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Vernon Park’s monthly volunteer effort serves as precurser to weekend’s Philly Spring Cleanup

Wednesday was a cool Spring day in Germantown, but that didn’t stop faithful volunteer James Corey from pitching in for the monthly Vernon Park Cleanup effort.

Corey has been volunteering here since last summer when the Friends of Vernon Park and the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership began working on the rain garden there.

He was playing cards on a nearby bench when fellow volunteer Ruth Seeley asked if anyone wanted to help her clean one of the park’s gardens.

Corey, who began volunteering “as if it was his job,” also cleans up the bus stop just outside of the park on Greene Street by picking up debris and raking and sweeping up leaves.

“I love this because it gives me something to do and stay of trouble,” said Corey. “I also get to give back to the community, so it’s only right.”

Light turnout

On Wednesday, he spent majority of his day watering the rain garden that was installed last year. It was designed to reduce water runoff from the roof of the Center in the Park building, but the lack of rain fall made the mulch and several of the water-loving plants turn brown.

“If it was normal spring water, we would not have to water it at all,” said Seeley.

Though Wednesday did not drive as sizable a crowd as previous cleanup efforts, it was the first time East Falls resident Stephanie Martin volunteered. She learned about it through a volunteer service website and was excited to be able to give back.

She helped the small group of four by picking up trash from the pathways and brushes of the grass and plants. She picked up a lot of candy wrappers, cigarette butts and several colorful plastic bags used for drugs, which she said made her sad.

“I know it’s going to be here again when I come back in two weeks,” said Martin. “There is so much trash right near a trash can, and it’s ridiculous.”

Citywide cleanup effort this weekend

The group will also be in the park for the 5th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup on Saturday, a Streets Department initiative which the city bills as a chance to “Keep the Sweep Up.”

There are clean-up events across the city on Saturday, details of which can be found on the cleanup’s website.

NewsWorks will post a list of Northwest Philadelphia clean-up events in advance of the weekend as well.

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