The National Park Service has made plans to revitalize and restore the Shepherd Parkway area in D.C.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton inquired about the area after a story in The Washington Post on the condition of parklands east of the Anacostia River that depicted residents cleaning up National Park Service land. Park service deputy director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini responded Thursday and outlined the plan, which is dependent on funding:
- A series of trails, with options for a natural or more urban trail experience.
- A blazed trail within the park’s wooded area connecting to the under-construction Interstate 295 shared-use path.
- Improved signage, communication, and security measures to prevent dumping.
- Enhanced scenic views.
- Enhanced interpretation of Civil War forts, emphasized by improved trail connections.
- Flexible open green space for community gatherings, picnics and play.
“We will also continue to engage stakeholders and the local community throughout this process,” Mendelson-Ielmini wrote. “Working together, we will create a new, improved Shepherd Parkway with open space and recreational resources that serve and benefit all Ward 8 residents.”
For her part, Norton, who released the letter from Mendelson-Ielmini, said in a statement Thursday that “I worked hard to include funding for NPS deferred maintenance in the Great American Outdoors Act because NPS owns most of the parkland in D.C.,” Norton said. “With that legislation signed into law, I intend to work with Congress and NPS to make sure that the funds for NPS parks in the District are directed where they are most needed.”
“Our residents in Southeast should not have to clean their parks of debris themselves and suffer the neglect that has finally come to public attention,” Norton said. “I appreciate NPS’ response.”