Newly declared park land in East Mt. Airy to hold first official cleanup Saturday

  Kevin Kramer and David Dannenberg from Friends of the Wissahickon clearing trees in advance of Saturday's cleanup. (Courtesy of the Friends of the Wissahickon)

Kevin Kramer and David Dannenberg from Friends of the Wissahickon clearing trees in advance of Saturday's cleanup. (Courtesy of the Friends of the Wissahickon)

Six acres of brand new park land in East Mt. Airy are finally having their day. The first official community cleanup of the newest land of the Fairmount Park system is scheduled for this coming Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Through the advocacy of community nonprofits Wissahickon East Project, Friends of the Wissahickon and the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, the land changed hands from developer DeSouza Brown, Inc. to the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation in October.

The area, accessible by the intersection of Woodbrook Lane and Anderson Street in East Mt. Airy, has never had a “formal cleanup” said managing advisor to the Wissahickon East Project, Antje Mattheus.

The cleanup will be led by David Bower of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. The department will also supply tools and gloves for volunteers.

Short dumped trash, invasive species and leaning trees are all on the list of things to clean this Saturday. “It’s just a question of how much can be done at any one time,” said Mattheus. “We hope to have the first short trail loop developed by the end of the day.”

Longer term, the Wissahickon East Project  — the group that led the movement to transform the plot to park land — wants to introduce more native species to a park which will “support human recreation and animal habitats,” said Mattheus.

Participants can meet at the corner of Woodbrook Lane and Anderson Street in East Mt. Airy. The cleanup will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

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