TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, June 12, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the May meeting included:
- approval of Ordinance 2017-01Adopting Town Budget and Tax Rate for FY 2018
- adoption of Charter Resolution 2017-02 Amending the Clerk-Treasurer as Two (2) Separate Offices or the Merging of the Offices into One (1) Appointment
- approval of Mayor’s appointments to the Board of Election Supervisors, Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals
- election of John McClelland as Mayor Pro-Tempore
Town Election Results
80 ballots were cast
Mayor: Joli A. McCathran 58 votes
Write-ins for Mayor:
Georgette Cole 2 votes
Muddy Haskett 1 vote
John Compton 2 votes
Sean Kelly 1 vote
Ed Roberts 2 votes
John McClelland 1 vote
Charlie Challstrom 1 vote
David Rapkievian 1 vote
Christine Dibble 1 vote
John Tomlin 1 vote
John Compton 67 votes
Audrey Maskery 65 votes
Write-ins for Council:
Missy Yachup 2 votes
Tom Land 1 vote
Emily Brown 1 vote
Toni Morrison 1 vote
Charlie Challstrom 1 vote
Peter Nagrod 1 vote
Town Meeting Adopts FY 2018 Budget and Tax Rate
The property tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will decrease to $0.255/$100 assessed valuation. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, will rise to
$117 per dwelling. Hard copies of the adopted budget detail are available at the Town Office. You
may also review the budget on the Town website at washingtongrovemd.org. Please contact Treasurer Mary Challstrom at [email protected] (301-926-4498) or Mayor Joli McCathran at [email protected] (301-869-5358) if you have questions.
Summary of Ordinance 2017-01
This ordinance adopts the Town budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, and levies an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland. The ordinance will be effective June 21, 2017.
New County Property Tax Credit for Older Individuals and Military Retirees
If you are over 65 years of age and have either:
- Lived in the same dwelling you currently own for at least the preceding 40 years, or
- Are a retired member of the United States armed forces;
you may be eligible for a 20% tax credit on your County property taxes only.
For information about eligibility and application details go to:
From the Mayor…
Joint Work Session on Proposed Dog Park
The Town is holding a joint work session with the Town Council, Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission and the Woods Committee. This work session is scheduled on June 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. This work session is to discuss the Dog Park proposal. No votes will be taken. As with the Annual Joint Work Session with the TC, PC, HPC, this meeting is open to the public but is not intended for public comment.
Thanks To The Board!
Thanks to the Board of Supervisors of Elections Meredith Horan, Chair, and Nick Suzich for another successful Town Election. Their work is very much appreciated. And a special thanks to David Hix, who again acted as the election observer for the Town. It is with regret I accepted the resignation of Kristen Perry who has served on the Board of Election for many years. I thank her for many years of dedicated service. Joe Clark has agreed to fill this position.
During the Town elections, it was discovered several of our resident’s names and addresses were missing from the Montgomery County voting list. We have been in touch with the Montgomery County Board of the Supervisors of Elections and the error has been fixed. All is well!
Invasive Plant Removal Update
The initial phase of treatment for non-native invasive plants in the East Woods is now complete. The East Woods will be assessed by Invasive Plant Control, Inc. (IPC) and Town officials including members of the Woods Committee within the next two months. Based on this assessment, follow-up treatment may occur sometime in July. If treatment is necessary, please remember that you will always be able to see where the non-native invasives work is being done as the IPC workers follow the State of Maryland regulations for posting signs in the area in which they are working.
Delegates to Attend Council Meeting
The District-39 State Delegation is invited to the next meeting of the Town Council on June 12, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Invited are Senator Nancy King, Delegate Charles Barkley, Delegate Kirill Reznik, and Delegate Shane Robinson. This meeting is open to the public. All are welcome to attend.
Congratulations to all the graduating seniors in Town. Best of luck to each of you!
Hope to see many at the Fourth of July Parade. This fun event is one of the best around. Invite friends and family to attend.
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wed, June 7, 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 June 7, 2017:
- 125 Grove Ave. Addition
Historic Preservation News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, June 20, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
FROM THE TOWN ARCHIVES
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 Three)
In our last two articles, we used concepts borrowed from the world of historic preservation to discuss whether Washington Grove’s woods could be considered historic. Once again we return to the world of historic preservation and borrow the term “streetscape, ” which refers to “ . . . the character of a street, or how elements of the street form a cohesive environment.” If we take this as our starting point it becomes apparent that the character of Washington Grove’s streetscape is historic and its elements worth preserving.
Our streetscape, comprised of alternating streets and pedestrian walkways, with the Circle anchoring its center, is a remarkably intact reminder of Washington Grove’s camp meeting period. For the uninitiated, it is also remarkably confusing (readers may want to consult the map located in the Town’s directory). Its so-called “avenues” are grass or gravel covered and reserved for pedestrians only, while vehicles are directed to streets that are its so-called “roads.” Adding to the confusion, most of the avenues and roads share a name; for example Grove Avenue (walkway only) and Grove Road (drivable), Chestnut Avenue (walkway only) and Chestnut Road (drivable).
The streetscape’s most unusual component, a radial-centric street layout lying at its core, is based around a central open space (the Circle), with avenues radiating outwards like the spokes of a wheel. With the exception of Washington, D.C. and Detroit, Michigan, the radial-centric street design was employed exclusively at camp meeting grounds, most notably at Wesleyan Grove, a National Register of Historic Places designated Historic Landmark located on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. According to Ellen Weiss’s 1998 book devoted to the history of Wesleyan Grove, City in the Woods: The Life and Design of an American Camp Meeting Ground on Martha’s Vineyard, there are only eight surviving examples of Post-Civil War camp meeting grounds with radial-centric street layouts. Washington Grove is among them. We know from historic newspapers and Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association records housed in our archives that this original core of our streetscape was in place by 1875. During the initial camp meeting seasons, its central open space (the Circle) would have been the site of open air preaching and conversions, holding perhaps a speaker’s platform and benches. By 1877, a tabernacle had been constructed within this space, able to accommodate 500 worshippers.
Grove Avenue, originally a path or rough roadway, connected the train depot to the Circle. Disembarking from the train and entering the well-shaded grounds, camp meeting participants were also entering a world that was distinct from the hot and crowded everyday world in which most of them normally lived and worked. As described by Ellen Weiss, in Wesleyan Grove’s Historic Landmark nomination, camp meeting grounds were worlds “ . . . with a different spiritual intent.” Progressing down Grove Avenue they would soon catch sight of the Tabernacle, set in the distance within its circle of consecrated ground. This sense of otherworldliness would be somewhat compromised as Washington Grove’s seasonal canvas tents gave way to more solid and permanent cottages. We know from the Board of Trustees’ meeting minutes that the Association was moving forward with what were described as “improvements.” By 1886, Grove Avenue had been platted and cottages constructed along its sides. Nonetheless, the trustees sought to set aside Grove Avenue for other than utilitarian purposes. In an 1889 Association Grounds Committee Report, plans were presented for removing large trees, including “one large oak,” that were apparently growing in the middle of the avenue, described as “ . . . a 20 ft. wide corridor. ” In their plans for the avenue’s future, the committee members envisioned “ . . . a public promenade only . . . a proper and ample walk through the center. . . ” By 1890, three other avenues had been opened, South (now Brown Street), Chestnut, and Maple. Within a few years arrangements were being made for “the perfecting” of various other “roadways,” an effort that was finally completed in 1896. Association records describe how this work was accomplished at what had become known as “Grove Avenue walk.” Initially the avenue was “ . . . well rounded with clay so as to shed water from the center.” After this new clay surface was “rolled,” it was then topped with two to three inches of “fine stone” purchased by the Association and delivered to Washington Grove by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Having compacted the layers with a “heavy roller” (most likely steam powered) the job was considered done.
During the years immediately before and after the turn of the century additional avenues were laid out and “perfected.” The details of this history suggest that the avenues lying between the train depot and the Circle, together with the avenues centered around the Circle, were the portion of the streetscape created to serve a primarily “spiritual intent.” Washington Grove’s alleyways can be seen to be the portion of the streetscape created with more secular purposes in mind. In Association records dating from 1897 to 1912 there are indications that Washington Grove was moving towards banishing certain activities (i.e. bicycle riding, carriages, and rubbish collection) from the avenues and restricting them to the narrower and less well maintained alleyways. We believe that the present-day streetscape’s design of alternating streets (former alleyways, now called “roads”) and pedestrian walkways (our “avenues”) is rooted in these early distinctions.
Sources from Washington Grove Archives (including library books and reference materials): Edwards, Philip K., Washington Grove, 1873-1937 (1988); Grounds Committee Reports, 8/9/1889, 5/28/1890, 5/30/1895, 9/1912; Montgomery County Maryland Planning Department Historic Preservation Office, “Design Guidelines for Historic Sites and Districts;” “President’s [M.D. Peck] Report to The Stockholders of Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association,” 5/30/1896; Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, 7/31/1893, 3/9/1896, 7/5/1900.
Other Sources: Baltimore Sun, “Washington Grove Camp,” 8/9/1875, pg. 4, NewsBank; Weiss, Ellen, City in the Woods: The Life and Design of an American Camp Meeting Ground on Martha’s Vineyard (1998), Wesleyan Grove National Historic Landmark Nomination (2005), https://npgallery.nps.gov.
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wed., July 12, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Don’t Forget to Register for SITP
Go to the Town website for more information.
https://washingtongrovemd.org/summer-in-the-parks/ This year the program runs from July 5th through the 28th.
Tune Up, Tune In, and Turn It Up!
Music Weekend is June 16, 17, 18, 2017!
Music Weekend, one of the Rec’ing Crews most popular events, is on the horizon — or at least, in the Gazebo — kicking off:
Friday, June 16 with an open jam/singalong starting at 7:30 p.m. All instruments welcome, but remember, this is Washington Grove; enthusiasm is its own instrument! For more information, contact Meredith Horan at 301/926-1054.
Saturday morning 10:00 AM, the junior Grovers take the musical spotlight in McCathran Hall. The main contacts are Emily Cavey and Samantha Beres.
Saturday night 7:00 – 10:00 PM, kick it out with the Rock & Roll Relics, who look back to the “last millennium” of musical hits including Motown, surf, Parrot Head, R&B and more. BYOB and flaunt the vintage concert T-shirts.
Sunday Brunch, 10:30 AM: On the heels of that great a cappella concert by the New Blue, featuring our own Sita Strother, another Grove alum, Eli Stopak, is bringing his band, the ‘Round Maryland Quartet, to energize Sunday’s pot-luck brunch. Anyone interested in helping out please contact Carol Samour and David Harmon at 301/972-1417.
For all of these events, check into the Town’s amazing new SignUpGenius site at https://m.signupgenius.com/#1/showSignUp/409054aaca72b0-the town, and see all the great stuff on tap, including the July 4th costume judging, parade and flag salute, and potluck picnic at Maple Lake. Enthusiasm is an instrument, but it’s also an essential factor in keeping our town vibrant.
Forestry & Beautification News…
Forestry and Beautification celebrated Arbor Day on May 27 with a cleaning project in Morgan Park at the Town entrance. Three new hellebores were installed next to the Town entrance sign and extensive pruning was done by our volunteers in the wooded area of Morgan Park between Grove Road and Chestnut Road.
The spring tree planting season saw the installation of a large American Beech tree in Woodward Park next to Grove Road. This went in by tree spade – an impressive process documented in photographs by Betsy Klinger on the Town Facebook page. If you haven’t yet viewed this site, do check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/53357803032/. Betsy’s post was on May 10. In addition, two pink dogwoods and two chokecherry bushes were installed by Stadler Nursery at various locations in Morgan Park and Woodward Park.
The Forestry and Beautification Committee is now on summer hiatus. Our next meeting will be on the second Wednesday of August (8/9/17) in the Council Room as we make plans for fall tree planting. Please join us then!
Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, June 5, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The July meeting is scheduled for the 3rd, same time, same place. Meetings are open to the public. Please join us!
Thank you to all the volunteers, young and old, who helped with our West Woods Clean-up. We also pulled our share of invasive garlic mustard. Our Woods Committee goal is to restore and sustain a healthy forest ecosystem by: removing and controlling non-native invasive plants, preventing and controlling over browsing of understory by white-tailed deer, and supporting reforestation by replanting with native trees and shrubs. Currently there is a project in progress in the East Woods by Invasive Plant Control (IPC) to control non-native invasive plants. They are using mechanical means, such as cutting, wherever possible, and spraying or painting where necessary. On certain days specific trails will be closed for the day so that they can complete their work. Please observe the signs and select another trail that day. We apologize for this temporary inconvenience as you hike or walk your dog in the East Woods. The Woods Committee will also participate in the joint meeting on Monday, June 19, concerning the proposed Dog Park. Please see the Mayor’s notes in this Bulletin.
Woman’s Club News…
Annual Progressive Porch Party
Saturday, June 24th
The evening will begin at 5:00 PM with appetizers on the porch of Mary Lou & Craig English (301 Maple Ave.). About 6:00 PM we will move to the main course on the porch of Joan Mahaffey & Jean McCathran (109 Maple Ave.). At 7:00 PM we will finish up the evening on the porch of Sylvia & Tom Appleby (112 Chestnut Avenue). This a favorite Town event, and all Grove residents and friends are cordially invited.
New Town Directories
The 2017 to 2019 Washington Grove Directory will be available for purchase soon! Once again, the price will be $3 each or two for $5.
It’s That Time Again…
The Woman’s Club dues are a bargain, at $15 per year. If you are interested in joining the Club, please contact Cynthia Werts at 301-926-1668 or [email protected].
As you travel around this summer, please collect those little bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, etc. to contribute to our fall Outreach program, where we wil be filling bags with needed toiletry items for the residents of the Gude Men’s Shelter. These donations can be dropped off any time in the cans on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Avenue.
Maple Lake News…
Next Meeting: Thursday, June 15, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Open For Business
Maple Lake opened for weekend use Saturday, May 28th. Full time use will begin when school lets out on June 16, 2017.
Swim Lessons in July – Sign Up on the Web:
Swim Lessons will be offered in July (same days as S.I.T.P.) from July 5th through the 28th from 12:30 to 6:00. Please sign up by June 24th at: https://goo.gl/forms/HwLK3L1ntf6NmQQX2
Maple Lake Party Permits:
Make sure your party is official! Complete the online registration form and inquire at the Town Hall for an alcohol permit. Questions? Contact Emily Brown [email protected]
Combo changed on April 30th. Contact Hutch or the Town Office for the new number.
Bee Visitors at Maple Lake!
Now and for the next two weeks or so, you can see “cellophane bees” (genus Colletes) at the sand beach at Maple Lake. There are many burrows that look like anthills. During this short period, bees are emerging from the burrows, mating, and digging new burrows. Long before July, they will be gone.
These bees are almost the size of a honeybee, but mostly black, and, unlike the social honeybees, Colletes are solitary. Each female digs her own burrow to lay her eggs and then leaves.
Cellophane bees are valuable native pollinators, including species that pollinate tulip trees (the dominant tree in the West Woods), hollies, apple, maple, redbud, willow, viburnum, blueberries and more. Some elementary schools design projects to attract, and observe these beneficial insects.
They look intimidating, but those bees zooming around near the ground are males, and they don’t have stingers. They are hoping to be the first to catch a new female as she emerges from a burrow. One that digs, or enters a burrow and stays there a while, is a female. We’ve tested and we know that they can at least manage a very mild sting.
So, yes, if you grab a female, or step on one in just the right way, she might sting. But Colletes are never aggressive and have no interest in defending the burrows. Children are more likely to be stung stepping on the honeybees that collect water from the wet part of the sand.
For the next couple of weeks or so, if your kids come to the lake, suggest that they watch the bee activity and then try to give the bees a little space. Water shoes or sandals are recommended for those who worry about stings.
Many thanks to Betsy Klinger for this helpful information!!
Emergency Preparedness Committee
Next Meeting: Thursday, June 22, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend.
Are you interested in CPR?
If you are interested in participating in a non-certificate CPR/AED training offered by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue service, please contact the town office. We are gauging overall interest. We are planning to schedule a session on a Sunday afternoon (1:00 – 4:00 pm) in the near future. There will be a nominal fee on the order of $10.
Get Trained in Emergency Response!
Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Team is offering a summer training session in July/August. This is a comprehensive course that covers CPR/AED, mass casualty response, triage, emergency first aid, radio communications, building damage assessment, and more. It is free to County residents. If you are interested, register for the class from www.montgomerycert.org. Space is limited so you should hurry!
Washington Grove Church News…
Singers Wanted…do you love to sing? The choir at Washington Grove UMC is looking for men and women to sing at the 11 AM service on Sundays. Long-term commitment unnecessary, just a love of music and song. For more info call Craig English at 301-840-1897.
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]).
Washington Grove Cares
Washington Grove Cares connects Town residents who need help with neighbors who volunteer to help.
Fifty-nine people have joined so far. The types of help already provided include shopping for groceries, preparing meals, and driving to medical appointments. Other examples include assistance with child care and help in moving heavy equipment. Perhaps you’ve signed up but haven’t yet looked at our website, washingtongrovecares.org, on the LotsaHelpingHands platform. Here’s a quick preview. After logging in, you will see a calendar. Click on dates in green squares to see who needs help with what. You can choose to sign yourself up as the helper for that task. Dates in blue squares indicate that a Grover has been able to meet the need of a neighbor. In the horizontal menu near the top of the screen, you’ll see a link to Make an Assistance Request. Questions? Call 240-813-3316 to speak to Emily Brown or Mimi Bolotin.
Muskrat Band Members Find Your Instruments!
The Muskrat Band will, once again, march in the 4th of July festivities. All are welcome to join in the fun. Please contact Kathy Lehman, 301-926-1253 or [email protected] for additional details.
It is illegal to turn right from McCauley Street on to Washington Grove Lane when leaving Town. It is also illegal to turn left from Washington Grove Lane on to McCauley Street to enter the Grove.
ENJOY THE SCENE!
Joli A. McCathran: 301-869-5358
John Compton: 240-432-5700
Historic Preservation Commission,
Shady Grove Crossing Liaison, WG Conservation Park,
Pat Klein: 301-977-8985
Emergency Preparedness Committee, Maple Lake
Audrey Maskery: 301-977-0582
Forestry and Beautification, Maintenance, Memorials
John McClelland: 301-963-3328
McCathran Hall, Planning Commission,
Greg Silber: 301-926-1854
Contracts, Woods Committee
Shelley Winkler: 301-330-6446
Recreation, Roads & Walkways, Website