varieties, it affords a delightful place for
those who desire to escape the oppressive heat of summer and get out into the woods and fields alongside the quieting and uplifting influences of nature. Here you may become acquainted with a large number of bird neighbors in their leafy homes and secret haunts. Some good bird book like “Birds Through an Opera Glass” will add interest and zest to the study. The uncommonly great variety of wild flowers found through this belt of the country will also afford an endless and most charming study for those who care for it.”

In the second (and upcoming) part of our article we will discuss how Washington Grove residents came to regard their woods during the Progressive Era (circa late 1880s to the early1920s). Suffice it to say that a radical shift in meaning occurred so that trees, once perceived as “holy,” came to be viewed as a harvestable crop. We will also examine subsequent reevaluations of the woods and their meaning that occurred during the second half of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first century.

Sources from WG Archives (including library books): Edwards, Philip K., Washington Grove, 1873-1937 (1988); Lampl, Elizabeth Jo and Clare Lise Cavicchi, “A Harvest in the Open for Saving Souls, The Camp Meetings of Montgomery County” (2004); “2009 Master Plan;” “President’s [George Woodward] Report to The Stockholders of Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association,” 5/30/1893; Special Forest Policy Committee Report to the Washington Grove Town Council, 5/15/1972 ; Washington Grove Association, Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, 8/1/1913; Washington Grove Chautauqua Assembly Committee, “The Grove Chautauqua,” 1902.
Other Sources: Critic-Record “Washington Grove Camp-Meeting,” 8/12/1875, NewsBank; Kimmel, Ross and Offutt Johnson, “The History of Maryland State Parks” https://dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/md-conservation-history/State-Park-History.aspx; Rutkow, Eric, American Canopy: Trees, Forests and the Making of a Nation (2012); United States Dept. of Interior, National Park Service, Wesleyan Grove National Historic Landmark Nomination (2005); Washington Post, “Washington Grove Camp: Opening Day Among the Methodist Tenters in Maryland,” 8/12/1881. Wiebe, Robert H., The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (1967).

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., May 10, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Maypole and West Woods Capture the Flag (see West Woods/Lake Clean-up announcement)

Woman’s Club News…

Thursday evening, April 13th, at 7:00 PM is our annual Egg Filling Night at the Clubhouse. As always, we need lots of help, and many bags of small, wrapped candies (no bigger than Hershey’s kisses) to fill the eggs.

Saturday, April 15th, at 12:30 PM is our annual Egg Hunt at McCathran Hall, for your kids, grandkids, nieces & nephews and young friends. Helping hands are needed, starting at noon, to help hide the eggs, supervise the hunt and assist with craft events afterwards.

Please contact Sylvia Appleby ([email protected] or 301-926-9094) to let her know what you can do to help.

Mark Your Calendars!
The Woman’s Club Flower Show will take place on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The theme this year is: A Carnival of Flowers. Please mark your calendars and look out for additional information in your mailbox and the May Town Bulletin.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed., April 12, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, April 3, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. Please join us!
“Forum for Saving the Woods”
There will be a second woods informational meeting on Monday, April 24th at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall to further discuss the Woods Committee’s East Woods preservation plans based on the Forest Stewardship Plan. The focus of this meeting will be deer population control options.

CELEBRATE SPRING TIME with a West Woods & Maple Lake Clean-Up Event
Followed by a Pizza Party & Games on Saturday, April 29th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM!

Please join the Woods Committee, Lake Committee, and Recreation Committee for this combined activity in Washington Grove. All ages are welcome to participate but children 12 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Work time activities (10:00 AM – Noon) will include trash removal in the West Woods and cleaning up the Lake area for re-opening. Please bring your wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, pruning shears, and pails. Please also bring insect repellent and sun screen, and appropriate outerwear to include work gloves and work boots.

Party time (Noon – 1:00 PM) for PIZZA and refreshments, Maple Lake MAYPOLE & West Woods CAPTURE THE FLAG (for all ages!)
Meet at the Maple Lake parking area at 10:00 AM to organize our activities. Bottled water will be available. Rain date is April 30th (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Thanks for your help! The Woods, Lake, and Recreation Committees!

Maple Lake News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 20, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call Ann Philips or John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!

Emergency Preparedness Committee

Next Meeting: Thurs., April 27, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend.

CPR Class
Register for a CPR Class! The Emergency Preparedness Committee is offering Washington Grove residents a community awareness CPR/AED/Choking class on Saturday April 22nd at McCathran Hall at 1PM. This 3-hour NON-CERTIFICATE class is offered to us by the Gaithersburg – Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Department Fireman’s Fund. The cost is $10/person. Scholarships are available if needed. Please register with payment (no cash) or scholarship request through the Town office. The class is limited to the first 10 people to register. If there’s more interest, we will schedule a repeat session, so let us know if you are interested but can’t attend this time, and we will establish a waiting list. This is a community outreach function of GWGVFD and coordinates with our purchase and installation of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the Town Hall and our purpose of preparing our Town for emergencies.

If you need or want AHA (American Heart Association) certification, there is a 4- hour monthly class available offered through GWGVFD.org/cprtraining.cfm the third Saturday of each month (except August and December) for $75/person in Old Towne Gaithersburg. Alternatively, you can consider participating in CERT spring training program for free (see below).

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) of Montgomery County spring training is going to be offered from April 19th to May 20th. 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. Contact [email protected] to find out how to register for the course. Details of the course can be found here: https://montgomerycert.org/training/cert-training/, but their website is not always up to date.

Be Prepared: Get a Kit – Make a Plan – Be Informed!

Washington Grove Church News…

Please join us for our special Holy Week Services! Our Palm Sunday Service is April 9th at 11:00 AM; our Good Friday Service is April 14th at 7:00 PM; our traditional Easter Sunrise Service is at 6:15 AM on Sunday April 16th, in the field off Ridge Road (across from #106), followed by breakfast at the Church; and our Easter Sunday Service is April 16th at 11:00 AM.
Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880. Rev. EunJoung Joo (301-947-0532).
Most Sundays, during the 11:00 AM Church service, we also have Sunday School classes for children from nursery age to 5th grade. If you are interested, please contact Mary Lou English (301-840-1834 or [email protected]).

General Information

Recyclable Yard Waste Pick Up Returns
Recyclable yard waste pick up by Potomac Disposal resumed on March 1, 2017. Our trash contractor will pick up recyclable yard waste from your properly marked containers, large brown bags and bundled brush.

Bulk Trash Pickup Scheduled for a WEDNESDAY this time

Mark your calendars! The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for WEDNESDAY, May 17, 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 items.

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