Spring is in the air

The dream team: Frank­ford res­id­ents Pa­tri­cia Sills, left fore­ground, and Char­lene Walk­er, right fore­ground, tend to ve­get­able beds at Tack­awanna and Wilmot Streets. The Frank­ford vo­lun­teers pulled weeds and planted ve­get­ables. In all, more than 13,000 peo

— And that means it’s time for the city’s sixth an­nu­al spring cleanup.

Frank­ford res­id­ent Pa­tri­cia Sills got her hands dirty on Sat­urday, and so did more than 13,000 oth­er people who turned out for the city’s sixth an­nu­al spring cleanup.

Sills, who lives on the 5000 block of Griscom St., worked at Tack­awanna and Wilmot streets, pulling weeds and plant­ing kale, cil­antro and col­lard greens in the raised beds that were put in dur­ing last year’s spring event.

She di­vided her time Sat­urday between garden­ing on Tack­awanna Street and work­ing at the Over­ing­ton Park cleanup at Leiper and Or­tho­dox streets.

These two Frank­ford pro­jects were among more than 500 across the city that got some at­ten­tion from vo­lun­teers who picked up trash and re­cyc­lables, painted, weeded and planted. 

Among the pro­jects in the North­east were:

• Moss Play­ground, 5700 Tor­res­dale Ave.

• Hayes Play­ground, 9900 Pres­id­ent St.

• Park­wood neigh­bor­hood cleanup.

• May­fair Me­mori­al Play­ground, Row­land Av­en­ue and Vista Street.

• Love Your Av­en­ue Day on Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue in Ta­cony.

• House­man Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, 5091 Sum­mer­dale Ave.

• On the 3100 blocks of Dis­ston St. and Long­shore Ave. 

• Pe­gas­us Rid­ing Academy, 8297 Bustleton Ave.

• St. Mar­tin of Tours, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd.

• The Great­er Bustleton Civic League, whose vo­lun­teers cleaned up the area near the train trestle at Welsh Road and Grant Av­en­ue.

Sills was among 20 vo­lun­teers who worked at the Tack­awanna Street garden and a block away at Wilmot Park at Mul­berry and Wilmot streets, said Kim Wash­ing­ton, pres­id­ent of the Frank­ford Parks Group.

Di­ane Kun­ze, pres­id­ent of Friends of Over­ing­ton Park, said more than 60 vo­lun­teers turned out to pretty up Frank­ford’s largest pub­lic green­space.

The Frank­ford loc­a­tions have come a long way in the last four years, and they’re great ex­amples of what can be ac­com­plished by small groups of com­mit­ted vo­lun­teers who have the pa­tience to per­severe.

Kun­ze said the Friends group star­ted after she walked across the street from her house to the park and just star­ted work­ing. Oth­ers no­ticed, joined in and more people got in­volved. The Pennsylvania Hor­ti­cul­tur­al So­ci­ety has donated trees and a new shed. Over­ing­ton is a show­place

At Wilmot, the bas­ket­ball court has been re­fur­bished and painted, and there’s new play­ground equip­ment. There are also many new plant­ings and a flag­pole. Down the block at Tack­awanna Street, trees from PHS and shrubs have been planted. There’s a new shed for tool stor­age, new split-rail fen­cing, and, of course, the ve­get­able beds, Wash­ing­ton said.

Money for these im­prove­ments came from a vari­ety of sources, she said. Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez (D-7th dist.) provided funds as did the Hon­ey­well Corp. and Ka­boom, the man­u­fac­turer of the play­ground equip­ment. The Tookany/Ta­cony Frank­ford Wa­ter­shed Part­ner­ship donated a rain bar­rel so the parks group has a wa­ter source.

Last year, the parks group grew string beans, to­mato, okra, cab­bage, cu­cum­bers, wa­ter­mel­on, egg­plant and onions. This year, flowers also will be planted by mem­bers of a ju­ni­or garden group, Wash­ing­ton said.

Garden­ing has really taken off in the past few years in Frank­ford, Sills said.

“It’s in­fec­tious,” said Janet Bern­stein, pres­id­ent of the Frank­ford Garden Club. 

“I com­pared the ve­get­ables from out the su­per­mar­ket to the ve­get­ables I got out of my own garden,” Sills said. “And there is no com­par­is­on.”

“As people start to learn that,” Ber­stein said, ve­get­able garden­ing will pick up even more. “People are learn­ing to cook with fresh pro­duce more than they did be­fore, and once they get good at it, they real­ize the fresh­er, the bet­ter… And once you grow your own and your neigh­bors find out how good it is, then they want to grow their own, too.” ••

Reach re­port­er John Loftus at 215-354-3110 or jloftus@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

comments powered by Disqus