By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the 6th year in a row, thousands of volunteers filled neighborhood parks around Philadelphia for the LOVE your Park Fall Service Day. The effort helps keep parks clean, while also preparing them for the winter ahead.
The city-wide effort is led by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, whose Executive Director – Kathryn Ott Lovell – describes the event as a massive group effort.
“We have about 2,000-volunteers spread out across parks in every neighborhood of the city,” says Ott Lovell. “They’re picking up leaves, they’re cleaning and painting and mulching, and basically closing the parks down for the winter season.”
The chilly Autumn wind didn’t deter volunteers at Miflin Square Park, which was inspiring to Ott Lovell.
“It’s not enough just to bring a park back to life. We have to bring people back to parks, because people are really what make parks amazing and wonderful for neighborhoods.”
Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis says these events not only give neighborhoods a clean and safe park, but also help build community and civic pride, which is a huge help for the city.”
“If the neighbors don’t look out for the park and care for the park when we’re not here, it’s just not going to be as nice,” says DiBerardinis. If the folks don’t use it in a consistent way, if it’s not clean or ready for them to use in a consistent way, it would be impossible for us to take care of it.”
The groups will hold another LOVE your Park Service Day in the spring to prepare the parks for warmer weather.