Who We Are
The Brookdale Citizens Association (BCA), formed in 1958, is an association of residents organized to promote the general interests of its members and encompasses the communities of Brookdale North and South, Orchardale, Wohlshire, and Park-Newport. The elected officers include the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and five Vice Presidents* (one each from Brookdale North, Brookdale South, Orchardale, Wohlshire, and Park-Newport). The Association distributes the neighborhood directory (a compilation of resident’s names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers); maintains the website (https://BrookdaleCitizens.org) and the neighborhood listserv (email@example.com) on Groups.io; publishes The Bugle newsletter four times a year; monitors, and responds to, development and traffic issues; and sponsors several social events each year, including the Halloween parade, the 4th of July parade, block parties, and At-Home get-togethers. The general membership meeting, held each May, is open to all Brookdale residents. Signs, emails, and notices on the website announce upcoming events. Dues are $40/yearly, paid voluntarily.
The mission of the Association is to “stimulate interest in and devise and implement ways and means for the promotion of civic and general welfare” and promote the best interests of the communities through cooperation with county and state officials and other civic associations “of like purposes.” These are:
Community Issues: the annual May meeting provides a forum for residents to raise and discuss with each other and with representatives of local government issues of general concern. As development ramps up in the Westbard area, the ability to work with other local civic groups is of particular importance in ensuring that our neighborhood concerns not be disregarded in the planning process. A committee comprised of 13 nearby communities called The Citizens Coordinating Committee of Friendship Heights (CCFH) is an example of one of these groups, and delegates appointed by the Association President represent Brookdale.
Development: monitors and responds to commercial and residential development issues in and around Brookdale as deemed appropriate by the executive committee and Association membership. Our proximity to the Westbard and Friendship Heights commercial districts, and Metro, makes Brookdale attractive to commercial development interest.
Safety: crime awareness is promoted and supported by updated local crime reports posted on our neighborhood listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org). Meetings regarding local crime problems have included a liaison officer from the Montgomery County Police Department who spoke with residents about crime-prevention measures. To deter crimes against pedestrians in our area, the Association collaborated with corporate neighbors in Chevy Chase and Friendship Heights to improve lighting along Western Avenue and within the Brookdale community. Local authorities and the Association work together to improve traffic safety, successfully resolving obstruction of view, parking restrictions, street signs, and street crossing signals challenges.
Community Activities: to stimulate interest in civic welfare and foster a sense of community, the Association supports community activities initiated by the residents that include the annual Halloween party/parade and the 4th of July parade, both held at Brookdale Park, providing great fun for the kids and families who participate. Block parties, organized twice yearly, and At-Home events are social/educational gatherings held in Brookdale homes. During the pandemic, Front-porch Fridays, musical porchfests, and architectural/art tours allowed for social distancing.
Parks and Our Environment: working with the Department of Parks and Recreation ensures that our parks are well-maintained and, when possible, playground equipment upgraded. Residents saw demonstrations of rain gardens and realized the benefits of street trees (county-owned trees planted on county-owned frontage), and enhanced the environmental integrity and aesthetic appeal of Brookdale.
*Vice Presidents are charged with welcoming new residents to their respective neighborhoods, contributing articles and documenting births, deaths, and other transitions for the Bugle, conveying issues/concerns of residents to the Executive Committee, updating contact information for the directory, and helping to organize neighborhood events. They may also find and appoint block captains or others as liaison representatives to assist in their areas.