Monday, February 3, 2014

Messiah College Students Are the Park's Latest Savior

On Saturday, February 1, 16 students from Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania took yet another bite out of the mountains of trash that despoil Shepherd Parkway. Despite lingering snow on the ground, they enjoyed the warmest day in weeks, with highs near 50.

The group, like so many others teams of motivated volunteers, found their way to Shepherd Parkway through the Steinbruck Center for Urban Studies at Luther Place Memorial Church in downtown Washington.

With park committee-chair and usual clean-up leader Nathan Harrington taking a break to visit family and friends in New York City, RonDell Pooler of Washington Parks and People stepped up to supervise the group as they removed dozens of tires and assorted junk from a gully and adjoining flat area near the quiet corner of Brothers Place and the aptly-named Highview Place SE.

Before skipping town, Harrington took advantage of gorgeous snow-days on February 21 and 22 to wield a pair of sharpened pruners against the English ivy which remained alive on about 20 trees in the area north of Malcolm X Avenue and another 25 in the area just south of said avenue. By spring, the vines will be dead from lack of water and unable to the produce the seed that allow them to colonize new areas. The majestic native oaks, beeches and poplars will be grow free and unencumbered once again, and the surrounding woods will be protected from Ivy League invasion.

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