Monday, April 28, 2014

Coast Guard Makes Earth Day Landfall

Shepherd Parkway has a new neighbor. In 2013, the United States Coast Guard became the first tenant to move into the historic West Campus of the former St. Elisabeths hospital. The campus will eventually house over 14,000 workers from all divisions of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The northern end of Shepherd Parkway can be seen at top right of this artist's rendering of the coast Guard headquarters.

Less than a month after joining the Shepherd Parkway Committee, Lt. Comm. Jonathan Shafler, a veteran of the National Park Service and Fish and Willdlife Service, made good on his promise to get Coast Guard personnel involved in the restoration of Shepherd Parkway.  His crew of six made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in  numbers, netting over a thousand pounds of trash from behind Brothers Place.

Five days later, on April 26, 15 volunteers converged on the same area for the Community Clean-Up. In addition to bagging over a ton of junk, we pulled up several thousand blades of invasive mustard grass in full bloom, thereby preventing them from reproducing. Mustard grass out-competes natives species and forms dense colonies of foot-high ground cover. It' is a scourge on DC's forest, rivaled only to trash and English ivy.

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