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. ••