Northeast Times

Volunteers plentiful during annual citywide spring cleanup

Thou­sands of vo­lun­teers spent a beau­ti­ful Sat­urday morn­ing pick­ing up trash, rak­ing leaves, sweep­ing pave­ments, trim­ming, prun­ing, paint­ing and plant­ing dur­ing the sev­enth an­nu­al city­wide spring cleanup.

They were blessed with sunny skies and some breezes as they bent to their tasks. At one of the many North­east pro­jects Sat­urday, small Wilmot Park at Mead­ow and Mul­berry streets in Frank­ford, vo­lun­teers ti­died up, filling bag after bag of trash. A block away at Tack­awanna and Mead­ow, after a dozen or so trash bags were filled, neigh­bor­hood kids had some of the event’s real fun, plant­ing tulips and oth­er flowers as well as sow­ing some ve­get­able seeds in the small park’s com­munity garden.

That was not en­tirely en­joy­able to one ju­ni­or garden­er. “I don’t want to plant car­rots,” she said. “I don’t like car­rots.”

But they got planted any­way, along with radishes, greens and oth­er salad fa­vor­ites.

Cleanup or­gan­izers at both Frank­ford loc­a­tions said May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter was sched­uled to vis­it Wilmot Park in the early af­ter­noon, but hizzo­n­er didn’t make an ap­pear­ance. However, a couple of can­did­ates did. To­mas Sanc­hez, who is chal­len­ging state Sen. Tina Tartagli­one for her 2nd Dis­trict seat in a three-way race that in­cludes former City Coun­cil­man Dan Sav­age, came by ac­com­pan­ied by his wife, City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez. Also stop­ping by was Jason Dawkins, a former Sanc­hez aide, who is chal­len­ging state Rep. James Clay for his 179th Dis­trict seat.

On the oth­er side of Frank­ford Av­en­ue, at Over­ing­ton Park, a small cadre of vo­lun­teers gave the green space some tender lov­ing care, sweep­ing up and tend­ing to flower beds.

In Bustleton, “com­munity turnout was in­cred­ible,” said Jack O’Hara, pres­id­ent of the Great­er Bustleton Civic League. “We had … 16 people work­ing on Grant Av­en­ue, from Krewstown east to the train trestle at Welsh, and 20 more people work­ing on the wide traffic is­land on Krewstown Road.”

Vo­lun­teers in­cluded league mem­bers and oth­er Bustleton res­id­ents as well as people from oth­er neigh­bor­hoods and mem­bers of the Friends of Pennypack Park.

“We had a real big con­tin­gent from the First Ukrain­i­an Evan­gel­ic­al Baptist Church of Phil­adelphia,” O’Hara stated in an email to the North­east Times. “They were a huge help.”

Forty vo­lun­teers picked up about 40 bags of trash at Lard­ner’s Point Park in Ta­cony, ac­cord­ing to Alex­ia Sotirchos, friends pro­gram co­ordin­at­or for the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion. The vo­lun­teers were from Ready, Will­ing and Able, True Vine Church, Ta­cony Civic As­so­ci­ation, Wissi­nom­ing Civic As­so­ci­ation and the park’s neigh­bors, she said. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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