Time for a spring cleaning

Cleanups — like this one last year in Pennypack Park — typ­ic­ally yield a bounty of trash and junk. TIMES FILE PHOTO

— City of­fi­cials are plan­ning a big cleanup across Philly, and North­east groups are grabbing bags and pitch­ing in.


Sev­er­al North­east Phil­adelphia groups have signed up to par­ti­cip­ate in the city’s April 14 spring cleanup.

This will be the fifth year vo­lun­teers have answered the city’s call to spruce up their neigh­bor­hoods. In the past four cleanups, 5.8 mil­lion pounds of trash have been re­moved.

Be­sides pick­ing up trash, vo­lun­teers painted, planted and made some in­ter­est­ing finds.

In the North­east, some groups look at the cleanup as a neigh­bor­hood get-to­geth­er and plan on hav­ing a little fun while they work. Here are some of the groups who have or­gan­ized for the cleanup:

• The Light­house Soc­cer Club, Southamp­ton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. Vo­lun­teers will clean up the bound­ar­ies of club’s fa­cil­it­ies, from Southamp­ton Road to Horn­ig Road, start­ing at 8 a.m. April 14 isn’t the only cleanup. The club sched­ules oth­ers dur­ing the spring, sum­mer and fall. Con­tact Charles Meissler, coach and board mem­ber, at light­hou­se­l­an­cers@com­cast.net or at the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s Web site, www.light­house­soc­cer.org

• Neigh­bors on the 1300 block of As­ton Place have been or­gan­iz­ing a cleanup for years in their Somer­ton cul-de-sac.

• From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., vo­lun­teers will clean up the green spaces with­in the bound­ar­ies of the Gif­ford Play­ground, 575 Tom­lin­son Road, which in­clude open spaces bey­ond the play­ground’s fields, bas­ket­ball courts and play­grounds. Con­tact Bri­an Tait, gif­fordreccen­ter@gmail.com, 215-685-0377. Tait said vo­lun­teers will sign in right in­side the play­ground activ­ity room. Equip­ment will be provided by the Streets De­part­ment, but vo­lun­teers are free to bring their own work gloves, he said. Last year, neigh­bors and Girl Scouts col­lec­ted from 15 to 20 bags of trash. Tait, who was just trans­ferred to Gif­ford, said the most un­usu­al thing he’s found dur­ing a cleanup was a bat­ting glove signed by former Phil­lies catch­er Bo Diaz.

• Pe­gas­us Rid­ing Academy, 8297 Bustleton Ave., has a thera­peut­ic horse­back rid­ing pro­gram for people with dis­ab­il­it­ies on 13 acres it leases from Fair­mount Park. Vo­lun­teers will re­move trash and paint pic­nic benches. Con­tact Bar­bara Wer­theimer at pe­gas­us5@com­cast.net or 215-742-1500. Vo­lun­teers can bring their own gloves. “We will have all oth­er ne­ces­sary equip­ment, but they can bring their own rakes and clip­pers if they wish. We have had a good turnout each year and we are ab­so­lutely amazed at what we pull out of the woods,” said Wer­theimer, the rid­ing academy’s ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or. “The first year we par­ti­cip­ated, we ex­trac­ted old ap­pli­ances and tires. One year, the pile of trash was over six feet high.”

• Mem­bers of the Park­wood Civic As­so­ci­ation will start clean­ing up lit­ter at Academy and Tor­rey roads at 9 a.m. They’ll also work on Nanton and Lester roads as well as Torry Woods, ac­cord­ing to Maryl­ou Klein, who said in­di­vidu­als have been try­ing to keep the area tidy every week, but really could use some ex­tra help on April 14. Con­tact Klein at maryl­ouklein@com­cast.net

• The Frank­ford Parks Group has been keep­ing after lit­ter and main­ten­ance of small parks in Frank­ford. In the past, the group’s mem­bers and spring cleanup vo­lun­teers have picked up trash, painted a bas­ket­ball court, and weeded and mowed lawns. The group works with block cap­tains, North­east Epic Stake­hold­ers, elec­ted of­fi­cials, neigh­bors and the Frank­ford Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion. This year, the cleanup’s fo­cus will be on va­cant lots, al­leys and any oth­er po­ten­tial play areas. Con­tact Jason Dawkins at Jason.dawkins@phila.gov

• The Friends of Over­ing­ton Park will be­gin clean­ing up the Frank­ford green space at Or­tho­dox and Pil­ing streets at 10 a.m. “We could al­ways use more help,” said Di­ane Kun­ze. Con­tact her at over­ing­ton­park@gmail.com. Vo­lun­teers should meet close to 4600 Pill­ing St., near the play­ground equip­ment.

• Vo­lun­teers will work in and around Large and Ar­rott streets near Simpson play­ground start­ing at 10 a.m. “Vo­lun­teers can bring gloves, trash bags and brooms if they want (it would be help­ful), but we will also have those items there,” said or­gan­izer Bill Mel­one. “I’ve done the cleanup for the last two years, and we’ve had a nice turnout for both,” he said. “It’s been a great way for neigh­bors to come to­geth­er,” adding, “I’m plan­ning to have a neigh­bor get hot dogs go­ing on a grill, which should make for a good time.”

• Vo­lun­teers can join the Ta­cony Civic As­so­ci­ation and the Ta­cony Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion at the Ta­cony branch of the Free Lib­rary, 6742 Tor­res­dale Ave,  any­time from 9 to 1 p.m. Or­gan­izer Alex Bal­loon es­tim­ated 50 bags of trash will be col­lec­ted in an 11-block cleanup area.

• Friends of the May­fair Me­mori­al Play­ground, Vista and Rollins, will “dew­in­ter­ize” the play­ground by re­seal­ing wood, re­mov­ing graf­fiti, rak­ing up and re­mov­ing leaves, mulch­ing and plant­ing the beds and plant­ers. Con­tact Mia Hylan at mhylan@gmail.com. Vo­lun­teers are needed and should ar­rive by 9 a.m., Hylan said.

• Vo­lun­teers who want to help out at Wissi­nom­ing Park should con­tact Peter Tweed at mives1027@com­cast.net. Every year, the Wissi­nom­ing Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil joins with the Wissi­nom­ing Civic As­so­ci­ation, the Frank­ford High School ROTC and oth­er com­munity groups to par­ti­cip­ate in the cleanup at the 40-acre park. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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