There were grand plans for Shepherd Parkway. It was to be part of “Fort Drive,” a parkway connecting civil war forts in the city. When the plans did not materialize, National Park Service took responsibility for the 205-acre property in 1933. (It's now down to 197 acres as a result of a federal land grab.)
The park, described by NPS as “a mature wooded forest with a rolling terrace gravel terrain that offers a home to a variety of wildlife,” is also said to have “been neglected for decades, and there is much work to be done removing trash and invasive plants from the park.”
But the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway believes “that every bit of effort makes the park a better place for plants, animals, and people.” Read through the blog and there are numerous pictures and posts about the accomplishments of volunteers. From September 12, 2017, "Over the course of five days this summer, the three defied the stifling heat and humidity to remove over a ton (that's 2,000 lbs) of junk from along Lebaum and 4th Streets..." And this from November 2016: "We have held nearly 100 clean-up events with over 1,500 volunteers. We've removed hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash from the park, leaving it the cleanest it's been in decades." And this from August 16, 2015, "On August 15 just three people- Ellen, Tristan and Nathan- were able to rescue 50 trees from the clutches of English ivy."
Despite the work of hundreds of volunteers, there remains trash to remove and English ivy to cut off trees.
The Committee makes it easy for people to volunteer in regular monthly clean-up efforts. Community Clean-ups are held every second Saturday from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm. Upcoming dates are:
- Saturday, July 14
- Saturday, August 11
- Saturday, September 8
- Saturday, October 13
- Saturday, November 10
- Saturday, December 8
Read more about volunteering and register for a Saturday clean-up.