NOTE: The Wood Acres Citizens Association (WACA) is a volunteer organization made up of neighbors just like you. WACA is always looking for new board members, committee members, block captains, and event coordinators. There are so many ways to contribute, and it's a great way to meet your neighbors throughout the community.
Since its formation in 1940, the Wood Acres Citizens Association has played an important role in enhancing the quality of life in Wood Acres. The Citizens Association is a non-profit organization supported through the annual dues collected from the current residents. In the early years, the Association came forward to insist that bus service be extended to the community, that streetlights be promptly installed, and that roads and trash collection be improved. In more recent years, the Association has represented its citizens in numerous zoning battles as summarized below and has broadened its sponsorship of community social activities. The Association maintains a small financial reserve for routine zoning matters and potential enforcement actions. When and if major zoning matters arise, special voluntary assessment collections may be asked of the residents to cover legal costs and incidental expenses. Each year the Association sponsors numerous community events which have come to represent one of the distinctive aspects of living in Wood Acres.
In 1963, after the death of Mr. Walker and the liquidation of his construction company, a referendum was approved to incorporate the Wood Acres Citizens Association under Maryland law. Since its formation, the Association has played an important role in the quality of life in Wood Acres and has been an effective voice in representing residents concerns on local land and zoning issues. The Association sponsors various social and holiday events throughout the year that bring the community together and provide a venue for neighbors to get to know one another. An annual Spring Party to introduce community newcomers opens up the year and is sometimes followed by the Wood Acres House and Garden Tour, which features several of the community’s finest homes.
Our annual Independence Day celebration, which dates back to July 4, 1958, is perhaps the highlight of the events sponsored by the Citizens Association. The day starts with a parade along Ramsgate Road and Cromwell Drive and ends at the Park where a large cook-out with games and carnival rides of all sorts for children are held and neighborhood volunteers serve refreshments. We are usually fortunate in having a military band or a boy or Girl Scout troop lead the parade. Many Wood Acres blocks join into groups to construct elaborate floats for the parade and a prize is awarded for the best float. The neighborhood children all decorate their bicycles and various home-made floats and receive recognition awards for the most creative designs. A short commemorative ceremony is held usually featuring an address by a United States Senator or Congressman and often elected representatives of the Montgomery County Government.
On Halloween, the children gather for entertainment and refreshments with their parents at the Triangle near the intersection of Ramsgate Road and Welborn Drive. These festivities feature the exciting arrival of the "Great Pumpkin," who dispenses candy to the children and cider to the adults and is then followed by group trick or treating throughout the neighborhood. The December Holiday season is capped with a community gathering held around the neighborhood-decorated Wood Acres tree on the Triangle or at a local school. Santa Claus arrives with small treats for the youngsters, and the children in turn bring gifts of canned food for the needy. Residents also gather in December for caroling through the neighborhood, and in the spring for an egg hunt in Wood Acres Park.
Since 1961, Block Captains have served as a link between the Association Board and the residents in each Block Captain's area. The Block Captains help the Board perform its various functions more efficiently and, in addition to helping carry out the mechanical functions of the Association, such as collecting dues and delivering circulars, the Block Captains enable the Board to have closer and quicker contact with individual residents and to be more responsive to their immediate needs. Block Captains also welcome new residents to Wood Acres, and provide them with a copy of the Wood Acres Residents Directory and outline the many activities of the Association, providing information to newcomers about the neighborhood and surrounding area.
The Zoning and Architectural Covenants Committee has the responsibility of assisting the Board in administering the Wood Acres covenants and guidelines. The Committee is charged with helping to preserve and protect property values in the Wood Acres community. The Covenants Committee reviews all proposed exterior home improvements and additions and monitors all proposed zoning changes that would affect the community. Residents are asked to assist this committee by informing the chairperson promptly of any relevant matters including infractions.
A major portion of the income of the Association is derived from the annual dues paid by current residents of Wood Acres. Local advertising in the community telephone directory also raises revenue. These funds are then used to finance the various activities of the Association, including the compilation and publication of the Wood Acres Directory, the annual 4th of July Parade & Picnic, the Great Pumpkin at Halloween, the December Holiday Party, spring clean-up, and other community events throughout the year.