Ward 8 Woods project accelerates pace of clean-up




This article is written by Nathan Harrington, chair of the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway. It was first published by the Anacostia Coordinating Council and on the blog Restore Shepherd Parkway; both organizations are members of APACC. Images by Nathan Harrington and Art Slater.

This spring, the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway and the Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC) secured grants from the DC Office of Planning and DC Department of Energy and the Environment.

The resulting project, christened Ward 8 Woods, works to reverse decades of neglect by employing Ward 8 residents to remove trash and invasive species from the extensive but underappreciated wooded areas in Ward 8.

Nathan Harrington, founder and chair of the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway, serves as project manager and crew leader. 

One month in, our Park Stewards (we now have six) have accomplished a lot.  We have:

  • Removed nearly 4,000 pounds from Ft. Stanton Park
  • Removed over 3,000 pounds of trash from Shepherd Parkway
  • Removed 2,000 pounds from Oxon Run Parkway
  • Filled 356 large trash bag.
  • Cut invasive vines from over 120 trees

Stewards have braved DC's summer heat and humidity, scrambled up and down muddy slopes, crawled through brambles, hauled long-abandoned carpets and lock-boxes, and sawed through vines ten inches thick. 

We will continue working 20 hours a week through the end of September, after which our schedule will slow down and continue until March 2019. 

In addition to paying the Stewards a fair wage of $15 an hour, the project requires funds for tools, outreach materials, Gatorade and snacks. 

Want to support this important work? Please consider a donation of any amount to the Anacostia Coordinating Council. 

Want to be a part of the action? The crew works most weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm, and volunteers are always welcome to join. Respond here for details and meeting locations.