The beauty of the George Washington Parkway is threatened by out-of-control vines. Between mile markers 6 and 8 alone, near the Belle Haven Marina, more than three dozen large trees have died in the past three years.
For four years the Mount Vernon Group of the Sierra Club has urged Audrey Calhoun, superintendent of the parkway, to address the problem. She repeatedly promised to meet with us, but no action followed. Finally, we sent e-mail messages to several local environmental groups and gained a commitment that, with the National Park Service's approval, they would try to arrest the problem.
Last fall, Ms. Calhoun said the Park Service would take care of the killer vines and promised a plan and a meeting by Jan. 15. Neither a plan nor a meeting resulted. This was repeated twice more during the next three months. In June, I called the superintendent and was told that $50,000 had been allocated to address the problem. According to the park's maintenance supervisor, that amount won't begin to solve the problem, much less arrest it (an outcome we could have achieved with volunteers).
The George Washington Parkway is a national and local treasure, and its beautiful foliage must be saved. Unfortunately, the Park Service seems unwilling to do so.
JOHN R. POWERS