Brief news items from around the River Wards.
Time for some spring cleaning
The city has scheduled its sixth annual Philly Spring Cleanup for Saturday, April 13.
City residents and organizations can become involved by registering a project site for cleanup or by volunteering on April 13. City residents and organizations who wish to participate should visit www.PhillySpringCleanup.com. The deadline for submitting a project is Friday, March 29.
Cleanup projects kick off at 9 a.m. and usually run to late morning or early afternoon. Last year’s cleanup involved a record 348 projects, according to the Streets Department.
More than 12,000 volunteers participated, according to city figures, and they collected more than 1.9 million pounds of trash and 40,340 pounds of recyclables. Almost 5,000 recycling bins were distributed.
Over five cleanups, 5.8 million pounds of trash have been collected.
For more information, call the Streets Department’s Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560, or call 3-1-1.
The cleanup’s rain date is Saturday, April 20. ••
— John Loftus
With spring around the corner, a parks update
After some locals voiced their questions online about why local recreation fields — Hetzell, 1301 E. Columbia Ave., and Shissler, 1800-56 Blair St. — had not yet opened their gates to the public, Artie Dolan, president of Hetzell’s advisory council, assured neighbors that the Livingston Street gate of Hetzell field will open April 5 or 6 — originally the gates were to open April 1, but the bad weather caused a delay in field preparations — and remain open through the second week of December. The hours of public use will be approximately 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Patty McGrail of the Shissler Recreation Facility said Monday that the Shissler field is available for public use after 1 p.m. unless there is inclement weather, but an individual must visit the office and ask that the gates be open.
Neither field allows dogs, but as the weather warms up, neighbors can bring dogs to the Triangle Dog Park, 898 Aramingo Ave., or the Palmer Dog Park, 99 E. Palmer St.
In other park news, locals who were concerned about the state of the field at the Cione Recreation Facility, 2600 E. Aramingo Ave., gathered at the field for a community cleanup on March 17 at 10 a.m.
Some neighbors questioned whether Cione had a “friends group,” like the Friends of Penn Treaty Park or the Friends of Campbell Square, that could help look after the field, or if the Penn Treaty Special Services District could provide a grant to help repair damaged fencing.
Information on forming a friends group can be found here, and neighbors and community groups can request a grant from the Penn Treaty Special Services group at http://penntreatyssd.com/grants.html ••
A new way to reach community group members
Tim Wisniewski, Somerset Neighbors for Better Living organizer and Philadelphia Director of Civic Technology, has developed a new resource for community groups — a group communication tool, TextBlast.
TextBlast is a free application that allows community groups to communicate using mass text messages and update members on meeting times and locations as well as group events.
For SNBL, text “Somerset” to 215-987-5414 to be included on the Somerset Neighbors for Better Living text blast. Other groups can sign up at www.textblast.org. ••