As 2015 draws to a close, the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway reflects with pride on a year of steady progress.
We held 20 volunteer events, with 422 volunteers logging 815 hours of work. We hosted groups from John Hopkins University, Catholic University, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandy Spring Friends School, and others.
After four years of sustained effort, we have removed more than 90% of the trash that had built up over decades in the area north of Malcolm X Avenue. When we started, you couldn't see the ground in some places; now, almost no trash is visible from the street.
We hope to remove the last remaining deposits in the north section by the middle of 2016 and then shift our trash removal efforts south to the area between Malcolm X Avenue and South Capitol Street, where we focused during 2013 but still have a ways to go.
On the invasive species front, we made significant headway against the massive infestation of English ivy that threatens hundreds of trees in central part of the park. With the continued help of our volunteers, we aim cut the vines from the remaining trees by the end of 2016.
In an unfortunate but long-expected development, Shepherd Parkway shrank from 205 acres to 197 when eight acres were transferred to the General Services Administration for construction of a roadway and bike path leading to the Homeland Security campus.
We recently learned of the silver lining: the National Park Service has received $431,000 in mitigation funds which will be spent to improve Shepherd Parkway. We are thrilled that the park will finally be receiving the resources it deserves, and are in dialogue with our colleagues at the Park Service on how to make the best strategic use of the funds.
The Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway is a labor of love for us, but we also need money to sustain and build on our efforts.