— In the Northeast and across the city, residents and organizations rolled up their sleeves to help give Philly a clean start.
Philadelphia couldn’t have ordered better weather for its citywide cleanup Saturday. More than 12,000 volunteers came out to sweep, rake, plant, paint, trim, build and pick up debris in 348 projects all over the city from morning into the afternoon.
More than a million pounds of trash were removed, according to the city’s figures, and 4,841 recycling bins were distributed.
Although the fifth annual cleanup is a citywide event, it works through the efforts of lots of local groups that target specific projects in their neighborhoods.
“It went great,” said Mia Hylan of the Friends of the Mayfair Memorial Playground at Vista Street and Rowland Avenue. “The weather was absolutely perfect.”
Hylan said about 25 volunteers, including members of a Daisy troop and some Drexel students, worked at the playground throughout the day, filling 15 bags with weeds, leaves and garbage.
Parents of some of the Daisies bought flowers and planted them, Hylan said.
“We were also able to finish all the murals and paint the benches in the playground,” she added. “It’s finally done and we’re so happy with the results.”
Several members of the Frankford Parks Group and Frankford Garden Club got help from neighbors and City Year volunteers as they worked on plantings and tidying up Wilmot Park at Meadow and Mulberry streets and a small park at Tackawanna and Meadow.
“We had about forty to fifty folks,” said Kimberly Washington, president of the Frankford Parks Group.
Washington said she didn’t think the volunteers would have a chance to work on the nearby Hedge Street rec center, but they got a nice surprise.
“Pastor Glenn Sheppard from Campbell AME Church along with a few other volunteers from the church took on that responsibility with very little manpower and tools,” she said.
About an equal number of volunteers turned out at Overington Park, at Orthodox and Piling streets, said Diane Kunze of the Friends of Overington Park.
“We planted a rose garden, our first!” Kunze said. “We picked up over seventy bags of trash.”
The city’s PhillyRising program provided general cleanup equipment to the Frankford Parks Group, including brooms, leaf rakes, hard rakes, shovels and branch pruners, said Assistant Managing Director Manny Citron.
The Friends of Overington Park got branch loppers, pruning saws, leaf pruners and a telescoping tree pruner from PhillyRising, Citron said.
More than 60 volunteers, including young children, worked in and around Torresdale Avenue in Tacony on Saturday, said organizer Alexander Balloon.
“The groups that participated were: St. Hubert’s High School, Kingdom Life Church, and the Tacony Civic Association,” said Balloon. “We picked up more than one-hundred bags of trash from the Avenue.”
At the Gifford Playground on Tomlinson Road in Somerton, 21 volunteers turned out, said Brian Tait, facility supervisor.
“Girls Scout Troop 928, led by Gifford Playground Advisory Council president Vanette Capece, planted a flower bed on the grass along Tomlinson Road,” Tait said. “We collected eighteen bags of trash, old leaves and broken glass.”
About 15 volunteers worked at Simpson Playground on Large Street on Saturday, and they got a lot done, said organizer Bill Melone. Workers filled 25 to 30 bags of trash and a leaf waster, he said.
“We had a grill going and were able to plant some plants in one corner of the lot,” Melone said. “It was very satisfying to interact with neighbors and accomplish something good for the community.”
About 30 people turned out for Parkwood’s cleanup effort and filled 58 bags with trash, said organizer Mary Lou Klein.
“Reen’s Deli and Pat’s Pizza treated us to hoagies and pizza,” she added. ••
Projects: 348 (a record)
Trash picked up: 1.9 million pounds
Recyclables collected: 40,340 pounds
Recycling bins distributed: 4,841