This past Saturday, the WABA Trail Rangers Program hosted its first big event, a celebration and cleanup of the Met Branch Trail. In the morning, a group of riders, ranging from those new to the trail to seasoned users, started at the on-street interim route at the Silver Spring Metro station and rolled past the Takoma Park and Brookland stations. There, some riders disembarked to join in the trail clean-up. The rest of the group continued through NoMa on to Union Station. The trail cleanup, which started in the afternoon, saw nearly 50 volunteers be Trail Rangers for a day and to help groom up the existing trail segments between Fort Totten and NoMa. While the trail has been in good condition recently, a few sections were in need of special attention. It was a busy afternoon. Our volunteers filled bag upon bag with plant overgrowth and litter. On the northern section of the trail, between Fort Totten and Brookland, volunteers focused on clipping overgrown tree limbs, clearing weeds that were breaking through the asphalt, and reclaiming the trail edge from debris and overgrown plants. On the southern section, between Brookland and NoMa, they cleared growth off two murals (one at the Franklin Street entrance and one further down, close to W Street), picked up litter from the trail’s edge, and planted flowers in two larger planters near R Street.
Both volunteers and WABA staff ended the day at the NoMa Beer Fest, where we talked to curious passersby about the progress and status of the Met Branch Trail and introduced the Trail Rangers program to the public.
All in all, it was a fun and rewarding day. Thank you to our many wonderful volunteers! This was the first of what we hope will be many events celebrating the trails inside the boundaries of D.C. Stay tuned for details about a cleanup of the Suitland Parkway Trail on Sat., Sept. 14, and an event to celebrate the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail on Sat., Sept. 28.