Volunteers join annual Philly Spring Cleanup to help beautify city neighborhoods

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Volunteers join annual Philly Spring Cleanup to help beautify city neighborhoods
Volunteers join annual Philly Spring Cleanup to help beautify city neighborhoods

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia workers and volunteers teamed up to help beautify more than 1,000 locations throughout the city on Saturday as part of an annual day of service.

Hundreds of people across the city participated in the 17th annual Philly Spring Cleanup, a tradition that looks to clear out vacant lots, beautify parks, and improve community spaces.

Some of those workers and volunteers focused their efforts on the Fourth District Container Village on 49th and Parkside streets.

What used to be an abandoned lot there has transformed over the past few years into a community-based retail center.

"I think that these flowers are going to need to be watered," Chief Deputy Mayor Aren Platt told his 4-year-old daughter while working on a gardening bed. "This is going to be the best part of the whole project."

The multi-year project in Parkside continues to be a focus for the neighborhood and the city.

"If people see a neighborhood that they want to be in that's clean, that's green, that doesn't have a litter in the streets, that has fresh plantings," explained Platt. "People have pride and ownership of where they live. They're proud to be part of Philadelphia, they're proud to be in the city."

The village is one of more than a thousand locations in the city that got spruced up on the cleanup day.

"When I grew up, we were told if you saw a piece of trash, you pick it up, you put it away, or don't even throw trash on the ground," said Sandra Woods, the block captain there.

This day of service promotes that message, where city workers and volunteers alike are joining up to take care of Philadelphia neighborhoods.

"We planted and gave out over 125 trees," said Carlton Williams, the director of clean and green initiatives for the city.

The cleanup is part of Mayor Cherelle Parker's vision for the city, which includes addressing abandoned lots and providing economic opportunities to people in neighborhoods.

"I'm grateful that the people have allowed me to make good on that promise," Mayor Parker told the crowd.

As part of the project, in Parkside, volunteers planted flowers, mulched and painted furniture. It's all to make this container market the centerpiece of this community.

"I hope that it's not just today, but Philadelphia will just continue throughout the next four years, the next 10 years, so that we can be a city that people come to and say Philadelphia is just such a beautiful place to visit and to live," said Woods.