301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, November 9, 2020; 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at;
Or Dial-in to 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385

Actions at the October Meeting Include:

  • Approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Jeff McCrean as the alternate on the Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Providing initial authorization for the Sustainability Work Group to pursue discussions with Montgomery County about solar panels in the field beyond the Washington Grove Conservation Meadow.
  • Introduction of Ord. 2020-11; ZTA Modifying Front Setback Requirements for Accessory Buildings.
  • Setting the date for the public hearing for Ord. 2020-11
  • Amending August minutes of the Town Council for clarity.

Mayor’s Kudos

To the HPC upon successful culmination of the Town’s application for expansion of our National Historic Register boundaries and all the dedicated volunteers and professionals who helped with this long, formidable process.

Yard Signs, Political and Other

In this political season it is not unusual to see signs of support for candidates in many yards. Residents are reminded that such signs should only be displayed on private property per Article VII, Section 6.3 (a). “Signs are permitted in each zone subject to the conditions set forth in Section 6.3. All signs must be located on private property.”

Where do I vote?

McCathran Hall WILL NOT be our in-person polling place for the 2020 Presidential General Election. If you plan to vote in person, you must go to Gaithersburg High School.

Please go to the Maryland State website for more info;

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, November 4, 2020; 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 may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

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.

Building Permits Up for Approval in November: None

Public Ways & Property Permits: None

2020 Comprehensive Plan Work Session

Please note that the 2020 Master Plan is now the 2020 Comprehensive Plan which is the nomenclature recommended by the Maryland Department of Planning. The 2020 Comprehensive Plan draft versions are available on the Comprehensive Plan page of the Town website. The Agenda will be posted on the Town web site home page.

Work Session Notice: Wednesday November 18 at 7:30 pm.

As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Master Plan Work Session will be conducted online, rather than in person.

Work Session Access:
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 17, 2020; 7:30 p.m. 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
One tap mobile
+13017158592,3440199688# US (Germantown)

Camp Meetings – Choosing the location and arranging the physical plan…

We appreciate the research of Robinson & Associates in preparation of the Updated and Expanded Washington Grove Historic District Nomination; it forms the basis of this month’s overview of the choice of camp meeting locations and their physical arrangements.

While many revivals were located within topographically indistinct clearings or ordinary groves, the landscape became, in effect, a holy ground due to its function as a setting for worship. Some of the earliest camp meetings had a forest setting, where man, devoid of material possessions, could be one with God and nature in a “sacred grove.” Trees provided shade, privacy, fuel, and building material. At night, these forest settings, lit by firelight, were both mysterious and awe-inspiring, creating a sense of otherworldliness. Isolation was an important factor in selecting a camp meeting site because it offered an environment free from disruptions, a place apart from worldly temptations. Wesleyan Grove, founded on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in 1836, was located in a grove of oaks close to Nantucket Sound on a gentle northwest-facing slope that faced away from the water “in an introspective fashion.”

By midcentury, other factors in selecting a camp meeting site held greater weight than isolation. Selection criteria grew to include a bountiful supply of good water, adequate pasturage, a tree canopy for shade and shelter from the wind, easy access from principal thoroughfares, and a level topography, among other considerations.

The physical arrangements of the earliest camp meetings were not planned. In his book, A Short History of the Methodists in the United States of America, published in 1810, historian Jesse Lee describes a campground arranged in the shape of an “oblong square.” At the center of the camp in a clearing was the assembly area with a preacher’s stand (pulpit) or sometimes two – one at either end of the assembly space. In its simplest form, the preacher’s stand was a raised, wooden platform, although covered variants were common. Benches within the assembly area, if present, were often hand-hewn and backless, arranged in rows, sometimes with a central aisle. Canvas tents or wood “board tents” were set up around the clearing in various configurations.

Three plans were widely used for early nineteenth-century frontier revivals – rectangular, circular, and open horseshoe. The spatial configuration of most campgrounds was the work of anonymous builders and planners. As historian Ellen Weiss has documented, the radial concentric plan at Wesleyan Grove is of particular interest because this plan type was little used in the United States. Its derivative, the wheel plan, however, was featured at a number of campsites across the United States by the 1870s. Campsites arranged in a wheel plan featured a central gathering space and radiating paths or streets arranged like spokes around a hub.

During the initial period of Washington Grove’s development, the spiritual and cultural focus of the Methodist camp was the preacher’s stand and its surrounding assembly area, which were located on a high point within the landscape. A sketch map of Washington Grove created in 1873, the year of the first camp meeting, reveals that the assembly area was originally a square clearing in the woods, and the canvas tents that provided the earliest form of shelter were arranged around it in a grid. This arrangement was soon replaced with a wheel plan, featuring radial paths that met at a circular assembly area, which came to be known as the “Sacred Circle,” or simply the Circle.

Racial Equity Committee News…

The Washington Grove Racial Equity Committee will be holding our next meeting on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm over Zoom. All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed, November 11, 2020; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. We will be discussing fall/spring tree planting. All are welcome!

Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

Home Tree Planting
Wishing to improve your yard with more trees? Fall is a great time to plant a tree. Put “How to plant a container tree Maryland DNR” in your search engine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CqW5wwYj9U) for an excellent short video from the Division of Natural Resources.

Trees in the Grove

Persimmon, Elm, Yellowwood

On October 9, the Town had 11 shade trees installed by Stadler Nursery. As we have tried to do in recent years, all were trees native to the U.S. Among the oaks, maples, and American beech, there are three are new species for us: American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), a disease resistant elm (Ulmus americana ‘Valley Forge’), and a yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea).

American Persimmon – The common persimmon requires both a pollinator and female plant to bear fruit. You can tell male trees from female trees because male flowers are smaller and appear in small clusters, while the larger female flower appears alone. However, you won’t know this until May. Even then, it takes several years for trees to bear fruit and production varies from year to year. The fruit is quite astringent when green, but upon ripening becomes butterscotch sweet and may be eaten off the tree. Persimmon trees grow 35 to 60 feet tall. As the tree ages, the dark gray bark becomes broken into rectangular blocks. A large specimen with such bark is found between Pine Ave and Pine Road in Morgan Park (Photo #1). Our two new trees are at the SW corner of Brown and Maple Avenue and near the playground between the basketball court and Woodward Park parking lot (Photo #2).

American Elm – Although once the favored street and lawn tree through much of the U.S., American elm populations have been so diminished by Dutch elm disease that this tree stopped being considered a viable selection for landscape uses. In recent decades, several disease resistant cultivars have been developed, of which ‘Valley Forge’ is the most resistant. The US Department of Agriculture developed it in the 1990s at its Beltsville research facility. Valley Forge typically grows 60 to 70 feet tall with slightly less spread. Ours is centered on the edge of Woodward Park next to Grove Road (Photo #3).

Yellowwood – Yellowwood is native to the southeast, but uncommon. It grows 30 to 50 feet high and wide. Leaves are compound with 5-11 egg shaped leaflets. In May-June, white flowers cascade in aromatic panicles, putting on a show unsurpassed by any other large tree. The flowers attract many pollinators. Fall color is an elegant yellow. Smooth silver-gray bark carries the allure into winter. Yellowwood is an excellent park or memorial tree, as it now serves in memory of Susan (Susie) Cox on the west side of Wade Park (Photo #4).

Woods Committee News…

The November Woods Committee (WC) meeting will be held by remote access via Zoom meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020 at 7:30 PM. Our meetings are routinely held on the first Monday of each month. Our next online meeting will be held on Monday, December 7th.

To join the WC meeting, please use Meeting ID: 865 2028 7974
By phone: 301 715 8592 / Password: 578334

The WC continues working to improve trail identification and maintenance. To that end, wood chips have been added to more trail sections and the unnamed East Woods trail connecting the Challstrom and Cherry trails has been named the Dogwood trail. The WC is discussing the importance of installing trail signs with trail names and activities not permitted in the Woods Preserves. We also remind hikers to stay on the authorized trails and keep dogs on leash. Please help us to preserve our forests for the enjoyment of current residents and future generations.

Recently, several of our resident red foxes have been seen in the East Woods and Woodward Park. Keeping dogs on leash and cats indoors protects their safety and prevents uncontrolled interactions with foxes and other native wildlife. Pet-wildlife confrontations may result in bite injuries and unintended consequences for both.

The volunteer Bow Hunter Firefighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) continue a Town-approved managed deer hunt in the East and West Woods. The 2020-21 Maryland archery deer hunting season began, September 11, 2020 and extends until January 30, 2021. BHFFMD are usually in the woods an hour before or after sunrise or sunset, at the beginning or end of the day. There is no reason to close the woods or to restrict residents’ use of the trails in the woods when the BHFFMD is there because they are careful and experienced working in populated areas. The Montgomery County Deer Management Program does not close the County parks when their volunteer archers, including BHFFMD, bow hunt to help reduce the deer population. BHFFMD harvested one (1) buck in the East Woods in October. Metrics to evaluate successful outcomes towards restoring the health of our forest ecosystem will include monitoring native plant re-establishment. We hope you continue to enjoy our East and West Woods forest preserves. Stay healthy and happy!

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 20, 2021. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. Look on the Town website for more details. No meetings will take place in November or December.

Shhhhhh! It’s a SECRET! No kids should read this!
That special time of year, and the annual Grove Holiday Show (virtual, of course), is fast approaching. We are sure that Santa will pay his annual visit during the show but he has to make some special arrangements this year due to social distancing requirements. We certainly would not want Santa or the elves to be exposed to the virus. Therefore, he has delivered his goody bags early this year (to Missy) for distribution. Then they will be magically delivered by parents to the kiddos during the holiday show. You’ll want to have them hidden but handy during the show so when Santa prompts the magical delivery, you’ll be ready.

If you have kid(s) that are within that magical Santa age range, please stop by Missy’s porch the following dates/times to pick up your goody bag(s).

December 5: 1-3 PM
December 6: 1-3 PM
December 12: 1-3 PM

If you are unable to make these delivery dates/times, please contact Missy directly via cell (301-529-2421) and we can arrange a hands-free transfer.

Let’s keep the magic alive for our kids this difficult year by keeping this a SECRET!!


Make sure to tune in on December 12th at 7:30 PM for a livestream of Cottage Fever: A Virtually Real Holiday Show!

It will be like nothing you have ever seen before!

For the livestream, go to www.mmctv.org and click on Watch LIVE in the upper right-hand corner. Viewers can also watch this on TV on Channel 16 on Comcast, Verizon, and RCN.

Film Society News…

The Film Society: “Blindspotting” Discussion on November 22, 2020.

Daveed Diggs, winner of Grammy and Tony awards for his roles in ¨Hamilton,¨ and his long-time friend, Raphael Casal, wrote and superbly co-star in “Blindspotting.” A young Black man in Oakland aims to get quietly through the last few days of his supervised parole, but hanging with his volatile best buddy isn’t likely to help. While lightened with humor, there are also fear and rage, as the film wrestles with themes of police violence, gentrification, and white privilege. Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, 2018, U.S., 96 minutes, rated R for language and violence.

Stream “Blindspotting” for $3.99 on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu and other platforms, then join the discussion on Zoom on Sunday, November 22, 7:30 PM. A link to the discussion will be posted to the Town listserv a few days ahead, or request the link by emailing Freda Temple at [email protected]

WG United Methodist Church News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church
Sunday services continue to be temporarily suspended

As we continue to Stay at Home during the COVID-19 crises, the Church has been enjoying Sunday morning Zoom services. If you would like to join us, please contact Pastor Andrew Peck-McClain at [email protected] to be included.

We are collecting 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, in Washington Grove.

Once we can again go out into the world, please 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). Our mission is To follow Jesus, worship God, and provide loving service to our community and the world.

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.

Washington Grove Cares (WGC) News…

Coordinating Shopping Trips During the COVID 19 Epidemic

Regularly Scheduled Grocery Trip:
A volunteer is shopping at a regular time during the week. Please contact her to make arrangements by the preceding evening.

MONDAY: (notify by Sun. 5 pm) Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MOM’s, or Aldi’s; text or email Caitlin Bethepu at 414-208-8661, [email protected].

Impromptu Grocery/Shopping Trips. If you are going to a particular grocery store/pharmacy and can pick up items for others, consider posting a message to the listserv ([email protected]) hours before or even the night before you head out. Mention which store you plan to visit and list your phone number so neighbors can contact you before emailing requests.

NOTE: If you don’t regularly read the Washington Grove listserv, you can receive announcements of Washington Grove Cares-sponsored events and occasional impromptu shopping trips by emailing [email protected].

Woman’s Club News…

The Washington Grove Woman’s Club

Winterwear for the Kids and Teens…The need for winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves is upon us. Because the need is so great this year, both Washington Grove Elementary School and Gaithersburg High School have reached out to us for help in meeting these needs. Please drop off any outerwear that you can contribute as soon as possible so that we can help ensure that these young people are warm this winter.

Donations for School Supplies are Needed…To be sure that all students have the same supplies, Washington Grove Elementary purchases kits of supplies for the students at home. If you would like to donate towards these kits, make your check to the Woman’s Club and put in the memo field that it is for school supply kits.

Music Needs for Washington Grove Elementary…The School is endeavoring to include music even in this time of Covid, and they are asking for any help we could give. Needed are music books for practice at home; violin bows 1/2 and 3/4 size; and portable music stands. L&M Music Workshop carries the books and Lashof Violin has the bows. If you want to make a monetary donation, make your check to the Woman’s Club and put in the memo field that it is for Music Supplies. Then the instrumental music teacher can purchase the instruction books and supplies she needs.

New White Socks for the Men’s Shelter…Every winter, the men in the shelters desperately need new white socks. Homeless people consistently say that they can usually find food somewhere, but without socks the winter weather is brutal. We also continue to collect toiletries for the Shelter.

Working with Interfaith Works for the Children…As the less fortunate children, like the rest of us, must stay at home, the need for things to brighten their lives is even greater. While they always need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives. Our Club helps provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith Works.

Where to Bring Your Donations…Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill. Even though our Clubhouse is currently closed, we have bins on the porch to collect for our Community Outreach Programs, or you can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road. You bring them and we will sort where they go! Checks are always appreciated too, just put in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project and mail to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Joining the Woman’s Club is easy…The Woman’s Club dues are a modest $15 per year and can be paid at any event, or by sending a check to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, to PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

What Your Dues Help Make Possible…Your dues make it possible for us to support Town programs such as The Summer In the Parks, the Acorn Library and the Holiday Show. They also let us host our annual Town events like the January White Elephant Sale, the February Chili Supper, Project Linus, the Spring Egg Hunt, the May Flower Show, the June Progressive Porch Party, the September Pot Luck Supper and guest speakers. Plus, all year-round we collect for our Community Outreach programs.

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

REMOTE ACCESS ONLY by using Zoom videoconference at

By Phone: 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 849 3879 9765; Passcode: 530736

We are actively seeking new committee members! One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help our community cope and get through these challenging times. 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 or feel free to contact Dave Lutter at [email protected] with your suggestions.

Lighting Committee News…

The next TWG Lighting Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:30p.m.

General Information

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

Mark your calendars! The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for NOVEMBER 7, 2020.

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.

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. Also this year, from Grove Avenue between Center and Brown (details below). This service begins October 31, 2020 and ends January 4, 2021, 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.
No Leaf Collection this Year on Grove Avenue between Brown and Center Streets.

Unfortunately, the WSSC sewer replacement project on Grove Avenue will continue well into this year’s leaf collection season. Consequently, residents of the Avenue between Center and Brown should place leaf rows for pickup only on Grove Road or Chestnut Road, and not on the Avenue where there will be no leaf pickup.

While the project is in progress, equipment and the disturbed walkway surface will make access for the leaf collection trucks (our contractor Green Earth) problematic. Even after the project is completed, the disturbed walkway surface will be soft, seeded for new grass and overlaid with straw for protection. New gravel will be needed, which will be placed by Town maintenance to insure the best outcome.

For adequate restoration of Grove Avenue, the walkway should be disturbed as little as possible into next Spring.

New Community Listserv

Washington Grove is moving to a new community listserv. Yahoo will be ending its support for group listservs on December 15, so Shelley Winkler and Christine Dibble, who manage the WG Yahoo Group, will move the group to a Google Groups listserv to replace it. This is not a Town-sanctioned or official listserv, but simply a town neighborhood chat group. Google Groups can accommodate hundreds of members and is free. You do not need to have a Google/Gmail account in order to send or receive emails using this group.

During the next few weeks, we will make everyone who is currently a member of the Yahoo Group, a member of the new Google Group. Once we have made you a member, you will receive an email from “WG Neighborhood Listserv (Google Group)” welcoming you. If you wish to opt out, there is a link in the welcoming email to do so.

The new address to email the group will be [email protected]. However, once you have been added to the group, do not use that address quite yet. We will keep using the Yahoo Group until early December, and once everyone is on board, will shut down that group and start using the new one.

Please email Shelley and/or Christine (a) if you are not currently a member of the Yahoo Group, but wish to join the new Google Group, or (b) if you have any questions about this process. Our emails are in the Town Directory. Please do not contact the Town office, as this is not a Town communication tool.

Thank you for your patience and working with us through this change! Topic:

Border Committee Meeting

Time: Nov 12, 2020 07:30 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 959 1646 4025
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November Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

November 2 »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 4 »  Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 5 »  Swing Time Big Band Rehearsal 6:30 pm Outside Town Hall
November 7 »  BULK TRASH COLLECTION 7:00 am Town Wide
November 9 »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 11 »  Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 11 »  Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 15 »  Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm ZOOM
November 17 »  Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 18 »  Comprehensive Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
November 19 »  Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOO
December 7 »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM

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