We are sharing the note from our partner at the George Washington Memorial Parkway on efforts to clean up significant storm damage that occurred on Saturday. Our volunteers removed several fallen trees from Bridge 31 near TR Island and will continue to assist with cleanup of multiple downed branches. Visit mountvernontrail.org/events if you’d like to help. Bridge 15 near Collingwood had a large tree fall on it yesterday and is currently not usable.
Photo shared via Facebook by Suzanne Marie.
Thank you for your support of George Washington Memorial Parkway and contacting us to report damage resulting from the storm on July 29, 2023. We have experience impacts at numerous locations throughout the park causing power outages, damage to buildings, and closing of roadways until the tree hazards could be mitigated.
We will have opened all lanes of the north Parkway to include the reversible lane for commuters by the evening rush hour on Wednesday August 2. Spout Run and one northbound lane were opened on Tuesday. The park tree crew had assistance from National Capital Parks East as well as three contract tree crews. The number of crews helped with the reopening and are only available for a short period of time. Yesterday, crews removed over 250 hazardous trees, resulting in 100 dump-truck and 15 chipper-truck loads, and more than 500 tons of wood and debris. Cleanup continues at Glen Echo which suffered building damage, trees down, and power outage. Montgomery County has been a huge help and great partner in this effort. Arlington House is currently closed. It will open in conjunction with Arlington National Cemetery when they are ready to reopen. Other locations that we have identified needing cleanup include the Potomac Heritage trail, Mount Vernon trail, Arlington House, Fort Hunt, and Theodore Roosevelt Island. Areas initially cleared may also need additional work to remove debris. Within the Park we have noted hundreds of trees that have fallen or are damaged.
Our intentions are to address hazard tree abatement, removal, and clean up caused by the storm, but it will not be a quick process. The Park is prioritizing work in the following order open roadways, mitigate hazards to the driving public, repair and remove trees that have impacted buildings, mitigate hazards on and over trails, clearing areas that are occupied and heavily used by the public, repairs to damaged wayfinding and interpretive signs, damage to vegetation associated with special landscapes, and then clean-up of debris on the ground. We are adding this information to our workorder system to assist with those prioritizes. Other constraints include available staff, use of contracted services, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the park. Anyone can report a storm damage impact that has occurred within the park at GWMP_Superintendent@nps.gov.
In responding to any concern, it is our intention that we demonstrate our commitment to providing a quality visitor experience and protect our cultural and natural resources. Not including the storm related workorders, we have over 500 work orders with about a 60% closure rate. The maintenance team works seven days a week to best address the various needs throughout all our locations. The park portfolio includes the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Clara Barton National Historical Site, Mount Vernon Trail, Clara Barton Parkway, Great Falls Park, Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, and all the monuments/memorials within the parkway itself.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or Donate to Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to help us purchase tools and supplies.