EBCA Committees

BORDERS

The Borders Committee deals with issues that effect the outer edge of East Bethesda (i.e. the areas of East Bethesda directly adjacent to the Bethesda Central Business District or "CBD").  East Bethesda is bordered by Wisconsin Avenue, East-West Highway, Jones Bridge Road, and Columbia Country Club, and this committee was formed to address the frequent issues the East Bethesda community has concerning the areas surrounding the neighborhood. The Borders Committee often works in concert with other EBCA committees to accomplish its goals.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact  committee chairman Jack Hayes at  
[email protected]

CAPITAL CRESCENT TRAIL COMMITTEE

This committee was formed in April 2002 to provide a focal point for EBCA activities geared towards preserving the Capital Crescent Trail as an urban linear park for hikers, bikers and runners. The trail runs close to the southern border of the East Bethesda community and is a significant neighborhood amenity. The future of the Trail as a peaceful and serene escape from the surrounding urban environment is threatened by a proposal to place an above ground train along (at least) the portion Trail that runs from Silver Spring to Bethesda. This is being referred to as the ?Purple Line,? a potential light-rail extension of the MetroRail system.

EBCA has consistently and strongly opposed this project and will continue to do so through the efforts of the Capital Crescent Trail Committee. The Committee also works with the Environment and Beautification Committee to preserve and beautify the portion of the Trail that runs through the East Bethesda community.

For information on volunteering for this committee, please email Andy O'Hare, the committee chairman.

COMMUNICATIONS

Our mission is to get the word out. In addition to giving due notice of   each general membership meeting, the newsletter provides residents of East   Bethesda monthly updates about EBCA activities and social events, area   happenings, residents' transitions, and the issues and ideas that impact life in our community. The Web site delivers all of this and more. Accessing the site brings residents to a storehouse of information. Ongoing upgrades will make East Bethesda's cyberspace still more interactive. The Communication Committee's further responsibilities include maintaining the bulletin board (soon to be joined by an additional two boards) and delivering the newsletter in concert with the membership committee.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact  newsletter editor Jay Briar at [email protected].

ENVIRONMENT & BEAUTIFICATION

The role of the Environment and Beautification Committee is to maintain and enhance the natural beauty of our neighborhood. In reality, there is no formal "Committee;" there are simply a number of individuals who volunteer to become "guardians" of some part of our neighborhood. For example, a small group of people have taken ownership of the weeding, pruning, watering, and planting of the open spaces at each end of the bike paths. Others are mowing, weeding and watering the areas around the bike paths. Still others are watering the newly-planted beds around the Recreation center. One person volunteered to be the point person for information about the trees in East Bethesda.

All of these projects could use more volunteers. In addition, there are several potential projects that we would like to undertake, but need volunteers to help with watering, weeding, and general maintenance. In many instances, the County will plant material for us, but we have to maintain it. Would anyone like to help out with beautification of Chase and Cheltenham Parks, for example? (It would help if you live close by.) The open area by the Trail, at the end of Sleaford, is in need of extensive maintenance. Perhaps you have noticed a small area where you would like to see a tree or shrub. Even if you only have an hour a week, your help will make a huge difference.

Please contact the EBCA Webmaster for more information.

EDUCATION

The Education Committee advances our community's education needs, ensures we have a voice in our children's schools, and informs our community on educational issues. In 1999, we conducted a comprehensive survey of our community on educational concerns and used the data to convince the county to give us a formal transfer policy and to increase their interaction with our community on educational issues. The following year we polled the community to determine if a change in the way our children are assigned to public elementary schools is desired. We are also strengthening our liaison with our schools.

The current Education Committee has existed since January 1988. The Committee?s goals are to:

bulletBe the educational focus for East Bethesda (represent the community?s views)
bulletInform the community on educational issues
bulletMaintain/improve educational opportunities
bulletExplore the best use of the former Lynbrook Elementary

The Committee?s strategy is to:

bulletExplore opportunities to progress toward goals
bulletContinue liaison with BCC cluster schools
bulletComplete analysis of our education survey results, and report our findings to the EBCA membership, so as to define and focus EBCA?s education goals

Contact Monica Hayes for information or to volunteer.

MEMBERSHIP

Ultimately, we would like to attract every resident within the EBCA neighborhood to EBCA membership. Membership entitles individuals to voting rights at our general meetings, where they can express their views and concerns. Membership dues are used to support the other EBCA committee's activities. The goal of the committee is to retain and attract new members, while getting to know our neighbors, their needs, and their desires for creating a better community.

With increased support we would like to developed a "Welcome Wagon" that greets new residents to the neighborhood and provides them with useful information concerning EBCA and downtown Bethesda. Members of this sub-committee would contact realtors in the area, so that we might be notified of incoming residents. Members will also help to prepare and deliver welcome packages in order to make our new neighbors at home. Of course, we will include EBCA Membership applications with our welcome package. Your help on this committee is greatly needed.

EBCA?s Membership Committee is currently responsible for:

bulletDistributing membership information each new year via our newsletter
bulletDeveloping new and additional distribution methods for membership information
bulletMaintaining a list of current EBCA members
bulletMaintaining important demographic information about EBCA members
bulletProviding the membership list to the EBCA president for use at general meetings

 

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

The goal of the Neighborhood Watch committee is to:

bulletDeliver Operation Identification decals to EBCA residents
bulletProvide residents with a Suspicious Activity Hotline number
bulletExplain how suspicious activity might be recognized.

Participants in this committee, called Block Captains, assume the responsibility for distributing materials on their block (or street) or another block of the neighborhood.  They also assist in recruiting new blocks captains for areas of the neighborhood that have yet to be covered.

Block Captains need spend only about 4 hours PER YEAR performing their duties. Participation allows one to meet their neighbors while protecting the neighborhood. This simple yet important task is one of the easiest things you can volunteer to do.  Please join us today and enjoy meeting your neighbors tomorrow. 

PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS

There are three public parks in East Bethesda:

bulletCheltenham Park
bulletChase Avenue Park, and
bulletLynnbrook Recreation Center. 

Each park needs to be monitored to insure they are maintained properly, that security issues are addressed, and that they are not abused. Additional improvements such as play equipment, tables, lighting, bulletin boards, and landscaping are reviewed by the Committee and recommendations are made to the Parks Department. The Committee's goals are to work with EBCA, Montgomery County Public Schools, the Lynnbrook Daycare, and the Parks Department to create parks that are kept beautiful, safe, and useful to our community.

More volunteers are always welcome! The committee is especially in need of a landscape architect to help improve all the parks. If you would like to participate please email Kevin Kraus at [email protected].

SOCIAL

The Social Committee coordinates events designed to bring the community together. The following gives a brief description of the events the committee organizes each year. If you are interested in volunteering on any of these events, please e-mail mailto:[email protected]

Community Yard Sale:  May. EBCA has held an annual community yard sale for several years at Lynnbrook Park.  Each year 30 families participate as vendors to help make this event a success. This event also had a philanthropic component, as residents donated unwanted and unsold items to the American Veterans after the sale ended. If this is something you would like to see start up again, please let your executive committee know!

Fireworks:  July.  Each year the residents of East Bethesda enjoy Columbia Country Club?s annual 4th of July Fireworks display, viewed from Lynnbrook Park. With complimentary popsicles, water and patriotic trinkets for the kids, this event usually draws close to 200 people.  

Labor Day Picnic:  September.  One of the biggest events of the year, the Labor Day picnic has become an annual tradition in the neighborhood.   Activities this past year included a moonbounce, fun crafts for the kids, volleyball, relay races and a clown!  This year the Great Zucchini will perform and we will also get a visit from the Chevy Chase Fire Department. Plan to join us on Monday September 7th!

Halloween Parade:  October.  The Halloween Parade is also one of the biggest events in the neighborhood! Huge numbers of neighborhood residents join together each year for a march in costumes down Chase Avenue to Lynnbrook Park.  In addition to the ever popular Haunted House, residents enjoy crafts, treats and beverages while they play at the park.  Plan to join us on Sunday, October 25th!

Coffees and Happy Hours.    Periodically we have held ?Meet and Greets? on Sunday mornings at Starbucks where residents receive a free coffee drink while they socialize with their neighbors. We have also held happy hours at Saphire CafĂ© and Union Jacks in Downtown Bethesda in the evening for neighbors to come together and enjoy a night out. Look in the newsletter for the next planned social activity.

SECURITY

The activities of the EBCA Security Committee include:

bulletProviding a delegate to the Police Advisory Commission (Bethesda District, Montgomery County Department of Police) in order to:

bulletkeep EBCA appraised of any and all matters relative to law enforcement, including information about crimes in the neighborhood, traffic matters, and any other matters of interest to the community;
bulletcommunicate residents' general and particular law enforcement concerns to the appropriate officials.
bulletCooperating, whenever possible, with the chair of Neighborhood Watch to continue efforts to organize groups throughout the community.
bulletReceiving comments, complaints, and reports from residents in reference to crimes, recurring traffic violations, or other irregularities taking place in the neighborhood, and pursuing solutions, as appropriate, for such reported problems.
bulletPresenting to EBCA and its residents information, through the newsletter and at meetings, concerning crime and prevention, and making efforts, as possible, to ensure or improve personal safety and property protection.