By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city’s Department of Streets is counting down to its sixth annual Philly Spring Cleanup, set for next month.

The Spring Cleanup is a citywide volunteer campaign to spruce up streets and parks. This year it will be held on Saturday, April 13th.

Today, in Port Richmond, Mayor Nutter kicked off the countdown, calling for volunteers along with Streets Department commissioner Clarena Tolson.

“We’re thankful for our citizens for starting the cleaning season by keeping up the sweep-up!” Tolson (second from right, partially hidden) said.

It’s all about civic pride, says Emily Pyett, a participant in a six-month, work-and-skills program run by the Streets Department called Philly Future Track.

“(The program) has inspired me to become civically engaged with beautifying our streets and our neighborhoods.  It helps build character, and it also adds to our quality of life,” she said.  “So get involved!”

And Commissioner Tolson says this effort should not end on April 13th.

“Our cleaning and our care and concern for our community is not just about the one day that we will have our cleanup, but it is about starting fresh in the year 2013,” she said.

Through the first five years of the campaign, more than 45,000 volunteers got rid of an estimated 5.8 million pounds of trash throughout the city.

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