301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, November 11, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the October meeting include:

  • Revised Resolution 2019-13; Providing for Proper Governance of Washington Grove Committees accepted by amendment.
  • Introduction of Ordinance 2019-17; Enacting Article XVIII Small Wireless Telecommunications Facilities and Amending Public Ways and Property Permit and Use Fees.
  • Tabling of Ordinance 2019-14; Sale of Land Adjacent to 8 The Circle, to explore other options.


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.


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 #2019-17 pdf; Enacting Article XVIII Small Wireless Telecommunications Facilities and Amending Public Ways and Property Permit and Use Fees. 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 the website; www.washingtongrovemd.org.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Monday, November 4, 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.

Permits Approved in October:
412 4th Ave. Renovation
500 McCauley Street Shed

Permits for Approval in November:
342 Ridge Rd. Shed
121 Chestnut Ave. Renovation

2019 Master Plan Work Session

The next 2019 Master Plan Work Session will be on November 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. 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 Master Plan page.

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 19, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
All meetings are open to the public.

History of Lighting in Washington Grove

Presented below are a few highlights about the history of lighting in Washington Grove, based on Gail Littlefield’s research as we prepared for the Town’s updated nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Gail’s research relied heavy on Philip K. Edwards’ work, Washington Grove 1873-1937: A History of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (referred to below simply as “Edwards vol1”).

Installation of a system of electric “street” lights was considered a priority by Association leaders in order to further develop Washington Grove following the end of the camp meeting era. Col. Samuel Walker, Washington businessman and Association President from 1909 to 1913, wanted to push a “NEW ERA” of development of Washington Grove, including introducing lighting. (Edwards vol1 222.)

Early “street” lights were primarily on the avenues and at the Circle, and were lit by kerosene, gasoline, and acetylene. An early archival photograph shows a lamp post at the Tabernacle (Edwards vol1 81). None of these fuels was satisfactory, due to either cost, or safety, or dimness. Avenue gas lights were on short wood posts. A lamplighter had to light the lamps each night. (Edwards vol1 222, 227, 249.)

By 1912, Pepco, a conglomerate of several small power companies in the area, had power lines to Rockville to run the trolley. Around 1913, service was extended to Gaithersburg. In 1913 the Association entered into a contract with Pepco for the perpetual right to set and maintain power poles and wires along the streets and roads of Washington Grove, specifically excluding any poles on the walkways except lamp posts for streetlights. Installation of poles and wires started in April, 1914. Power was turned on in July, 1914, to 51 domestic customers, the Hall, and the Auditorium. (Edwards vol1 249 et seq.) In the fall of 1914, 26 iron lamp posts were placed on the walkways and lamps wired in. (Edwards vol1 378 shows an image of the Circle after demolition of the Tabernacle, with an iron lamp post with elegant spiral bracket, to the left). “The lamps had clear glass envelopes and glowed brightly” (Edwards vol1 251.) An unexpected benefit of the Pepco connection was Friday and Saturday movie nights in the Auditorium! (Edwards vol1 253.)

Washington Grove’s street/avenue lights have evolved over time. Today we can count an inventory of nine of our earliest existing street lights, with one example to be found at Acorn Lane and Grove Avenue.

The evolution continues – citizen volunteers of the Town of Washington Grove Lighting Committee have been meeting monthly to evaluate lighting needs and consider future issues as technologies advance.

Note: A reference copy of Edwards’ history of Washington Grove is available in the Town office.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
We will continue current discussion: plans for the fall tree planting, handling of committee governance, and the potential for focusing GPS to map our Town trees.


White Oak (Quercus alba)

With over 600 hundred species of oaks (genus Quercus), nearly 100 of them native to the U.S., it would seem a difficult group of trees to sort out, much less identify individual species. However, only a few dozen species will be encountered in our area, even including common imports from Europe and Asia. Identification is made easier by recognizing that all of our oaks are in one of two large groups, known generally as red oaks or white oaks, which are easily discriminated by their leaf tips: Red oak leaves have hair-like bristle tips and white oak leaves lack bristle tips and tend to be more rounded. Other identifying features for red oaks include 2 years for acorns to mature (one year for white oaks), hairy inner acorn shell (hairless for white oaks), reddish tinged wood (whitish and stronger among white oaks), and usually darker bark. Oaks within these two large groups frequently hybridize, often making firm identification difficult.

The oak was declared the National Tree of the United States in 2004. All oaks have acorns, all have simple, alternate leaves and most are deciduous. Maryland’s most famous tree, the Wye Oak, lived nearly half a millennium and was believed to be the largest white oak (Quercus alba) in the country when it was felled by a thunderstorm in 2002. The white oak is the state tree of Maryland, the inspiration of Gaithersburg’s logo, and appears to be the model for the acorn and a bunch of leaves on the Town website. White oaks are magnets for caterpillars, which are needed to support populations of birds. Thus for many of us, our mental image of an oak is Quercus alba. Here is help in identifying Quercus alba from other types of white oaks: Leaves are twice as long as wide, wider at top than at base, vase shaped, have 5-9 rounded lobes and are dark-green above, pale beneath. At its best, leaf fall color is of red wine. Acorns are ¾-1” long, about 1/3rd enclosed in a light chestnut brown bowl-shaped cap. However, trees may take 20 years old before they start to produce acorns. Bark is ashy gray, scaly, and arranged in vertical blocks.

A recent online article titled, “Why Are So Many Oak Trees Dying This Year?” noted that mature trees in both the red and white oak groups are dying throughout the mid-Atlantic. While not fully understood, much of the blame has been placed on environmental (abiotic) culprits, most prominently last year’s record setting rainfall, which may have drowned tree roots, and the recent drought. In the last few years we have lost numerous majestic white oaks in both Town and in the woods, many well over 100 years old. Once in decline, it is difficult to prevent eventual death. One bit of good news is that populations of gypsy moths, a major predator of oaks, have declined recently. Because white oaks are not commonly sold, it is important to encourage the growth of seedlings, which can be transplanted in early spring during their first couple of years.

Woods Committee News…

Next Meeting: Monday, November 4, 2019 at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. The December meeting will be held on Monday, December 2nd. Meetings are regularly held on the 1st Monday of each month. All are welcome to attend!

The Woods Committee is sponsoring a Fall Work Day in the East Woods on Saturday morning, November 9th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Interested volunteers should meet at the Maintenance Garage at 10:00 AM with rakes, shovels, and work gloves. Please dress for the weather and wear water-proof work boots. We will be clearing and defining trails, providing deer protection for at risk trees, and removing two of the old exclosures presently along the Cherry Avenue Trail extended into the Woods. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our Woods! Also Student Service Hours can be earned. However, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Woods Committee continues our work on the Town’s three-pronged approach to restore and maintain the health of our forest preserve by non-native invasive plant control, deer management, and reforestation. We continue assessing the effectiveness of our non-native invasive plant control program with Invasive Plant Control (IPC).

We are closely monitoring our current deer management program with the Bow Hunter Fire Fighters of Maryland (BHFFMD). To date, they have harvested a total of seven (7) does and one (1) buck in the East and West Woods. As these first two phases of our work start to see results, the Woods Committee will be developing ideas and plans for reforestation to support a future generation of our “Town Within the Forest”.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., January 15, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Open to the public.
Anyone interested in joining should come to the next meeting!


If it’s November, we must be rehearsing for the 2019 Washington Grove Holiday Show! Wouldn’t you like to be part of the fun? We need actors, singers, musicians and backstage help with lighting, costumes, props, artwork, and sets. This year, we especially need someone to videograph the show, recording it for posterity and proud parents and grandparents.

The show is always a group effort, and as the outline develops, the need for actors, musicians and backstage talent evolves. 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 — we welcome adults and children — the more the merrier! It’s always a great way to get to know people.

If you want to join in the fun, please contact either Judy Mroczka ([email protected] or 301-785-3491) or Marilynn Frey ([email protected] or 301-351-4784).

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for this year’s show – Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:30 PM.

Film Society News…

On Sunday, November 17, we welcome everyone to the second movie in our 2019/2020 Film Series: The Children Act. Emma Thompson stars as a family court judge in London. While her marriage crumbles, she becomes entangled in a child-protection case involving a deathly ill teenager whose parents eschew medical treatment for religious reasons. Whose decision prevails? Directed by Richard Eyre, 2017, UK, shown with English subtitles, 106 minutes.

The movie will begin at 7 PM in McCathran Hall, discussion to follow. No tickets required—free to all. Hope to see you there.

Stormwater Management Committee

Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 12th, at 7:30pm in the Town Council Meeting Room.
The Stormwater Management Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We plan to review the Stormwater Section of the updated Master Plan. As a ten-year plan, it includes both action items and a vision and for stormwater management. All are invited.

Please contact Robert Johnson [email protected]
or Virginia Quesada [email protected] for more information.

Woman’s Club News…

Our final meeting of 2019 is Thursday, November 21st, at 7:00 PM in the Clubhouse

This meeting will be the election of next year’s Officers and brainstorming activities for the upcoming year. Our Clubhouse will soon be closed for the winter, but we will still be working on our Community Outreach Programs to help the less fortunate of our neighbors. Remember, whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill.

Halloween Candy
If you still have leftover Halloween candy, the Woman’s Club is again collecting it to be sent to our deployed service people. They are always so grateful for the candy, and for knowing that people back home are thinking of them!

For the Washington Grove Elementary School…

The Teachers Closet
We continue collect school supplies for the Teachers Closet. We hope to keep it filled with things like glue sticks, pencils and sharpeners, paper, hand sanitizers and tissues, and other supplies. Without our help, teachers will all too often end up buying these things out of their own pockets.

Winter Coats, Hats, Scarves and Gloves
We try to keep the Teachers Closet filled with winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves so that no child goes without through the bitter winter months.

Bringing Music to the Students
This fall, the school asked us to help ensure that all children can participate in the Music Programs. We are hoping to donate resin, reeds, instruction books and other necessities for a successful instrumental music program. Checks should be made out to the Woman’s Club and marked for donation to the WGES Music Program.

Working with Interfaith Works
While the less fortunate children of our County need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives, and we help provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith works. Interfaith also collects holiday presents for many families, and we’re trying to help. They’re asking for gifts for children 12 years old and under, and gift cards in any amount for Giant, Safeway and Target.

Thanks to the generosity of our Town, we’ve also been able to respond to their 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 is through cash donations.

White Socks for the Gude Men’s Shelter
As another bitter winter approaches, we continue to collect new white socks for the men at the Gude Shelter. Winter is hard enough for the homeless without going without socks! If you ask most of them, they would tell you that socks are more important than food.

Project Linus
Are you looking for a fun way to help our outreach programs during the long winter months? We support 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).

Where to Bring Your Contributions
You can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road, or you can leave them in the plastic bins on the Clubhouse porch. Checks are always appreciated, just put in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project.

Washington Grove UMC News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church
A Reconciling Congregation
We are officially a Reconciling Congregation! We celebrate the gift of love and affirm all loving relations and marriages. Join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-869-3753).

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday November 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room.
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.

We are planning at least one community presentation for this winter, and we welcome your input on potential topics. For example, topics could include neighborhood watch/ crime prevention, first aid training, and cybersecurity for your home.

Please communicate your interests and email any suggested presentation topics to Dave Lutter at [email protected].

Lighting Committee News…

The Lighting Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of every month.
Because our regular dates fall on holidays in November and December there will be no organized meeting until January 22, 2020. Prior to January, we will be doing a few work sessions. There will be the on-going work to complete our inventory of streetlights. Additionally, we will be working with light meters to measure the current light levels that our streetlights are now generating. All are invited to be part of this committee!

If anyone would like to join our fall work sessions or has any lighting concerns or ideas, please contact Virginia Quesada 301-706-7933 or [email protected]

Washington Grove Cares…

Remember that Washington Grove Cares can marshal a little help when you need it. You can call 240-813-3316 or complete a request form at washingtongrovecares.org. Or post your request on your own behalf or a neighbor’s to the Yahoo listserv; please include “WGCares” in the subject line of your email.

General Information

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

Mark your calendars! 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.

Walkway Use Reminder

For those who don’t know or don’t remember… Parking and/or driving your car on a walkway is prohibited unless you are loading or unloading the vehicle. Thank you for helping us keep our walkways in good shape.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for bulk leaf removal each autumn. The contractor, Green Earth, Inc., will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six (6) feet of any roadway or walkway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street.

This service begins October 31, 2019 and ends January 3, 2020, or as soon thereafter as we agree the work is complete. This is the only time to have leaves removed without bagging for recycling.

The contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming. One or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually have most of us raking at the same time. If you rake when most others are raking, the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly.
Please place your windrows within six (6) feet of the road or walkway (keeping in mind car & pedestrian traffic).

Green Earth will collect leaves by working from one end of the Town to the other, typically starting with Ridge Road working their way across the community, first removing piles along roads for safety reasons. After making one pass along roads, they will focus on walkways. If roads become obstructed before walkways are completed, roads will be cleared until they are safe. Then collection will resume along walkways. Weather may affect this process. Rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues and accumulated snow or freezing rain may make piles too heavy to vacuum.

The contractor will not remove leaf piles that contain branches, brush, pruned limbs, and cut ornamental grasses. Please do not add these to leaf piles. They foul the vacuum and Green Earth will not collect piles containing this material.

If a particular leaf pile has lingered for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathy Lehman at the Town Office, 301-926-2256, or by e-mail [email protected].

Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees

Election Help Needed

As you know, McCathran Hall is a Polling Place Facility for the Primary and General Elections. We need a volunteer who would like to get involved helping with security (opening and closing the building on Election Day) and being the Town point person for questions, etc. Charlie Challstrom has done this for many years and is willing to do it again, but would like someone to partner with him this year and take over on the next Election Day.

Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256, [email protected]) or Charlie Challstrom (301-926-4498; [email protected]) if you are interested.

Census Jobs

The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a national recruitment effort to hire approximately 500,000 temporary workers to help conduct the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau needs people to apply now so they can be considered for part-time census positions next spring. The pay rate for a census taker position in Montgomery County, Maryland, is $21.00 per hour. Census takers will be hired to work in their communities and go door to door to collect responses from those who do not respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail. Candidates must complete an online job application. The application includes assessment questions about your education, work and other experience.

For more information and to apply, please visit: www.census.gov

Tips from the National Wildlife Federation

Did you know that leaving the leaves in your yard or garden not only saves you time and energy but also benefits wildlife? Here are a few good reasons to put down the rake:

  • Provide habitat for wildlife: frogs, turtles and salamanders rely on fallen leaves to provide cover and hibernation places; many moth and butterfly caterpillars overwinter in fallen leaves.
  • Provide food for wildlife: creatures like earthworms and millipedes reside in and decompose leaf litter, and also are themselves a source of food for bigger wildlife like birds and toads.
  • Increase fertility of your soil: as the leaves decompose, nutrients are added to your soil, and also allows for greater water retention.


Many thanks to Lawren and Richard Lankford, Eric Selby, the musicians, Master Griller Ted Yachup, the many who helped set-up and clean-up, Rec. Committee Co-chair Emily Cavey and, last but not least, Co-chair Missy Yachup for making BluestoberFest a huge success!

Speaking of Missy… After MANY years of serving as member and Co-chair of the Recreation Committee, Missy is stepping down. Next time you see her, thank her for those many years of service on the Committee. And thank Grill Master French Fry Maker Ted Yachup as well (They’re a package deal).

AND…. thanks to David Harmon & Carol Samour for their help with the Irish Ceili Dance. A good time was had by all!


November 4  »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
November 6  »  Planning Commission 7:30 pm Council Room
November 9  »  BULK TRASH COLLECTION 7:00 am Town Wide
November 11  »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
November 11  »  Public Hearing Ord. 2019-15 7:30 pm Council Room
November 11  »  Public Hearing Ord. 2019-17 7:45 pm Council Room
November 12  »  Stormwater Management 7:30 pm Council Room
November 13  »  Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm Council Room
November 17  »  Film Society 7:30 pm McCathran Hall
November 19  »  Historic Preservation Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
November 20  »  Master Plan Work Session 7:30 pm Council Room
November 21  »  Emergency Preparedness 7:30 pm Council Room
December 2  »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm Council Room


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