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The Sligo Headwaters Civic Association

Old happenings & hot issues

Arcola Elementary School Community meeting on Monday, July 16, 2012

MCPS -Arcola Elementary School Community meeting

from Kathy Michels
  • Monday, July 16, 2012 at 7:00 P.M. in the All Purpose Room of Arcola Elementary School.
  • All MCPS stakeholder offices will be present to hear concerns regarding overcrowding and the installation of relocatable classrooms and permanent additions .

Although the most immediate issue is the stealth installation of portables in FRONT of Arcola elementary school, that is just the tip of the iceberg on the issue of ES overcrowding and the complete lack of consideration and communication between MCPS and the community. In this case the school's famiiies and school's neighbors were kept totally in the dark until the plans for portables IN ADDITION to a permanent addition were discovered by an alert neighbor purely by accident. At that point previously healthy young planted trees (oaks) had already been badly and unnecessarily damaged by underground power line installation with other trees to be removed entirely.

Elementary school overcrowdiing is a community wide problem which affects all parts of the community and all families, whether they have children or not, (in this case through the whole Wheaton area).

Overcrowded elementary schools overtax staff and school resources and can harm both children's education, and, when portables are put in place, their safety and health as well. Portables are notorious for poor indoor air quality and even outgassing toxics like formaldehyde; and also for developing mold and mildew. Portables are dangerous places to be in storms and necessitate children being escorted to and from the trailers to the main building for bathroom, music gym recess lunch etc. . Overcrowding in general and portables in particular depress home values since local schools are one key focus of home buyers. Planners and MCPS have no excuse for not seeing this coming. THe increasing and increasingly dense residential development in the Wheaton area has drawn in (and will continue to as development proceeds) families with children. This is in spite of the convenient fiction from developers and Planners all through the Wheaton development process that there would be no additional pressure on the school and other child associated infrastructure because only childless people would move in.

In an urgent meeting the SligoHeadwaters CA and School community met this last week to strategize on having a voice in what is being done immediately at Arcola ES and should be done about school overcrowding and new temporary and permanent construction in general. One of the neighbors received this e-mail from Arcola Elementary Principal Eric Wilson on Thursday after letters, phone calls and impromptu meetings with Principal, Council, BOE, MCPS from the community demanding input and answers.

"Mr. Wilson and officers of the planning and construction divisions of Montgomery County Public Schools would like to meet with us on Monday, July 16, at 7 p.m. in the all-purpose room of the school. The topic of discussion will be the planned expansion of Arcola Elementary School by installing portable classrooms in front of the school, across from residences on Franwall Avenue." See below for the email from Principal Wilson (who is as concerned as anyone about the impact of overcrowding on his students and staff).
Wheaton Library update (4 March 2012)
from via Kathleen Michels


URGENT UPDATE FROM Please attend this all important work session!

Councilmember Navarro and want to make sure you are aware of the Capital Improvement Budget, (CIP), work session regarding the Wheaton Library and Recreation Center. It is scheduled for this Monday, March 5th at 1:30p.m. on the 7th Floor of the County Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD. We now understand that the County Council staff will publicly recommended totally removing all construction funding from the CIP at this meeting. Originally,those funds had been slated for FY18. The design funding will remain as first proposed for FY15 and FY16.

What this means is that they are keeping funding in the budget for creating a design for the library building but they are taking out any funding for the actual construction of the new building. The problem with this is that if they don't put money in the future budget now it will be much harder to do so later on after the designs are completed. If construction funds are removed now, the library/rec center will fall behind other projects as they in move forward in priority. Wheaton Library funding was removed once before in 2009, after being in the CIP for over four years. This was when Leggett wanted it to move downtown as an anchor for the Wheaton business district. Now that "our foot" is in the door, we can't allow the library/rec center to fall out of the budget again. If you have any questions about this email us.

Councilmember Navarro believes that the design funding must be moved forward to FY13 and FY14 and construction money must remain in the six-year CIP in order for the project to move forward. It's important to be visible at this meeting. If you can't make the meeting, write an email. Your help is needed right now. Tell the county council that library patrons want the project to move forward quickly, without delay!

The grass roots organization of worked to mobilize the community's voice in favor of keeping the Wheaton Library and Rec Center in the current location. Now it's time to make sure the project proceeds in a timely manner and not be languish for years without construction funds.

Things you can do:

  1. 1. Attend March 5th meeting. Agenda package is online: dex.asp
  2. Write an email or letter to all council members letting them know that speeding up the Wheaton Library & Community Rec Center funding is important to you and to protect and add more construction funds. For county council contact info: sp
  3. Volunteer at
  4. Putout a new lawn sign. (We have made new ones for this issue).
  5. Check for history and updates.
Sligo cleanup
from Ed Murtagh
  • Mark your calendars for Sunday April 10.
  • Our Community Spring Clean will be from 1 to 3.
  • We will again meet at the park by the Magruder's Grocery Store.
This is the ninth year of our clean ups. Though the park is cleaner now and I know some of the neighbors are picking up litter on their walks (thanks!), we need to get to the root of the problem.

I would, therefore, like to sort out all the plastic bags we collect and send that information the the County Council.  Every year we collect a huge pile of plastic bags.  In fact plastic bags are one of the biggest litter problems in our community and in the County. Not only does a trashy community impact our home values, but it has serious environmental impacts. I would like to use the data on plastic bags to help promote the bag bills. These bills use the successful D.C. bag fee program as a model. In D.C. there has been a big drop in the amount of plastic bags used and plastic bags picked up during trash cleanups in D.C. That is because the fee goes to the source of much of the problem. The fees collected will be be used to create a dedicated fund to reduce litter (curently a lot of taxpayer money ineffectively pays for this).

I am hopeful that one day we will not have to organize these clean ups. For more information on the Bag Bill in Montgomery County.

Park cleanup 26 September
We will be having our park clean up.
Save Sunday September 26th from 1 to 3 pm on your calendars.
We will meet again at the Park near Magruder Grocery Store at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center. We will be trying to clean the Park from Channing to University Blvd.

Last spring we collected about 2,000 pounds of trash.  We will be working in the woods, so wear appropriate clothing and footware. After the big storm, there is quite a bit of trash in the creek and park.  Also, thank you all who have been helping day to day keeping the park trail clean by picking up the litter.  Our community really benefits from a trash-free park.

This year's clean up will again this year be part of the larger Friends of Sligo Creek Sweep the Creek and the "National Public Lands Day", the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. In 2009, 150,000 volunteers worked together on this day throughout the country on behalf of our natural resources. Read more about National Public Lands Day.

If you want to help but can not help on the 26th, there will be many clean ups on Sligo Creek Park on Saturday 25th in the morning. See for more info on other clean up locations.

At-Large County Council Political Forum
Posted by Michels, Kathleen

en espanol

Join us for the Montgomery County 2010 At-Large County Council Political Forum

Public Safety Education The Environment Housing Healthcare Transportation Taxes Code Enforcement Wheaton Redevelopment
  • When: Tuesday, September 7, 2010
  • Where: Brookside Gardens Visitor Center (Off Randolph Rd.)
    1800 Glenallen Avenue
    Wheaton, MD 20902
  • Time: 7pm - 9 pm

Get to know your Candidates and be prepared to vote for County Council in the upcoming elections.
Meet and have your questions answered by At Large Candidates (the Primary is Sept 14!!!- that is what really counts).

Jane de Winter
Marc Elrich
Fred Evans
Nancy Floreen
George Leventhal
Raj Narayanan
Hans Riemer
Duchy Trachtenberg
Becky Wagner
  • Moderator: Diane Hibino The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County
  • Co-Sponsors: Aspen Hill Civic Association
    Connecticut Avenue Estates Civic Association
    Citizens League of Montgomery County
    Glenmont Forest Neighbors Civic Association
    Greater Glenmont Civic Association
    Kemp Mill Civic Association
    Wheaton Citizens Coalition
    Wheaton Regional Park Neighborhood Association
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County
    Sligo Headwaters Civic Assn.
For more information: information on elections and here
and for resolutions you will be voting on

Primary Election Day - September 14, 2010 - 7 A.M. to 8 P.M.
General Election Day - November 2, 2010 - 7 A.M. to 8 P.M.

10 Feb to 12 Feb closings (the 2010 blizzards!) ...

Reminders and notes from Carol Hilewick ... 9 Feb 2010 list of tips, hints, and announcements from the county

  • schools are closed for the week
  • MCPS administrative offices are closed on Wednesday February 10, due to emergency weather conditions. It has already been announced that MCPS schools are closed Wednesday, February 10, Thursday, February 11 and Friday, February 12, and all school activities and community activities in school buildings are canceled.

  • I ( am forwarding all plowing needs to Ms. McKenzie who can put them into a computer system. She is asking for specific house addresses, as that is how the system works. You can send more than one address.

  • PLEASE LIBERATE ALL FIRE HYDRANTS. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. The reports are that we will have (on 10 Feb 2010) significant winds and that means lots of drifting from blowing snow.

Other notes ...

  • Please know that calling 240.777.6000 (the Storm Operations Center) can result in a very long wait, perhaps short of two hours. The operators are very nice, but if you have a serious issue, I would rely upon other numbers. Call your neighbors and figure out what to do.
  • Regarding PEPCO outages, what I am hearing from those who are suffering or who have suffered without power is that each household must call. Sometimes, the workers might fix a switch and belief that all of the lines feeding from it are fine. The newscasts have examples of the long waits that can ensure. Don't assume that they know. Yes, the systems are automated. I don't know how to console you regarding that fact. This is how it is. In trying to assist a neighbor whose mother was without light or heat in downtown DC, there was nothing to be done via the website.
  • Dig up your old plug in phones. I called today because I cannot dial out on my home line. I was told that I was scheduled for March 9, 2010 and that if my situation changed I should let them know. Fortunately, calls can come in.
  • Several folks have asked for the name of companies that will shovel roofs. I do not know of anyone. Do you?
  • 9 Feb 2010 trash collection notice

    The collection status update for Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections for today, Tuesday, February 9, 2010, is:

    Trash collection only.
    We will be working on Monday and Tuesday's routes. All trash items must be at the curb for pickup. No recycling collection for the remainder of the week.

    We have canceled all recycling and yard trim pickups.

    We will continue to send you updates as we see how the weather forecast for this afternoon and beyond unfolds. The Shady Grove Transfer Station is planning to be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, with no evening hours. However, if the site conditions worsen we may close the facility sooner.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please contact our Customer Service staff online or call 240-777-6410. If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, these schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

    Wrapping paper fundraiser for Arcola Elementary
    Submitted by Daniel, 09 December 2009

    It is not too late to get your holiday wrapping paper. And in the process help the Arcola Elementary PTA!

    Just goto

    And when you get there...

  • click on the button in the upper right corner
  • choose the option to give credit to a school or group
  • enter the group number and click continue.
    The group number is: 922233
  • then shop shop shop!
  • FOSC survey on deer culling
    Submitted by Ed, 17 November 2009

    How do you feel about the number of deer in your neighborhood and Sligo Creek Park? What do you think should be done about it, if anything?

    Help the Friends of Sligo Creek decide on its position by completing their on-line opinion survey about deer management in the Park. The survey can be accessed directly from the FOSC home page.

      Ask your neighbors to fill it out, and spread the word to members of your local neighborhood association.   Your answers will contribute greatly to deliberations by the FOSC Board of Directors in deciding what steps to take.

    RAINscape your yard.
    from Kathy

    RAINscape your yard.

    Hold Your Water ... SLOW it down, SPREAD it out and SOAK it in! RAINscape your yard.
    Are you having problems with water in your yard? Is your water run-off affecting your neighbors yards? Do you want help to create a beautiful solution?
    Come to :
  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11th
  • Location: 1704 Ladd Street (the Griffiths house - corner of Luttrell Lane)
  • Time: 7:00 pm (presentation at 7:15)
  • Rain Garden Walkthru before dark at 5pm (weekend rain garden tours may also be arranged).
  • WHO: Jenny Reed (Nature by Design) on beautiful alternatives to moving your rainwater to the street (and streams) by:

    Unhooking your downspouts and funneling them to a garden, rain barrels, n ative plantings, trees, rain gardens, pervious paving and vegetated roofs.
    Learn what grants and other help you can get to move ahead.

    Unlearn what you were told about getting rid of your stormwater. Instead, SLOW it down, SPREAD it out and SOAK it in! Learn how we can all create beautiful landscapes and save the Bay, one yard at a time.

    The Stormwater project is supported by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to Friends of Sligo Creek, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Rainscapes program of the Department of Environmental Protection, CASA de Maryland, and the Audubon Naturalist Society.

    Questions: call Ellen at (301) 649-1022
    Or Kathy at 301-922-381

    For more information also go to: Rainscapes and Friends of Sligo Creek

    or... Kathy at 301-922-3816,
    and for rainscaping in general for our area: Ed Murtagh at 202-365-6526

    Civic Association Meeting with Valerie Ervin, Dec 10 7:00-9:15 PM
    The minutes!
    Neighborhood Watch meeting, Sunday May 4 7PM

    When: Sunday, May 4, 2008 7:00 P.M.

    Where: Arcola Elementary School Cafeteria (Corner of Franwell and Channing, above Sligo Creek)

    Purpose: To hear about Neighborhood Watch, and to discuss setting one up in our Upper Sligo neighborhood. Dorée Huneven took most of the training session for this, and will share what she learned.


    April stream cleanup
    Some photos from the cleanup
    Community Meeting, April 10 (Thursday) from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Summary of meeting
    April stream cleanup
    April is the month to take part in volunteer activities to help the environment. There will be many opportunities in our community and nearby communities to participate.

    Saturday, April 5, 9 am - 11 am
    Join neighbors in the 20th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup by helping clean up nearby Northwest Branch Park. Thousands of volunteers throughout the Potomac watershed participate each year. This is a great way to meet other river/creek lovers and is the perfect activity for families. Neighbors of the Northwest Branch will supply bags, gloves, and drinking water. Students can earn service credit hours.

    The meeting place is at Burnt Mill Park (by Trader Joe s near the dam.) You can go directly to the Park at Kemp Mill Rd. (Near the horse stables.) I will be leading an effort to clean up that end of the park and I will have some supplies. Volunteers should dress appropriately.

    April 19 - 20 Garlic Mustard Challenge.
    Garlic Mustard is an exotic invasive that is a serious problem in the County, including our portion of Sligo Creek Park. This year the Montgomery County Parks Department is holding a "Garlic Mustard Challenge" throughout the County. We will participate on the weekend of April 19-20. We will hold two Garlic Mustard Pull events. The plant is easy to pull, but there is a lot of it. This is perfect for the teenage looking for service hours.

    Meet at Channing and Ventura Streets, on the trail near Arcola Elementary School,

  • Saturday April 19, 9:30 - 11:30 am and
  • Sunday April 20, 1 - 3 pm

  • Sunday April 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.
    Our Park Clean Up day. This clean up is part of the larger Anacostia River watershed clean up that is held that weekend. Our annual spring and fall clean up efforts over the past several years have made a big diffrence in our Park. Come out and help your community to keep the Park free of trash and litter.

    Meet at the Magruder s Parking lot at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center. We supply bags, gloves, and drinking water. Students can earn service credit hours; we supply and sign the forms.

    It is best for children to bring their own gloves, for best fit. We also want to encourage more adult volunteers with waders and high rubber boots to participate and get to the settled trash in the Creek bed itself.

    April 2008 Meeting
    Community Meeting, April 10 (Thursday) from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Summary of meeting

    • Location: Arcola Elementary School All Purpose Room
    • 7:00 to 7:30 business meeting including discussing and approving association by laws.
    • 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wheaton Redevelopment. Natalie Cantor (Director of the Mid County Regional Service Center) and Rob Klein (Director of Wheaton Redevelopment.) will do a presentation on Wheaton Redevelopment.

    Erol Miller (teacher at Northwood) and his students have been working with the Urban Planning Dept at Maryland University on studying the Wheaton Redevelopment. Erol will discuss their findings.

    Here is your chance to ask questions and learn about Wheaton Redevelopment. More details will follow later this week.

    Flyers are being prepared for this community meeting. We would appreciate volunteers to help distribute the flyers over the next few days.
    Leah Haygood (301) 593-0012

    Sligo Cleanup, Oct 2007
    The Community Park Clean Up last weekend went very well. We had well over 30 volunteers and got a lot of trash removed. There are still car parts, sinks, etc. in the woods behind the Colt Terrace homes though. It is amazing what we found. I attached a photo of some of our neighborhood youth removing an old steel Coke cooler chest from the woods. It must have been 30 or 40 years old. Though the Park maintenance staff picked up most of the trash bags, the bags along the hiker/biker path have not yet been picked up yet. We are working with the Parks Volunteer Office to get them picked up.

    • Monday January 28
    • WHEN: 7:15-9:00 (socialize 7:15, meeting begins 7:30)
    • WHERE: ARCOLA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Corner of Franwall and Channing on the north side Sligo Creek)
  • Introductions
  • Community News Updates
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Sligo Creek issues
  • Park Clean up
  • Stenciling of Storm Drains
  • Future Speakers? (county officals, informational)
  • Community Projects and involvement
  • Arcola Elementary Tour
  • Civic Association business:
  • Combining of the Civic Associations
  • Non-Profit Status
  • Newsletter
  • For More Information contact:
    Edward Murtagh 202-365-6526, Leah Haygood 301-593-0012 Kathy Michels 301-922-3816
    Terrific Trees of the Sligo Creek Watershed
    Sunday, October 14, 2007, 3pm

    Join Joe Howard, chair of the Montgomery County Forestry Board, to see the known champion trees of the Sligo Creek watershed - the county champion dogwood, southern magnolia, river birch, sassafras, northern red oak and others, including a willow oak with an 18-foot circumference.

    Joe has served for more than 30 years on the Forestry Boardâ part of a statewide structure advocating for "sound forest management practices and forest conservation." He also founded the countywide Big Tree Contest, which culminates in the biennial publication of a Register of Champion Trees.

    Sligo Creek Park had two new trees newly listed in the 2007 Champion Tree Register, both nominated by the Friends of Sligo Creek steward for the Dennis-Windham section: the 12-foot Umbrella Magnolia is listed as new "county champion" for that species.

    Come meet some terrific trees! We will begin at the Sligo golf course parking lot (on Sligo Creek Parkway between Colesville Road and Forest Glen Road). The outing will be a combination of walking and driving, car-pooled as much as possible. Please call Friends of Sligo Creek at 301-681-9686 or email to register for this outing. Non-registered people can just show up, but prior indication of intent will help in planning.

    21 April 2007 Sligo Cleanup
    With all this rain and wind, the Park will be full of trash. Reminder that we are having a community/park clean up on April 21 from 9-11.
    • We will meet at the park by the Kemp Mill Shopping Center and clean the park from Channing to University Blvd.
    • If you can not do it Saturday morning, but want to help, there is a clean up in the Park down near Piney Branch Road on Sunday afternoon.

    Also, On April 28 an ecologist will lead a tour on the Stormwater Ponds by the Kemp Mill Shopping Center. We will be looking for aquatic critters. We had a salamander search last spring that we well done.

    Additional Information on both

    Sweep The Creek

    Saturday April 21st. (rain or shine).

    Note two other alternatives:

    • Section 2's (New Hampshire Ave. to Maple Ave.) cleanup is from 10-noon that day.
    • Section 4's (Piney Branch to Wayne Ave.) cleanup is on Sunday, April 22nd, from 2-4 p.m.
    Our spring cleanup in various sections of Sligo Creek is on Earth Day weekend, so make this your event to help the environment! We are supporting the Potomac River Watershed cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Anacostia Watershed Society's cleanup of the Anacostia River. Bring family and friends out for a productive, fun morning.

    We'll supply gloves, water, bags, and give-aways from our sponsors. We'll have service credit forms for students.

    Look for meeting places and updates posted on the FOSC website. Individuals and families can pick a section and just show up ready to work. Groups, please let Wendi ( know how many to expect and at which section.

    Kemp Mill (University Blvd) stormwater ponds Saturday April 28, noon.

    Join fresh-water ecologist Chris Sargent as we look for water-born critters at one of Sligo's most productive habitats. In this family-friendly outing, we'll use nets, basins, and magnifying glasses to look for everything from tadpoles of Wood Frogs and American Toads to tiny daphnia (or "fairy shrimp"). We'll also seek out mollusks, like fingernail clams and fresh-water snails, as well as semi-aquatic insects such as dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, craneflies, caddisflies, and midges. We should also spot a few early migrant birds.
    Arcolo Elementery
    from Stacey Frank on 20 April 2007
    Naming of Downcounty Consortium Elementary School #28.

    The Board approved Arcola Elementary School as the name of the Downcounty Consortium Elementary School #28. The School Naming Advisory Committee had submitted a report to the Board, dated April 2, 2007, with six recommended names, in order of preference.

    Sept. 30 Sligo Cleanup

    Friends of Sligo Creek's 5th Annual Sweep the Creek

    A good success, though the work is never done!

    From Ed Murtahg, Oct 3
    I would like to thank everyone who participated in our Community Park clean up. We had about 25 volunteers Saturday morning and removed dozens of bags of trash from the park. During the clean up, volunteers found an encampment near the Colt Terrace access path. The Park Police were notified and the teenager who was living there was removed. A suspicious discharge out of a stormwater outfall was also called into the County s Department of Environmental Protection and they came out this week to check it out. So overall it was a productive morning. We made a big dent in all the beer cans, liquor bottles and other trash that is in our Park.

    The clean up in our portion of the park was part of the larger effort to clean up Sligo Creek Park on Saturday. Well over 300 people came out to help and hundreds of bags of trash were removed. There will be a celebration of the Park and the clean up effort on October 8. The Dennis Ave Rec center is near by and everyone is welcome to attend.

    Information below:

    When: Sunday, October 8, 4-6 p.m.
    Where: Dennis Avenue Rec Center
    Celebrate another Sweep the Creek with us!
    Food: Whole Foods; cakelove; Burgers by Clair (veggie too!)
    Door Prizes*: Whole Foods; Wild Bird Center; Park Florist
    For Kids: Jazzy Juggler; Games; Sally the Salamander
    Native Plant Seed Exchange with local experts
    Rain Barrel Demonstration and Stormwater Impacts Information
    Recycling, Yard Waste and Trash Info w/ Montgomery County
    Winners of Sligo Creek Photo Contest on display
    Bring your friends & neighbors!

    *Celebration "admission tickets" issued at Sweep the Creek are good for door prize entry. However, all are welcome to attend and enter door prize contest on arrival.

    Arcola Elementary BOUNDARIES MEETING MARCH 1

    Important Community Wide Meeting regarding the boundary lines for Arcola Elementary School.

    Meeting will be held at Glen Haven E. S. (on Inwood Drive) at 7:30 pm.

    All are encouraged to attend! This is the first of a series of meetings regarding the re-opening of the old Arcola E.S. (new school to be named) It is very important to attend this meeting. The re-opening of Arcola will affect not only students who will eventually attend this school, but also KMES parents.

    PLEASE come and participate in this meeting.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to call Stacy Menendez.

    Green Home Workshop and
    Greening the Built Environment in Response to Climate Change
    • Green Home Workshop
      Saturday February 4, 2006 at Brookside Gardens
      9:30 am to 12:30 pm

      Are you considering building a new home or adding to your present home?
      Discover choices you can make while planning your project to insure that you save the maximum amount of energy and live with the cleanest most comfortable air quality. See how others like you have built new, remodeled or added by going green at home!

      Helen English the Executive Director of the Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC) will speak about green buildings. SBIC created the Green Building Guidelines(c) (GBG) for home builders just getting started to provide "tips" on how to "green" their product. The Guidelines(c) are a valuable tool for educating builders, contractors, remodelers, and home buyers on the basic principles of green home design. As the cornerstone of SBIC's residential program, the document is an indispensable educational source of thorough, unbiased information. For details, call Marion Clark, 301-495-1328.

    • Greening the Built Environment in Response to Climate Change -
      February 9, 2006
      Thursday, 6:30- 8:00 P.M.
      Koshland Science Museum, Corner of 6th & E Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.

      The National Building Museum and the Koshland Science Museum (KSM) present a discussion about green design concepts for homes and communities. Tickets are required ($12 to $17) contact the National Building Museum (

    Managing Water in the Landscape: Why is it important?
    From Ed Murtagh
    For all of you interested in learning what you can do in your community and own backyard to help Sligo Creek, this seminar will be of interest.

    Managing Water in the Landscape: Why is it important? Rain Garden Workshop Rain Barrel Workshop (take home your own rain barrel!)
    Keeping the Lawn Green & Our Water Clean; Plants for Bioretention; Springs & Falls: Using Water Evocatively & Sustainably in Landscape Design

    Water is an essential element for our plants to flourish. Though rainwater is clearly beneficial to nature, sometimes the pollutants it carries with it are destructive. Yet the perfect filter is just underfoot: the soil in our gardens. What are the best methods to capture and use this resource to its greatest potential, while creating beautiful landscapes? Come to Green Matters and find out about stormwater management!

    Course number: 4451

    Fee: $79 For a detailed description and to register online, visit
    Questions? Call 301/962-1470.
    Friday, February 24, 2006
    1800 Glenallan

    Tom Perez Newsletter, Nov 2004 (from Ed Murtagh)
    This is a fowarded newsletter link from Tom Perez's office, our District representative. If you are having problems getting , let me know, I have hard copies of it also.

    The newsletter has interesting updates on tearing down the ugly billboards along Georgia Ave. and efforts to restore ALL the trash barrels back in our park.

    The newsletter also talks briefly about addressing a loophole in the affordable home program (Moderately Priced Dwelling Units - MPDUs). In recent years developers have been allowed to make relatively >small buy-outs in order to avoid building moderate priced housing units. If this is allowed to continue over time, there will be a serious shortage of affordable housing. The newsletter explains a bill that is being introduced to the County Council to eliminate the buy-outs. The entire MPDU issue should be a concern to everyone. There are also attempts being made to change the ! MPDU program to allow developers to avoid the county Master Plans (programs that control growth in our communities.) More information on this issue can be found here.

    The issue is rather dry, which is why residents donĂt pay much attention and why later we are blind sided by inappropriate development, loss of green space/park land, and get more congestion. The developers and others who financially benefit from these zoning changes pay close attention to the process. That is why they get their way so often.

    For example the county (council and executive) is allowing developers to buy out of the MPDU program at very low cost to them, then crying that we don't have the affordable housing we need so we need to "surplus" school sites and use those- of course then we are stuck with a lack of adequate school capacity for the very development they are encouraging and at a time when schools have added hundreds of those horrible portables. Once the school sites are sold off, green space (our parks) may be sacrificed to accommodate new schools in the future.

    Issue for the Maryland General Assembly

    What: Issues for the Maryland General Assembly
    When: Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 - 9:15 p.m.
    Where: Brookside Gardens Visitors' Center Auditorium 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD

    Details: The Maryland Legislature crams all its legislating into just three months--January through early April. So things happen fast.

    Willyou be ready to help?

    If you can't go to Annapolis on Jan. 16, be sure to come to Brookside Gardens on Jan. 25.

    Improving the quality of the air we breathe, keeping at least some land forested instead of paved, improving our stream quality through sustainable farming practices, and giving citizens legal standing over issues that affect us all, are issues important in our lives. Learn what bills will be introduced, how to advocate for them, and how to track their progress through the legislature. Come and bring your friends! No RSVP necessary.

    In July 2003, M-NCPPC announced a carry-in, carry-out policy.
  • Concerned about increased litter, SHCA protested this decision.
  • After several letters and hearings, in March 2004 the County Council vote 5 to 3 today to re-introduce trash barrels into Sligo Creek Park.
    You can read the details (including a July 2004 letter from the Superintendent of Parks)
  • In April 2005, a report on return of the trash barrels in the parks and ball fields was released: County Council Staff Report, M-NCPPC FY06Operating Budget: Waste Management Programs (Trash Barrels in our Parks)
  • Sept 25 Fall Park Cleanup
    On Sunday September 25 from 1 to 3, we will have our community fall park clean up. Last fall we had a nice turnout and got a lot accomplished. This is part of the fourth annual Friends of Sligo Creek SWEEP THE CREEK.

    We will meet and distribute supplies by the Giant Food Store in the Kemp Mill Shopping Center. On the Sweep the Creek, volunteers work together to remove storm-runoff debris and litter from the entire length of the Creek (8 miles!) Meet your neighbors for an afternoon of environmental and civic action that will directly impact our community. Bring the teenagers to work toward their community service requirement. Learn about and see up close how we are impacting the Sligo habitat, wildlife, and watershed.

    It's also National Public Lands Day, and commemorative posters will be available.

    If you can not help on Sunday afternoon, there will be many other clean ups all along Sligo Creek Saturday morning (9-11).

    Contact me for more information on the cleanup. We provide trash bags, gloves, and water. Wear long pants and shirt. Also wear waterproof boots and gloves, if you have them.

    Labor day party at Parkland Pool
    CELEBRATE the end of summer! We would like to invite you to a SUNDAY labor day party at Parkland Pool- there will be activities (volleyball, basketball, ping-pong.... and, of course the glorious blue water), food, swim team fundraiser.

    Parkland is next to Kemp Mill plaza- if you walk or ride up the bike path go through the path behind the synagogue and through the parking lot to the pool pavilion. If you come by car - from the University and Arcola intersection it is the driveway with the Blue Whale sign on the left just before the Kemp Mill plaza intersection at Lamberton (or just after on the right if you come from the Georgia Ave direction on Arcola).

    Please RSVP by email ( or phone (301-922-3816) so we get some idea of how many folks will be coming and just mention our names when you walk in (kathy michels and Jerry Kickenson) even if you can't get a ahold of us.

    You can check out the pool web site at

    Invasive Weed Removal July 8
    This Saturday (Jul 9) there will be a community workday in Sligo Creek Park to remove invasive plants (Mile-A-Minute vines). We could use help on this effort. Wear long sleeves and pants, as the plants have small prickles. Mile-A-Minute grows about as fast as its name and can smother trees and shrubs, which is a major reason we want to remove the plant before it can get established. See below for details.

    Mile-A-Minute Mania ,8:30-Noon on Saturday July 9th, Section 9 (Headwaters of Sligo Creek) at Colt Terrace Local Park. There will be street parking. Go West on University Blvd toward Wheaton; right after Dennis Ave. at light to Arcola; left on Orebaugh; left on Franwall; right on Colt Terrace. Park on street. For more information please contact Lea Bonfiglio at or 301-807-4697.

    For more information on the day of the pull or if you get lost - call kathy at 301-922-3816 or Ed at 202-365-6526. With a little more effort form alot of people we may get this beat and prevent seeds from flowing downstream to the rest of the Park.

    Invasive plant removal
    from Ed Murtagh
    We got a lot of invasive plants pulled last weekend, but quite a bit of Garlic Mustard remains in the park. There will be second removing invasive plants event this Sunday afternoon to get the remaining plants. See details below.

    RIP - Removing Invasive Plants Project Pull Garlic Mustard Event

    This Sunday, June 12th , 8:30 am -10:30 am and 1pm

    In the morning meet at the corner of Channing and Ventura at the end of the bike path. In the afternoon meet at Kemp Mill plaza bike path access. This is our last chance to get he garlic mustard before it spreads its seed!! If you want to work on other invasives that is good too but make sure to check with Ed Murtagh or kathy Michels unless you are a certified county Weed Warrior.


    This event is part of the Friends of Sligo Creek RIP program. We are calling attention to the need for residents to help save native plants in Sligo Creek Park by removing so-called invasive plants. These are vines and other plants new to the area which are crowding out the traditional ones. Please bring your friends! All work is carried out with the approval and support of the Department of Parks, M-NCPPC.

    Take University Blvd West towards Wheaton. Turn right at Arcola. Continue about 1/4 of a mile and the shopping center will be on your left (it contains a Giant food store). Park in the rear left, near the woods.

    In case of steady rain, cancelled. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes. Bring gloves, or we will provide them.

    The more hands, the less work

    Going Green Event
    The County will be holding a Going Green at Home Event at Wheaton Regional Park on Saturday May 21 from 11 to 3. Learn how your home can be more energy efficient, have cleaner indoor air , and make a contribution to the environment (including Sligo Creek). The details.
    Spring 2005 Sligo Creek Cleanup from Ed Murtagh
    From Ed Murtagh....
    I would like to thank everyone who participated in this year's Community Spring Clean up. We had about 25 people out there working on Sunday afternoon. The weather was great. We found lawn mowers, fertilizer spreaders, shovels, posthole diggers, etc., enough lawn equipment to fill a backyard shed. We cleaned out dozens of bags of trash (way over 1,000 pounds removed). We all had a good time.

    We have some pictures.

    Summer Adventures in Learning book donations from Kathleen Michels
    Do You Have Any Books You Can Donate to a Very Worthy Cause?

    If you do, please deliver them to the Northwood High School Media Center because we are helping collect books to benefit our Title 1 elementary school kids.

    The books will be used in a special summer reading program just for them. Last year more than 6000 books were collected and distributed to children attending the Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) program in our Title I elementary schools. This year we are hoping to get the message out that we want new or "gently used" books only. The kids will be given books to keep, so we want them to be something they will be excited about. Please let any and all community members know about this book drive and encourage them to participate.

    Books will be collected from now until March 21.

    Thank you very much for your support!

    -Tim Brennan
    Media Specialist
    Northwood High School

    19 March event on Rachel Carson Greenway from Ed Murtagh
    Our civic association received a notice about planned events along the new Rachel Carson Greenway (the trail goes by Wheaton Regional Park) on Saturday March 19th at 10 a.m (more info).
    The events include kid-friendly nature activities, learning about the Underground Railroad in Montgomery County, or learning about local ecology and botany. The nearest event (a few miles away at the Northwest Branch Park at Burnt Mills Dam off Colesville Rd.) is the nature event that will be led by MNCPPC Park naturalist Steve Findley

    Leaf Collection
    The County sent the following information out the following Leaf Vacuuming Update for neighborhoods with this service):
    Weather permitting, the Division of Highway Maintenance will be working Monday through Saturday (including Veterans Day), 10 hours/day, until the leaves are all collected. Watch for posted Leaf Collection Notices. Rake the leaves to the street or sidewalk edge. Please do not place leaves in the street, where they obstruct drainage systems, pose a fire hazard to vehicles parking over them, and cause a multitude of vehicular accidents every year.
    For more information about the leaf vacuuming including phone numbers to call.

    Also, the County reminds us that "there's a great future in plastics," but it's far removed from yard trim recycling. As you rake leaves for curbside collection, please remember to put them only into paper bags or marked, reusable cans. Thanks for avoiding plastic bags at all costs -- even one little bag begets many, many, many shreds at our Composting Facility. These must be screened out of the beautiful Leafgro produced from our grass and leaves, and hand-plucked from the fences at the Facility.

    Hazardous Waste Collection
    Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services
    Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Update

    Fall 2004 dates have just been announced. Collection events will be held:

    • Saturday, October 23, 2004
      Silver Spring Intermediate School
      313 Wayne Avenue
      Silver Spring MD 20910
      (Dale Dr. & Wayne Ave.)
    • Saturday, November 6, 2004
      Westland Middle School
      5511 Massachusetts Avenue
      Bethesda MD 20816
      (west of Little Falls Parkway)
    These collections operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and are unable to accept material after 2:00 p.m. No appointment is needed. No commercial vehicles or non-residential waste, please.

    For your reference, our HHW information is online

    Oct 2 walk in the park

    Walk in the Park with Gary Hevel Saturday October 2 at 2:00 p.m.

    Bugged because you don't know enough about insects? Come on out Saturday afternoon, October 2nd at 2:00 p.m. Gary F. Hevel, an entomologist with the Smithsonian Institution, will lead a slow walk in the Kemp Mill area, discussing insects and observation techniques. He will also present a small sample of specimens found during his four-year backyard insect collecting experience. Come to the Kemp Mill Shopping center on Arcola. We will meet at the entrance to Sligo Creek Park at the far end of the parking lot.
    To be re-scheduled in case of heavy downpour.

    For more information or directions contact for more information or directions: Laura Mol 301 681 9686 or

    Sligo Creek Fall Clean Up Day
    Sligo Creek Fall Clean Up Day, September 19, 2004
    Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    This is part of the Friends of Sligo Creek's Sweep-the-Creek - where all eight miles of park gets cleaned in one weekend.
    Meet at the park near the Giant Food Store Wear appropriate clothing! Bring water-proof gloves if you have any.
    We will clean the park from University Blvd. to Channing.
    If you have any questions, please contact Ed Murtagh at 301-649-7266 or by e-mail at

    Birds of Sligo

    Tuesday, September 21 at 7:15 p.m. Program Meeting: The Birds of Sligo.

    If you are a birder, aspire to be a birder or just want to know more about birds, you've got to come to this meeting. It promises to be a very interesting session.

    What migratory and year-round birds do we have in Sligo and what can we do to protect and improve their habitat? Two experts on birds will talk and entertain questions.

    • Gail Mackiernan, who is surveying Sligo Creek Park for the Maryland Breeding Bird Atlas Project, will tell us about "The Breeding Birds of Sligo Creek: who, when and where -- an update from the ongoing Maryland Breeding Bird Atlas."
    • Peter P. Marra, Senior Scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, will then describe his research to determine the impact of West Nile Virus on our birds.
    You can find more details/directions at

    Purple line
    Planning Board Invites Public Comment on Purple Line Alignment (Sept. 2004)

    Dedication at American Elm Park

  • When: Saturday, August 7 Celebration 3:00-5:00
  • Where: Corner of Ladd and Luttrell St. , Silver Spring, 20902
  • Come join us in a celebration of American Elm Park, home to four young, disease resistant Valley Forge American Elms and a Raingarden, now blooming with moisture-loving native flowers and sporting native shrubs.

    The American Elm project and the Raingarden are the result of a collaborative effort by Friends of Sligo Creek, two neighborhood civic associations (Upper Sligo CA and Sligo Headwaters CA), the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and the Izaak Walton League's Maryland Wildlife Achievement Chapter.

    We hope the trees will be just the vanguard in the reintroduction of this beloved shade tree to our roadsides and landscapes. The Raingarden adds beauty to the Park while it helps control and absorb stormwater run-off and enhances habitat for birds, butterflies and other creatures. The park is at the corner of Ladd St. and Luttrell Lane, near Sligo Creek's headwaters.

    • We'll have bagels, juices and doughnuts, so come hungry and thirsty.
    • Also a Native plant and animal scavenger hunt with native plants as > prizes
        Directions: Drive upstream on Sligo Creek Parkway to University and turn left. Then almost immediately, at the stoplight, turn right on Inwood. Continue straight as far as possible to Ladd. Left on Ladd a few blocks to Luttrell.

    Walk through Upper Sligo Creek with John Parrish

  • When: Sunday August 15, 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Meet on the path near the Giant parking lot at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center on Arcola Ave.
  • Botanist John Parrish leads a look at the north-most section of Sligo Creek: discover how much there is to appreciate so close to home.

    John recently completed walking through nooks and crannies of the park in search of non-woody plants. Among plants that still exist in Sligo he found wild strawberry, wild ginger, and in the sections below Piney Branch, saprophytic Indian pipes. A few more plants may inevitably appear, but John's list, now on the website, marks the formal close of a magnificent achievement. Already it has been useful by informing whether a questionable plant is actually native to Sligo, and by narrowing down the choices when we identify plants. We are most grateful! The inventory is at
    Have a look at the inventory before the walk.

    Questions or directions: contact Laura Mol at (301) 681-9686.

    Sat. effort to remove the invasive Mile-a-Minute vine

    A Message to Friends of Sligo Creek and Residents in Kemp Mill, from Sally Gagne

    Have you seen the Mile-a-Minute that's growing near the holding pond, back a ways from the hiking path? Next year at this time it will have spread even more, so there is no better time to remove it! Mile-a-minute is a rather new invasive plant that seems to have appeared here in the last two or three years. If we pull this patch out, there would be one less invasive to deal with in the future. No plant requires less effort to pull than Mile-a-minute by the way, it lifts with the slightest tug.

    Kathy Michels, Ed Murtagh, and I hope many of you can give a hand for an hour. You'll be helping the Park and meeting others who care about Sligo.

    Mile-a-Minute Pull

    This Saturday, June 26
    8:30 - 9:30 am
    Meet at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center

    Wear long sleeves and pant legs, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. We'll provide water and have plenty of extra gloves. The event is on except for heavy rain. Bring an interested neighbor or friend!

    Talk about future plans for Sligo in Kemp Mill

    P.S. If you're a Weed Warrior, please pull the small mile-a-minute plants growing here and there in the shaded woods whenever you walk through.

    Sally (Gagne)

    American Elm Park
    Planting and fence building and weeding

    Directions: From University Blvd go north on Inwood (towards Sligo Creek). Inwood is just west of where Sligo Creek Parkway deadends onto University. Inwood will dead-end on Ladd and you can only go left. America Elm park is the third corner on the left (Ladd adn Luttrell) across from 1701 Ladd St. (white fence with lots of plants).
    Contact: Kathy's cell phone: 301-922-3816.

    Public Hearing: Wheaton Metro Parking
    Metro has given SHCA notice that there will be a public hearing that will be held by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in cooperation with the Montgomery County Government on the proposed replacement of 63 Kiss & Ride spaces and related station facilities in two levels of a six-story parking garage to be constructed at the Wheaton Metro Center.

    The hearing is on Thursday June 3, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. at the Crossway Community Center at 3015 Upton Drive Kensington, MD 20895.

    Sligo Creek Water Quality
    Keith Van Ness, Senior Water Quality Specialist for Montgomery County will discuss new water quality information on Tuesday 5/18 7:15 PM

    Taste of Wheaton
    Sunday, May 16
    The "Taste of Wheaton" features "samplings" from some of Wheaton's finest restaurants, including ethnic and American cuisines. It is held the third Sunday in May and "tastes" are only $1.00 each with no admission fee. The day long event also includes free children's rides, music and other entertainmen

    Kemp Mill Giant Closing?
    (March 2004) There is a vague yet ominous rumor that the Kemp Mill Giant may be closing. What should SHCA do about this?

    Sligo Creek Restoration
    This is exciting folks- all the hard work on restoring sligo may be paying off - Sligo Creek used to be home of upwards of 40 species of fish. Then in the late 20th century the stream was degraded to where there were only a few species left until restoration efforts began . Now there are 13 I believe and soon there will be more if these reintroduced fish survive in the 21st century!

    Saturday, May 1 Bringing Back Sligo's Native Fish! Come out to see and help if you can.- kathy (more info at

    April 3 Sligo Cleanup
    From Ed Murtagh

    Despite the cool and wet conditions, several members of the community took part in the Potomac Watershed Clean up by cleaning our portion of the Park/Creek. I estimate that we cleaned out between 500 - 1,000 pounds of trash. Congratulations on a job well done!

    I up loaded to the Yahoo-groups site a picture of two of the workers and some of the trash that was collected. I have never done this before so I hope it works: click here

    Friends of Sligo Creek had five work sites (including ours) all along Sligo Creek Park on April 3rd. They estimate that 120 volunteers removed over 3,000 pounds of trash. On April 3rd students from the University of Maryland also had a clean up effort in portions of the Sligo Creek Park. Two weeks ago SOECA had a clean up in the middle of Sligo Creek Park. They estimate that during the past two weeks, over 6,000 pounds of trash were removed from the Park!

    Latest Report on the entire Potomac Watershed Clean Up Effort from the Alice Ferguson Foundation Web Site:

    With 100 of the 159 clean up sites reporting in so far, there were 2,715 volunteers who removed 121 tons of trash, the weight of 20 school buses, in just three hours.

    More information on the Potomac River Watershed Clean.

    Neighborhood Watch Meeting, March 1
    Our next Neighborhood Watch meeting will be on March 1, at the Washington Christian Academy. This will be a meet and greet, where residents can catch up with Officer Gregory and schedule a Home Security Survey. All members of the SHCA can register on our neighborhood watch log, so that neighbors can get to know who is in their community. The time of this meeting will be from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

    Hike on Feb 28
    Join us at 8:30 AM, Saturday, for a hike in Sligo Park

    All those interested in parks and the environment
    Interested in Sligo Headwaters parks and environment? Then you are interested in the first meeting of the Sligo Headwaters and Upper Sligo Civic Associations Park and Environment Committee on Feb 8.

    Wed Jan 21 Frog Watch Program
    Friends of Sligo creek is conducting a frog watch program at Long Branch Community Center.

    Friends of Sligo Creek general meeting
    For those interested, it will happens on 7:15 Tuesday, Jan 20 at the Long Branch Community Center.

    Jan 17 hike of Northwest Branch
    There will be a hike on the Northwest Branch this Saturday, January 17, starting at 9:00 am at the Burnt Mills parking lot next to the dam on the west side of Colesville Road north of the University/Colesville intersection . It will consist of a 6-7 mile loop up the west side and down the east side of the branch. The leader will be Ron LaCoss of the Sierra Club (301-946-1106;

    A Guided Stream walk of the Grand Canyon of the Northwest Branch and part of the proposed Rachel Carson Trail
    Saturday Nov. 22 , 9:00-12:00.
    More info....

    Tree planting meeting on Nov. 9
    To meet with Montgomery County Forest Conservation Coordinator to go over DEP's tree planting (the details).

    Early morning bird walk,Saturday, Oct. 4, 2003.
    Sponsored by the Friends of Sligo Creek, and open to the public.

    Gail Mackiernan will lead and an Early Morning Bird Walk in the Headwaters of Sligo Creek on Saturday Oct. 4, 2003. Along the way she will tell us about her on-going survey for the Breeding Bird Atlas.

    • Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Kemp Mill parking lot (Lamberton Drive) near Giant.
    • We will be out about 2 hours.
    • Bring binoculars and bird books, good walking shoes, snacks and water.
    • No rain date. We'll walk in drizzle, but not in downpour.

      If you are unsure about the weather, call Gail before 7:30 a.m. to see if the walk is on (301 989 1828).

    • Gail is the Conservation Chair for the Montgomery Co. Bird Club, and wrote the section on Sligo Park for the county birding site guide. She also surveyed this section of the park for the 1980s state Breeding Bird Atlas and is repeating this work for the current, on-going survey.

    The SHCA picnic
    A fine time was had by all at the September 2003 SHCA kickoff picnic.