Friday, December 12, 2014

The Struggle Continues to Rescue the Trees

As 2014 draws to a close, we are proud to report that we have logged 808 volunteer hours for Shepherd Parkway this year. 

About 700 hours were spent removing an estimated 24,000 pounds (12 tons) of trash, construction materials, car parts, tires, furniture and other man-made debris from the park. 

The bulk of the remaining 108 hours were spent removing invasive species, canvassing, attending meetings, and maintaining his blog.

On Saturday, December 6, eight faithful volunteers logged twenty-four volunteer hours while cutting English ivy from more than 60 trees.

It was the first community clean-up since 2013 to focus on the urgent task of chopping down the fast-growing vines, which weaken and eventually kill trees by robbing their roots of water and nutrition, damaging their bark, weighing them down, and blocking sunlight to their leaves.

In 2011 and 2012 we were able to eliminate English ivy from the tree canopy in the 40 acres of parkland north of Malcolm X Avenue, and in 2013 we did the same with the area from Malcolm X Avenue south to South Capitol Street.  Major infestations effecting hundreds of trees remain in the southern half of Shepherd Parkway.

English ivy is a huge threat to forests throughout the eastern United States, and the efforts of volunteers, though valiant, and so far been insufficient to the scale of the problem.

Through sustained effort, we hope make Shepherd Parkway one of the only forests forests in the DC area to be free from English ivy.  

For more information, see the August 2013 post Saving Our Trees from the Alien Invaders.

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