Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park
This meadow is a site of great importance for the town of Washington Grove. It is one of the many sites where the town’s Historic Preservation Commission fought to maintain the border of the town against developers in the early 2000s. The existence of this park is part of a long line of conservation work that the citizens of Washington Grove have been a part of since the beginning in 1873. As you walk through the park, read through the context of this site and read the links attached.
Backstory and Context
This meadow was once a farm owned by Eugene B. Casey and was part of the agricultural border that surrounded Washington Grove in the nineteenth century. It is unknown when the land sold for development however in 2001, the land did not meet the Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan for a Natural Resource designation and was proposed for development. The town hired a land use attorney and sought to work with two planners in order to protect the land from being developed. The Washington Grove Historic Preservation Group also looked to create a preservation advisory board in order to help retain Washington Grove’s architectural elements as well. The product of all of this work is what you see today, the Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park. This plan was approved as a Heritage Resource on February 7, 2002.
This victory is one in a long line of nature conservation in Washington Grove. Work to protect land in Washington Grove dates back to the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (WGCMA) and one particular stockholder, Amelia M. Green. Green was the only female initial stockholder and had been active in a variety of progressive reforms including lobbying for more responsive civic government and nature conservation as early as 1905. Green brought in expert arborists to Washington Grove and started the Arbor Day celebrations as well. She was active in the Civics Committee of the Washington Grove Women’s Guild and sought to improve the drainage issues that had plagued the camp since the start in 1873. Amelia Green laid the groundwork for what would later be years of nature conservation in Washington Grove. Her Progressive Era motivations led to the Conservation Meadow Park being saved.
For more information on the Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park, conservation work, and Progressive Era nature conservation, please look through the links below! Images will be added after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and I can resume research.
Washington Grove Conservation Meadow Park, Accessed April 1, 2020, https://washingtongrovemd.org/residents/wg-outdoors/wg-conservation-meadow/
Conversation notes from a meeting with Bob Booher of the Washington Grove Historic Preservation Commission on January 25, 2020.
Washington Grove Town Council Meetings, April 16, 2001, https://washingtongrovemd.org/town-government/posted-minutes/town-council-meeting-minutes/town-council-meeting-minutes-april-2001/