Feb 13, 2019 – PHCA Meeting at SSIMS Middle School

Please save the date of Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for the next Park Hills Civic Association to be held at Silver Spring International Middle School (SSIMS) in the Library/Media Center beginning at 7:30 pm.  Primary agenda items:

= Gary Skulnik, founder of Neighborhood Sun, will make a presentation about community solar.

= Staff from the Dept. of Transportation’s Vision Zero Montgomery County  will present an overview of Vision Zero, as well as examine ways to improve pedestrian safety on Wayne Avenue along the school and residential corridor.  Link to “What is Vision Zero” from the Vision Zero Network.   Also check out this smartly-illustrated piece from Quartz:

We hope you will join the community dialogue!

Chris Richardson

Park Hills Civic Association

WEB  https://parkhillscivic.com/

FB  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParkHills/

May 3, 2018 PHCA Meeting @ SSIMS Middle School

Park Hills neighbors,

Thank you again to Joe Pospisil, Planning Specialist for the county’s Dept. of Transportation, for taking time last week to inform residents about the permit parking process in light of our proximity to the Purple Line transitway.  You may direct any follow-up questions or concerns to TrafficOps@montgomerycountymd.gov.

I saw a number of my neighbors at last night’s meeting for the Silver Spring CAT Team hosted by the Maryland Transit Administration and the Purple Line Transit Partners – including Alan Bowser, Tina Slater, Mary Clive, Darian Unger, Erin Johannson, and Karen Roper – along with members of the Silver Spring Library Advisory Committee, Julio Cerόn from Councilmember Hucker’s office and Austin Morris from Senator Van Hollen’s office.  The slide show presentation outlined Purple Line-related construction on Wayne Avenue planned for 2018 and beyond.  I will post that file later this week when it is made publicly available.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring your attention to MTA’s slide show presented at last May’s joint PHCA/SOECA meeting in the Civic Center – see the attached PDF file.  This presentation has also been posted on the PHCA website in the Purple Line section (at the top of the page).  I received this file from MTA’s Public Outreach person, Joy Hamilton, who recently left this position after many years of dedicated service – we will certainly miss Joy.

I will send around last night’s PowerPoint file and post it to the website as soon as it is available.


Chris Richardson

Joint PHCA/SOECA Civic Association Mtg. – Tonight!

Park Hills residents,

My apologies for the late notice.

Much has been accomplished on the Park Hills Civic Association front, but last week’s “surprise” phone call from the County Executive’s office (about the newly-designed intersection at Wayne and Dale) tripped me up from getting everything accomplished in time since last October’s PHCA meeting, where new officers were elected.   I had hoped to postpone the joint Park Hills-SOECA meeting until after MCPS’s spring break, but SOECA had already published this date on its hard copy newsletter before I had received word from the County Executive about the new plan.  (Not to worry – Park Hills and SOECA are already in discussion about planning a joint meeting in May where the new Purple Line design for the Wayne corridor will be formally unveiled).

Tonight’s meeting details

Date:  Tuesday, April 4th

Time:  7:30 – 9:00 pm

Place: SSIMS Cafeteria  (Silver Spring International Middle School – 313 Wayne Ave)

  • Approval of Minutes
  • Business update
  • Announcements
  • Purple Line Discussion
  • Committee reports
  • New business

Much is going on behind the scenes.  First of all, you may already be aware that the Park Hills website has been updated from top to bottom.  Just wanted to mention that when you click on the tab What is PHCA and scroll to the bottom, you will see a collection of ‘Park Hills History Moments’ that incorporate vintage documents from the civic association archives.   The latest entry in the series references the “2000 seated” stadium proposal for the former Montgomery Blair High School on Wayne Avenue.  Those of you who are familiar with WordPress might consider posting newsworthy announcements on the “News” side of the PHCA website.

Second, I just got done distributing to every Park Hills residence a two-page PHCA “identity” flyer that includes a color map that highlights all of our community “assets.”  The map makes it clear that if the Park Hills serving area really were supposed to be on the south side of Wayne, then you can see for yourself how comically-undersized Park Hills would be with just a relative few streets and only 200-something homes.  Even with 330-something homes in our actual serving area, we are still one of the smallest Silver Spring civic associations.

Third, members of the Wayne Working Group (including myself) will be meeting with representatives from the County Executive’s office, Dept. of Transportation and MTA/Purple Line Partners to receive information about the newly-designed intersection at the school crossing on Wayne.  This meeting is a long-awaited follow-up from the Wayne Working Group’s meeting with the County Executive in October, 2016.  Again, In a perfect world, Park Hill and SOECA would postpone their joint civic association meeting until after all of us have had time to receive and clarify this information, but alas that was not meant to be.   However, I do have a sense of what the basic design changes will be – happy to share what I know, with the understanding that a formal debriefing is to take place later this week.

More community highlights to be shared this evening – looking forward to seeing everyone tonight.  I will bring some Park Hills “vintage” history from the PHCA archives to share at tonight’s meeting.

Chris Richardson




Park Hills Civic Association Website – New and Improved!

You may have already noticed that the Park Hills Civic Association website has a new look and feel.  Look a little more closely, and you will see that we have also added tons of information for you to use!    There are now tabs at the top of the page for –

(a) What is PHCA:  Park Hills history overview (reaching back to the 1940s)

(b) Meeting Minutes:   PDFs of each Park Hills Civic Association meeting (from 2006 to the present)

(c) Purple Line:  Park Hills-specific documentation going back to 2004 (when the project was called “The Bi-County Transitway”)

(d) News:  Timely announcements about events of interest to the Park Hills community

We hope you find this information useful.  Check back periodically, as additional information is still being added to the website.

Very special thanks to Paul Guinnessy for his invaluable technical assistance!


To keep up with the latest Silver Spring happenings, you may want to subscribe to the Regional Area Director‘s eNewsletter from the link found at


Upcoming events in the Park Hills Neighborhood – Fall 2015


There’s lots going on in our Park Hills neighborhood this Fall!

Please monitor the Park Hills listserv at and our Facebook page for the latest information.

Thursday, September 17. Community Meeting on Changes in the Purple Line Plan for our neighborhood at the Silver Spring Civic Building. 7 pm

Saturday, September 19. Home Tree Care 101 Class in Park Hills.

Sunday, September 27, Sligo Creek Annual Fall Clean Up

Saturday, October 3. Park Hills Picnic

October Date TBD Quarterly Park Hills Civic Association Meeting

November Saturday, November 21 Park Hills in Montgomery County’s Thanksgiving Parade

December Date TBD Quarterly Park Hills Civic Association Meeting

Your Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer

Park Hills Civic Association May 20, 2015 Mtg. Minutes

Minutes taken by Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Acting Secretary

The quarterly meeting of the Park Hills Civic Association was held on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at the Silver Spring International Middle School.

The speakers were Jill Ortman-Fouse, Montgomery County Board of Education, Kathleen Dearstine, Landscape Architect, Montgomery County Department of Parks, and Brian Lewandowski, Montgomery County Department of Parks

Also attending were Dave Asche, Legislative Aide to Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker, and Debbie Spielberg, Legislative Aide to Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich.

There was no regular business meeting.

Dale Drive Neighborhood Park. Kathy Dearstine and Brian Lewandowski of the Montgomery County Parks Department briefed Association members on the status of the Dale Drive Neighborhood Park Playground project.

They noted that while plans for the playground and its equipment had been finalized in light of neighbor’s comments and suggestions, completion of the playground project would be delayed because of storm water management issues on the park site. There was no date for the playground project completion.

Because tremendous amounts of storm water from Hartford Avenue and Dale Drive ran directly through parking lot and the playground site, the Parks Department needed to extensive modifications to the parking lot and the areas surrounding the playground to reduce the velocity of the storm water so it would not damage the playground , nearby fields and Sligo Creek.

There are plans to construct an asphalt berm near Dale Drive to shunt the water towards a to-be-constructed storm water capture pool and drainage ditch leading to Sligo Creek. The size of the parking lot would be reduced to limit the impervious surface. The Parks Department would protect and preserve as many trees on the site as possible, although two trees had been identified as been potentially dangerous to park users and would be removed. The parking lot and the new playground site would be ADA-compliant, and a new grill would be added to the park. A safe rubberized material—not ground up tires—would be used on the playground. It was suggested the members visit the Willard Avenue neighborhood park near River Road in Chevy Chase to see what the new Dale Drive park might look like.

In answers to member’s questions, Kathy Dearstine said that, because of the drainage issues, consideration had been given to moving the playground closer to Dale Drive, behind the Parks-owned property located there. She also indicated that the Parks Department might be able to install an exercise station for adults somewhere in the park area, but not on the playground site.

Montgomery County Public Schools.   Jill Ortman-Fouse,was elected to her first four-year term as an At-Large Member of the Montgomery County Board of Education on November 4, 2014. She is a member of the Board’s Strategic Planning and Special Populations committees.

Ortman-Fouse introduced herself and invited questions from the audience. In response to questions she discussed the following issues: the mandate of the Board of Education, including reviewing policies and voting on the selection of a Superintendent. Other issues currently facing the Board of Education are: zero tolerance policy for gun possession by students; new policies being considered relating to the “school to prison” issue; reducing suspensions for bad behavior vs. reengaging the students in productive activity; retraining of teachers to deal with conflict and disruptions constructively; the lack of adequate physical activity for students (all agree that physical activity aids learning in classroom); punishment should not involve withholding recess; the lack of funds for sports activities; and insufficient number of school busses.

Commenting on the search for a new Superintendent of Schools, she said that Larry Bowers will be Acting Superintendent for now. He’s been in the system for 37 years and understands well the fiscal matters of the Board of Education. The search for a permanent Superintendent was not successful for a variety of reasons. Anew search will begin Fall 2015

She discussed some of the challenges facing the Montgomery County Schools: huge ESOL population; twenty-thousand students live below the poverty line; the achievement gap is a big challenge; trying to reducing impact of time spent teaching to the standard tests; less funding; and lack of space – there are 400 portable classrooms in use right now.

PHCA Treasurer’s Report – May, 2015

Submitted by Elsie Heyrman Klumpner


1) Current Monument Bank Balance: $791.11

2) Paypal Usage: total 17 dues payments

3) Personal check: total 7 dues payments

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm

Next PHCA Meeting 19 February 2015 with Tom Hucker

DATE: Thursday, February 19, 2015

TIME: 7:30 pm to 9 pm

PLACE: Media Center, Silver Spring International Middle School

SPEAKER: Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (District 5)

NEXT PHCA MEETING:  Our next Park Hills Civic Association meeting is Thursday, February 19, 2015, 7:30-9:00pm in the Sligo Creek International Middle School Media Center.  This is a joint meeting with the Seven Oaks-Evanswood Citizens Association.


Our featured speaker is Tom Hucker, newly elected as our District 5 Montgomery County Councilmember. Tom is a member of the County Council’s Public Safety and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committees. He served as Maryland State Delegate (District 20) from 2006-2014  Also on the agenda, updates on the Purple Line, the Dale Drive/Mansfield Road Intersection, and proposed reuse of the old Silver Spring Library.  We are looking forward to a great turnout for the February meeting.

Everybody’s welcome.

For more information about PHCA, visit the “new” Park Hills Civic Association website at www.parkhillscivic.com and join the Park Hills Online Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parkhillscivic. To join PHCA or to pay 2015 membership dues (only $15), send a check to to Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer, 506 Deerfield Avenue, Silver Spring 20910. Questions? Email Elsie at at klumpnerje@gmail.com You can also pay by “PayPal” on the website.


And, if you’re interested in helping out with our neighborhood association (parade, parks, Purple Line, etc.), please contact Paul Guinnessy at pguinnessy@yahoo.com.

Your Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President

Chris Richardson, Vice President

Paul Guinnessy, Secretary

Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer

SAVE THE DATE – PHCA Meeting – Thursday, 19 Feb. 2015


Save the Date! The next meeting of the Park Hills Civic Association will be on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Media Center of the Silver Spring International Middle School (SSIMS)

We’re pleased to announce that our guest will be our new Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (D-5). Tom is a member of the County Counci’s Public Safety and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committees. His council webpage is http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Hucker/

This will be a joint meeting with the Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association (SOECA).

We look forward to seeing you there.

Reminder: Your 2015 PHCA dues are due. You can pay online at https://parkhillscivic.com/ or by sending a check to Elsie Klumpner, 506 Deerfield Ave, Silver Spring , MD 20910. Dues are only $15 a year, and you get so much!

Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer.

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! We wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

Last year was an especially successful year for the Park Hills Civic Association. In addition to our regular Back to School pedestrian safety program, our popular sweep-the-creek programs, the National Night Out Police Parade, the County’s Thanksgiving Parade, and our first-ever community yard sale, we hosted several very well attended civic association meetings at the Silver Spring International Middle School, including two with the neighboring Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association (SOECA). We also participated in facilities planning for the new playground at Dale Drive Neighborhood Park, supported the renovation of the Parks property at Dale Drive & Hartford, and worked to engage the Montgomery County Police Department on public safety and traffic issues in the neighborhood. We also followed the wind-up of the Dale Drive Sidewalk Project and the renovation of the Mansfield right-of-way.

Our joint meetings on the findings and conclusions of the County’s Nightime Economy Task Force and our Candidate’s Forum featuring ALL of the candidates for the Montgomery County Council (District 5) and the candidates for Maryland State Delegate (District 20) were standing-room only. On October 1st, we had the pleasure of hosting Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett at our PHCA meeting.

In 2015, we hope to continue our Association’s success with more programs of general interest. Please feel free to make suggestions about topics and speakers that you would like to see this year at our regular meetings in February, May, October and December.

We can expect that this year’s agenda will be dominated with discussions about the Purple Line on Wayne Avenue. We encourage you to keep with the Purple Line issues to the best of your abilities, through the press, our listservs, email and the State’s Purple Line website at http://www.purplelinemd.com/en/ We’ll do our best to keep you informed as well.

As we noted at our December meeting, we are seeking volunteers to help with our work in the neighborhood. We need help with the following issues and would like neighbors to step up and take leadership roles for

  • Parks & Recreation (including Sweep the Creek)
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Special Events (Thanksgiving Parade, Annual Park Hills BBQ, Park Hills Community Yard Sale)
  • Silver Spring & Montgomery County Civic Meetings (Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, Silver Spring Urban District, Montgomery County Civic Federation)
  • PHCA website

We also need volunteers to help us distribute our quarterly meeting notices on their streets (particularly Dale Drive and the Fleetwoods).

The time commitment is minimal, but the work is very, very important. Will you help? Kids can help too. If you’re interested, please contact Paul Guinnessy at pguinnessy@yahoo.com

Finally, our new Association dues regime began on January 1st 2015. At our last meeting, we voted to increase the annual PHCA dues to only $15 per household. Thanks to those neighbors who have already paid their annual dues.

If you have not already paid your $15 dues, you can do so online, via PayPal at https://parkhillscivic.com/ or by mailing your dues payment by mail to Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, PHCA Treasurer, 402 Deerfield Ave, Silver Spring , MD 20910. Dues are only $15 and you get so much. Please pay your 2015 Association dues as soon as possible.

Please support your Civic Association by joining our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParkHills/, and following PHCA on our listserv at https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/parkhillscivic/ and our website at https://parkhillscivic.com/   Check out some historic PHCA photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanbowser/collections/72157606566601648/

Thank you for your continued support.

Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary