Thousands clean up Philly

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April 4, 2009

By John Davidson

For PlanPhilly

Strong winds did not deter the thousands of volunteers who came out for the second annual Philly Spring Cleanup.

This year, the city-sponsored event took as its theme, “Building Sustainable Communities.” Most teams focused most of their efforts on trash pick-up, which began at 9 a.m., citywide. The city provided large, brown, paper (environmentally friendly) garbage bags for volunteers. Full bags were left at designated pick-up sites for the city streets department.

But teams took on other work, too. This included neighborhood beautification projects such as fence and facade painting, tree planting and park renovation.

Along Second Street in Northern Liberties, Sue White led a group that removed old posters, staples and peeling paint from derelict storefronts, some of which the group then painted blue.

“We’ve been prepping for weeks,” she said, “emailing each other and forming little teams and figuring out what we want to work on. For the most part, the people who live in the neighborhood are heading up teams.”

The volunteers worked all morning and into the afternoon.

Last April, the city cleanup day was a hailed as a success: about 15,000 volunteers cleaned some 3,500 city blocks and collected 2.5 million pounds of trash.

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