PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Love Your Park is a collaboration between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and Philadelphia’s Park Friends Network. The program invites Philadelphians to clean up and maintain their neighborhood parks and public spaces.

“We know people are looking for a way to get out and give back,” Love Your Park Volunteer and Environmental Program Manager Lindsey walker said. “We know that the city needs help keeping the park clean and green.”

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After a year of being inside because of the pandemic, Love Your Park volunteers are so grateful to be back outside.

“People are so excited to get out,” Walker said. “Be out in our public spaces, explore our parks, and to meet each other, to meet people.”

Love Your Park has two citywide events — a kickoff event in the spring and a service day in the fall, where thousands of volunteers come out. But this summer, the program expanded and launched weekly cleanup events — “Trash Bag Tuesdays” and “Wednesday Weeding” sessions.

Sharon Jackson is a regular volunteer at the weekly events.

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“It’s hard to express what it’s like among the trees, and you feel like you’re really giving back, and you’re helping,” Jackson said.

Giving back has been rewarding for Jackson, and she hopes her neighbors are inspired to clean up their parks as well.

“I am hoping that the program grows, you know, and that more people come out and see and be a part of this movement to take care of our spaces,” Jackson said.

Love Your Park staff is hopeful that the momentum continues.

“Our goal is to is just to do what we can to help keep the parks clean and green,” Walker said, “and clean up as much trash as possible, but also to build communities, to make people feel like this is their park, and we’re all in it together.”

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If you’d like to get involved with Love Your Park, click here.

Ukee Washington