A Very Busy Trail: MLK Day of Service on the Met Branch
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 180 folks woke up early, layered up, and joined WABA and the Carlos Rosario School for a morning cleanup on the Metropolitan Branch Trail.Volunteers scoured the trail corridor for trash and debris. It warmed my heart to see the trail so alive with people, including many first-time visitors. Even better—by lunchtime, this community treasure was cleaner than it’s been in a long while. In addition to trash removal the full length of the trail, we had three specific project sites tackling some long-standing issues.
Revealing the MuralOne of the oldest murals on the trail, Change Gears, has been mostly obscured by climbing vines few years now. We’ve done some work to keep the vegetation in check, but this time we had the people-power, materials, and tools to stem the growth. We suppressed the roots with burlap bags as a weed barrier, downcycled from Swings Coffee, and six-inches of mulch also downcycled from a tree cut down in the District a few days prior. The tree was no longer safe to be on our city streets but it has a new role on the trail. It took many hands to get the mulch from the drop-off site on a nearby street to its final home on the trail – thank you volunteers!
Emptying the RavineFarther north on the trail, we did our annual cleanup of the ravine at Rhode Island Ave NE. In addition to a lot of takeout containers, we found:
- a tire
- a porcelain toilet (mercifully empty)
- a scythe (we’re still pretty confused about this one)