NWCA Board has approved a proposal from Kellie Cox of Strawberry Fields, LLC to provide a master plan landscape design for the county right-of-way space at the intersection of Luzerne Ave. and Glen Ross Rd. where the community tree sits. Neighbors, please use this form to provide your input to the Community Design Committee and landscape designer for the project.
NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING – Friday, March 17, 2023 at noon
In addition to using this form, all North Woodside neighbors are invited to a virtual meeting with Kellie Cox to learn more about the project and ask questions. Please email Cheryl for the Zoom link.
The young members of the North Woodside Roots & Shoots group so much loved creating the neighborhood Thankful Tree in the fall that they wanted to do a similar participatory community art project every season.
It remains to be seen if the group can reach that ambitious goal, but they are now halfway there with the unveiling of the Neighborhood Valentine Tree (aka Community Tree).
Roots & Shoots members invite all neighbors to visit the Community Tree Triangle*, reflect on what they love about the neighborhood, and add a heart to the tree.
Extra hearts and markers for writing are in a plastic box under the tree. If the extra hearts run out, feel free to write on the backside of hearts already hanging on the tree.
The Neighborhood Valentine Tree will be on display through the end of February.
More Fun: Go on a Neighborhood Heart Scavenger Hunt! In addition to the hearts decorating the Neighborhood Valentine Tree, 30+ hearts have been placed throughout the neighborhood. There is at least one along every street in the neighborhood, including along most, but not all, blocks. How many can you spot?
The NWCA Community Design Committee formed in early 2021. Our original discussions focused on the location of a memorial bench, but our goal was and remains to take a broader look at the use of neighborhood green spaces. We are interested in placemaking within the shared publicly owned pieces of land that are part of the fabric of North Woodside.
There are areas within our neighborhood that are imbued with memory as places for community interactions. One of these is the triangle at the intersection of Luzerne Ave. and Glen Ross Rd. where the community tree sits. It has served for decades as the place where neighbors come together to celebrate winter holidays. In the summer of 2020 it was where our youth called neighbors to action. And popular food trucks popped up alongside it in 2021. Alas, those moments, when the community injects the space with energy, are brief and few. The minimally maintained triangle is forgettable at best, and not many neighbors are drawn there during other times of the year. This place could be so much more than it is! At the urging of an adjacent neighbor, the Community Design Committee has begun to address this opportunity.
The land that we are referring to as the Community Tree Triangle is owned by Montgomery County and maintained by the Department of Transportation (MCDOT). Community Design Committee members have already been in communication with our assigned project contact (our county arborist) and a MCDOT traffic engineer. These officials appear very willing to approve NWCA’s efforts to improve the site. We’ve learned that permits will not be required, but county review of a design and coordination of its implementation are. We will maintain regular communications with the various county entities to ensure that improvements can move forward.
With the approval of the NWCA Board, members of the Community Design Committee solicited proposals for a master plan from three local women-owned landscape design firms. We met with each firm at the triangle and shared the following guidelines for the design:
Replace the grass with plantings of native species sourced from environmentally conscious growers and suppliers to attract pollinators and provide food and cover for birds. Consider the educational opportunity these types of plantings could offer the community.
Maintain and possibly enhance the use of the area for the annual neighborhood holiday tree and menorah lighting events.
Consider features like stepstone pathways to invite the community to engage in the space.
Consider sight lines for traffic safety throughout the year.
Long-term maintenance should be minimal.
After careful review and input from the committee, the NWCA Board voted to approve the proposal from Strawberry Fields Design, LLC, to provide master plan landscape design services. Strawberry Fields was selected for its experience working with Montgomery County and on community projects of similar scope and scale and previous work in our neighborhood. Owner Kellie Cox is communicative, engaging, and knowledgeable. The board agreed to move forward with this investment in the design for a piece of land within our neighborhood because of the potential impacts on the community as a whole: visual, environmental, safety, and use.
Neighbors will be invited to engage in the design at key points in the process:
Prior to the landscape design work beginning, neighbors will be able to provide input via an online form and participate in a neighborhood meeting to chat with the designer, ask questions, and offer their ideas.
Once Strawberry Fields has developed a preliminary design plan, the Community Design Committee would share it with neighbors for further input at a meeting and/or via the neighborhood listserv and website.
It would also be shared with our county contacts for their review and input.
Strawberry Fields would take all the above input into consideration before finalizing a master plan.
The timeline for all of this will be sent out via the listserv in the coming months. We look forward to hearing what our neighbors would like to see happen with our shared space in the heart of our community!
The landscape master plan is a first step in making the Community Tree Triangle a more special place for our North Woodside community. Implementing that plan will require funding to turn drawings into plants and stepstones and flowers. At almost 2,200 square feet, this is a large area. The cost to achieve our goal is not yet known, but we can anticipate that it could be substantial. Rest assured that the Community Design Committee is already exploring ways to meet the challenge, such as grant opportunities, work parties, fundraising initiatives, and phasing the work to implement as funds become available.
Donations are always appreciated as an investment in our shared community design efforts. Interested neighbors may go to visit the NWCA donation page and follow instructions for contribution to the Neighborhood Beautification and Memorial Fund.
To all who celebrate the various holidays of the season…Happy Hanukkah!…Happy Solstice!…Merry Christmas!…Happy Kwanzaa!…Happy New Year!
Here are a few photos of last weekend’s community Menorah Lighting, which was followed by the community Tree Lighting and a visit from Santa. Photos by Genevieve McDowell Owen, Phyllida Paterson, and Rebecca Doran
Many thanks to all the neighbors who contributed their time, talents and resources to the event. It takes a village!
And for those who missed, a new song sung at the event:
Woodside Wassail (words by David Kitzmiller)
Wassail, wassail, all over the town! Our punch, it is red, and our cookies, they are brown. The goodies are spread by the old Christmas tree, From the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee!
Here’s to North Woodside Civic so good, Which strives to keep order in this neighborhood. From 16th to Linden, all’s well we will say; So we’re gathered together to brighten this day!
Wassail, wassail all over Woodside! Remember your neighbors in this wintertide. At Luzerne and Glen Ross, we’ll now light our tree, From the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee!
Light and love to all. And stay warm–the northern winds sure are a blowin’ out there!
The NWCA Traffic Committee and six neighbors met with Oscar Yen, an engineer in the Traffic Engineering Studies Section of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), on April 13 to review pedestrian safety and traffic-calming measures at key neighborhood intersections.
Read on for highlights from his summary evaluation and recommendations, which include conducting a speed study on Luzerne near Louis and preparing a work order to add crosswalks with proper striping and/or stop-bar markings at the intersections listed below. (MCDOT will also perform another traffic study for all-way stop controls and other traffic-calming mitigations once Woodlin Elementary School and the Talbot Ave. bridge reopen and heavier traffic resumes.)
Louis and Luzerne Examine the feasibility of a curb bump out on Louis at the stop sign and trim foliage blocking the stop sign and the east leg approach of Luzerne.
Louis-Glen Ross-3rd-Warren Build a bump out at the southeast corner of the intersection of 3rd Ave. and Glen Ross Rd. to convert this intersection to an all-way stop control and address the no-stop condition for Warren St.
Luzerne-Louis-Lanier Create a bump out to reconfigure the intersection to a 90-degree T-shape, and possibly relocate the stop sign to increase its visibility.
Hanover and 3rd Readjust the crooked stop signs and research a more visible location for the sign on Hanover near the fire hydrant.
Grace Church and 3rd Add stop-bar street markings to help draw attention to existing stop signs, especially when foliage obscures them.
Talbot Ave. Bridge MCDOT will conduct a traffic study once the bridge reopens and evaluate for additional traffic-calming measures.
On February 16, 2022, many neighbors tuned into an online training by Kirsten L. Crase, PhD, University of Maryland, on how to research the history of their homes. The training inspired a search of historic newspaper digital archives for articles related to the neighborhood. Among many fascinating finds, neighbors uncovered a plethora of original advertisements for North Woodside homes. Can you find these homes today?
Source: Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Dates/Pages (left to right): September 15, 1928, Page 23; August 21, 1936, Page 16; September 6, 1930, Page B2; April 25, 1931, Page B2.
Many of the old North Woodside advertisements, such as the large one above, tout the “exclusive” nature of the community and “the protection of its sensible restrictions,” not-so-subtle allusions to racially restrictive deed covenants.
For more information on researching the history of your home:
Casey Trees was in the neighborhood last month, planting our latest batch of street trees in cooperation with the county, courtesy of a Chesapeake Bay Foundation grant.
You’ll see new trees on 2nd, 3rd, Elkhart, Luzerne, Lanier, Louis, Glen Ross, Glenridge, Hanover, Rookwood, and Stratton. Some less-common species we are getting this year include a black willow on Hanover St and a bald cypress on Glen Ross near the 5-way intersection.
The Tree Committee is starting to collect names for the next round of plantings to go in this fall or next spring. If you want a new street tree or trees and think you have the space, contact the Tree Committee.
Special thanks to Casey Trees and county arborist Jack Pond. Jack inspects, chooses species, and coordinates with Casey Trees. Casey Trees applied for the grant and does the planting.
May not be Brookside Gardens, but the North Woodside Garden of Lights was beautiful last night. And no tickets needed. Here is a gallery of a few illuminated-snow favorites. Photos by Lilian Pintea. Light artistry–enhanced by Mother Nature–by various neighbors on various streets.
Join us for holiday cheer, caroling, hot apple cider, and a visit with Santa at our annual North Woodside Community Tree Lighting (corner of Glen Ross Rd. and Luzerne Ave.) on Sunday, December 12th at 4:45 pm.
In the spirit of giving, we will have a bin available for donations of non-perishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. If you prefer to make a cash donation to the food bank, please click here.
We will also be collecting cash donations to support the Community Tree Lighting.