Spring into Action

Jason Dawkins (left), an aide to City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones-Sanc­hez, joins state Rep. Tony Payton Jr. to build a raised garden bed at Mead­ow and Tack­awanna streets in Frank­ford dur­ing the city­wide Spring Cleanup on Sat­urday. JOHN LOFTUS / TIMES PHOT

— 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. ••



Clean num­bers

Pro­jects: 348 (a re­cord)

Vo­lun­teers: 12,115

Trash picked up: 1.9 mil­lion pounds

Re­cyc­lables col­lec­ted: 40,340 pounds

Re­cyc­ling bins dis­trib­uted: 4,841

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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